Pastoral Letter - 2nd August 2020

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

Well, having already written to you once this week with the disappointing news that the processes to re-open Bridport United Church for some version of corporate worship were just too complex to complete in time for this week, we are once again restricted to our (still amazing!) range of worship options.  

But before I get to those, a bit of ecumenical news.  Firstly, you will remember that I put out an appeal some weeks ago to join our Anglican friends in purchasing Bibles for the Year 6 Leavers from St. Mary’s School?  I received the following thank you from James Houston, the Year 6 Teacher and R.E. coordinator:

‘Each year we present our year 6 leavers with a Bible of their choice to remind them of their time at St Mary's and support them in their next step. With budgets tight we have been struggling to continue to provide this. Once again the amazing community of Bridport stepped into the gap - every single one of our 32 children were given a Bible by someone within our community, making their Bible even more special. One parent said "Please pass on my thanks to all who donated them. It is so lovely that they are starting the next phase of their journeys with God's word of love."

My second piece of news is pretty exciting too.  Some months ago Sue Wright, after many years of steadfastly producing the Magazine that serves the Bridport United and Uploders Methodist Churches, decided it was time to step down.  I am very grateful for her years of service and take this opportunity to thank her.  

Anyway, we put out an appeal to see if there was a volunteer who might be a willing to take on this not inconsiderable task and, sadly nobody has been able to.  The lockdown has meant we have not produced a magazine and kept communications going by pastoral notes attached to Written Services or, like this, in Emails.  

Meanwhile, our friends in the Anglican Bridport Team Ministry Group had been undergoing a parallel process to review their own magazine - The Bridge.  This, as you possibly know, is a more glossy production than our own and is delivered to every home in Bridport, Bradpole, Bothenhampton, Allington and Walditch.  They have decided to make it into a full-colour production, fully funded by advertisements and make it much more of a community-orientated magazine, available even more widely across the town, though retaining sections relating to the churches in their Group. 

Since lockdown they have been producing it online only with a new editor, who used to work producing magazines in the commercial field so has lots of experience and expertise.  I attach a copy of the August edition.  Just as we were deciding what to do next regarding our own mag, they included me in their consultation regarding their relaunch and plans to have printed magazines from October.  

Long story short, I floated the possibility of us joining in too, having the same amount of space say as one of the churches in their Group, publishing our service information, events and other news?  Delightfully they quickly agreed and even suggested that I might contribute on a rota basis to the Pastoral Letter too?  We are looking forward to having our content reaching a wider audience and connecting with the community in a more effective way.  We shall of course have to sort out an alternative way of sharing rotas etc. once such things are needed again but I have to say I am really excited about this development !

 

Ok, enough with the preamble!  Sunday’s nearly here, so this week’s menu of Service Options offered by the Circuit Worship Team and beyond to worship together are to be found on our Homepage and also on the Calender.
We trust that you will find them helpful.

Sincerely Yours

 

Peter Clarke (Rev'd) Minister: