Pastoral Letter - 16th August 2020

Dear Friend from Bridport United, Uploders Methodist or Hope or Radipole United Reformed Churches,

I write in the midst of a steamy hot day and unusually for a beautiful summer day my mind worries about people behaving sensibly on beaches and otherwise on holiday - not a typical summer thought but this has not been a typical year has it?

Anyway as with the last few weeks we have been edging onwards to a new sort of ‘normal,’ taking our gentle, thoughtful, worry-filled steps along the way?

Well one significant step was taken last Sunday as we successfully carried out a service in the United Church when 17 of us gathered (carefully and keeping our distance) and watched the Circuit Zoom Service on the big screen.  It wasn’t normal, certainly, and if I’m honest it left me feeling just a little bit flat and not uplifted as I would have wished?  But we did it and sometimes we just have to take our careful steps back towards sharing our fellowship together?

You will remember a fortnight ago I issued you with a mechanism to calculate your own personal risk levels, which was by no means prescriptive, nor in any way a method of forbidding those who score highly (indeed there were some present on Sunday who most definitely did) - merely a way of you being informed of your risk levels, enabling you to be even more careful if you are more at risk?

Likewise you might score more lowly but have other reasons why you will not be able to join the service?  We are adults and are able to make our own decisions!  

Another thing you will remember will be the rather exciting news that, despite having no-one to take on the church magazine we have the delightful opportunity to be included in the contents of The Bridge, produced by our friends in the Bridport Team Ministry.  The relaunch will be in October but if you have any news or articles that you would like to contribute (we wondered if folk might like to write their ‘Reflections on Lockdown’?) - please email them to Sue Herman on before 7 September?

This Sunday I shall be leading my first ‘live’ service since February at Dorchester, who started their opening up little earlier than us but I am confident now we will be fine for live services starting in September.  We also had a meeting this week to assess the options for offering services in the Autumn at Uploders Chapel - so watch this space for there too?

That said, this week’s service at the United Church will be the Circuit Video Service, led by me with Rev'd Brenda

Sunday Service Options

1.  The Circuit Video service will as usual appear on the Dorset South and West website on Saturday evening and this week’s service is led by me with a Reflection from Rev'd Brenda Stephenson, plus music from Heather Reed. The YouTube link is here though doesn’t go live on YouTube until 5pm on Saturday:  


2.  The Audio Service from the URC Daily Devotions Team will be led on Sunday by the Rev’d Lythan Nevard who serves Cranbook Church in Devon. 

Hymns include

(i)   Joachim Neander’s Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,

(ii)  Marty Haugen’s Send Down the Fire of Your Justice,

(iii) John Bell and Graham Maule’s Inspired by Love and Anger, and finally

(iv) Charles Wesley’s And Can It Be?

The service will be sent out, as normal, at 9.45 on Sunday morning for a 10am start.  If you have any problems receiving it please read on for advice.
As always the service will be sent out in time for a 10am start but you can listen at any point after that. To access this service go to then finding the link to the Daily Devotions and clicking the Service option.  As usual you will have the option of printing the service sheet too.
3.  This week’s bonus will be another Video Service on YouTube from the Soul Space Team, based in the Bridport United Church.  Having now completed our series on the Book of Ruth the whole team will be sharing a number of short reflections on Psalm 46, together with songs and prayers.  The group incidentally met recently and planned our programme right to the end of the year, by which time we, too, will be hoping to offer ‘live’ services.  A double bonus?

Web-link Soul Space 16th August
This is an inaugural video on our own Soul Space YouTube Channel rather than piggy-backing on my personal one.  Another step forward?
Blessings from your Minister,


Rev'd Peter Clark

URC Minister of the Bridport & Dorchester Joint Pastorate