St Mary'sSt Mary's news

Vicar
The Reverend Yann Dubreuil Tel: 07777684533
Administrator: Tel: 07777 684 533
Churchwarden
William Knowles Park Edge, Upper Froyle Tel: 01420 23164

Benefice Pastoral Care: Nick Carter (472861)
Anna Chaplain: Nicky Smallwood


Church Services and other news
Do bear in mind that, while there are no services in Froyle Church during the ‘lockdown’ period, Yann and his team lead a regular 11:00am Sunday morning service on YouTube. Everyone can participate (or to watch it later when it suits). The same YouTube channel has a ‘Thought of the Day’ presented by Yann or a member of his team every weekday morning, available from 6:00am!

To access the YouTube channel, go onto the benefice church website (www.benbinfro@co.uk) and click on the link to the YouTube videos. There is other good stuff as well posted on both the website and the YouTube channel. If anyone is struggling with the technology, you are not alone - let me know!

More generally, if at any time you want to talk to Yann, Christopher or anyone else involved in the Church, or if you have thoughts about other things the Church should be doing in this difficult time, let me know. Many of us are frustrated that church buildings have to be not just closed for public gatherings but locked – and there has been quite a bit of public debate about whether that is appropriate. Places of worship were, however, specifically addressed by the Prime Minister in his ‘lockdown message’ on 23 March, so we have to adhere to that - but we are of course happy to talk at any time.

William Knowles
Tel: 23164 Mob: 07775 92893
Email: wbk@wbknowles.com

To learn more about the individual Churches, click on the church icons below.

Bentley
Binsted
Froyle

The Vicars Letter
Dear All,

…Writing this letter immediately after Easter felt very strange as many of us were unable to spend this special festival with our families. It is usually a time of such great celebration in church with the great chorus of He is Risen Indeed, Alelluia! It is normally a time of family fun with Easter egg hunts, Simnel cake and hot cross buns.

But this year, although we have tried hard in Benbinfro to provide support and continuity with services and our popular Thought for the Day online on Youtube and the Benefice website; although families, even grandparents, have learnt to use Facetime, Zoom and House Party, we all know it is just not the same as being together, shaking hands and giving each other a kiss and a hug. Some are finding social distancing and isolation harder than others. So it was surprising when one of our team said, ‘But I’ve just drawn inspiration from The Archers!’ Cue rolling eyes all round at that remark, but then she went on to say, ‘I just heard Tracy Horrobin, reformed bad girl character in the series, say ‘Fake it till you make it’ and that seems to me to be just how I’m going to embrace what we are facing at the moment.’

Now as well as rolling eyes, there was much laughter, because what does that mean? Little white lies? Pretending you like your mother’s awful liver casserole when you really don’t? No, it means facing the future with a confident posture. Adopt a cheerful, helpful and optimistic stance and even if you don’t feel it, even if you don’t really believe it, you will begin to radiate a belief that better times are certain to come.

That sentiment seems to chime with the Easter message of hope and new life arising from despair and darkness. But what if there was something better than ‘fake it till you make it’?

On Easter Sunday 2020 the sun shone, the birds sang and blossom burst forth on trees, pointing us towards a brighter future ahead for all of us. However, this was no mere faking or posturing – Summer really does follow Winter and Spring. The Sun really does shine above the clouds – in fact, if you were able to view planet Earth and the Sun together from outer space – you would see that the Sun never, ever stops shining whatever might be happening on our comparatively tiny Earth.

Having the right perspective is the key to getting Easter right. A faith perspective is one that trusts the One who said “I have seen the Father”, and who on the cross said, “It is done”. Whatever stance I take, positive or negative, it will not change Easter facts. And neither will Covid 19 nor any other disease.

Easter is the Christian foundation for hope. And hope in the Christian sense of the word is not a psychological prop or some nebulous thought. It is solid. It is strong. It is true. It is real. And my faith or lack of it will no more affect it than a cloud on Earth diminishes the radiance of the Sun in the cosmos.

Here in Benbinfro we are so much more fortunate than many in UK towns and cities. Many of us live in comfortable homes with gardens where we can relax and exercise. We are surrounded by open spaces where we are still allowed to walk and cycle. Our communities are neighbourly in the true sense of the word, so even those in isolation can obtain food and medicine. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the blossom is on the trees. There is so much to be thankful for so let us resolve to show commitment, resolution, determination and defiance in the face of the demons of despair, fear and hopelessness, and we will survive this challenge – not because it might bring hope, but because hope already exists.

Blessings, Yann & the Team

Youth Update

Hi all! I can’t believe how quickly 8 months has gone by working in Bentley, Binsted and Froyle! I have loved getting to know the young people in our villages, leading them through the Youth Alpha Course and seeing them being Confirmed by the Bishop in March. This is among trips to the cinema and Nando’s, a sleepover in the church and playing lots of silly games!

These are strange times for all of us, and with school now at home, exams are cancelled, and it just isn’t possible to meet up with friends, keeping our young people supported and engaged in church through these times is all the more important.

This is why we have teamed up with other youth groups in our area, together we are called United, to provide even more activities than we could do alone. As United, we have been putting on daily 1-hour activities over Zoom throughout April and are planning to continue this pattern, Monday to Friday, for as long as we need to.

So far, we have been baking, drawing, eating, playing games and worshipping! As United, we feel meeting little and often is more important, especially for those in isolation, so please get in contact with me by email, gemma@benbinfro.co.uk, or call/text 07774 344309 to find out more and see how your young people can join in!

Gemma Ball
Pastoral Assistant (Youth) and Administrator

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