Independence Day.. with fetters.
As you will know, the government announced churches may reopen for public worship from 4 July. All well and good, but this is subject to many pages of advice and regulation. Subsequently, the Church of England has published its own guidance for churches, but this extends to 22 pages, plus a risk checklist of another 7 pages, plus 7 pages on Holy Communion. And if you happen to have a listed church, you're also subject to government regulations on opening historic sites if you are going to open for visitors as well as worshippers. The people trying to analyse all this and apply it to St. Patrick's are all volunteers, with their own (and their families') lives to lead as well as managing the church. PLEASE bear with us whilst we try to find our way through this regulatory maze: we want St. Patrick's "open for business" as soon as possible, but we have to comply with regulations for insurance as well as legal reasons.
Reflections for 28 June...
Today's Gospel (Matthew 10, 40-42) sets out what seems a paradox: the reward goes to the people welcoming Jesus' disciples, not the disciples themselves - who Jesus has warned they will face oppositon, hostility and hardship -and potentially martyrdom. To use the marketing guru approach, what was in in for them? Did they not deserve some recompense for their sacrifice of personal comfort, material possessions and individual security? The answer is that their recompense was knowing they were doing God's will, more fulfilling than any material incentive. When faith enters the equation, people display different values - as indicated in the famous prayer by St. Ignatius of Loyola:-
"Teach us, good Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest. To give and not to count the cost. To fight and not to heed the wounds. To toil and not to seek for rest. To labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do Thy will, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
And we have things easy in this country: we will not be arrested or harassed or imprisoned just because we are followers of Jesus, unlike the first disciples and current Christians in many parts of the world.
Our church buildings are still locked and silent, so we cannot at present share our personal love and fellowship in the accustomed and traditional way; and nor can we welcome you into St. Patrick's to participate in worship, or to pray privately, or to wonder at the beauty and artistry of our lovely building (there are digital services available - please see the Diocesan website - www.dioceseofyork.org.uk for details).Whether you feel the government have over-reacted or they are only taking sensible precautions is not a matter for debate here: what we do assure you of is that St. Patrick's people are still praying, still loving and still here - we just cannot show it as usual.
Our very best wishes to all who visit our website. May you and yours be safe from Covid19 (or if contracted quickly recover) or any other illness or anxiety affecting you bodily, mentally or spiritually. We pray that we will be able to resume our usual Christian activity in weeks rather than months.
... and money.
Like other charities, St. Patrick's is badly affected by lockdown. We cannot hold church services or events and are reliant upon donations from church members and the local community. Whilst the church may reopen for limited purposes soon, we will still not be able to resume our normal activities whilst social distancing requirements remain. I estimate this will mean we will lose around £10,000 (35%) of our usual income in 2020 (and I hope the lockdown does not persist into 2021!). We can survive this as we do have some reserves, but those reserves are earmarked to go part of the way to financing the £400,000 of repairs we need to carry out over the next couple of years.
As we are not (like much of our community) open for business and hence not receiving donations other than direct to our bank, may I ask all our congregation and supporters to set aside donations they would normally have made until we reopen, but ONLY if this can be done without adverse impact on yourself and your family. If you can increase your support, this would be very helpful in current circumstances. Should you find it more convenient to donate direct to the church's Barclays Bank account, the sort code is 20-43-47, account name is PCC of Patrington, and account number 30707988. Please, though, provide a transaction description so I know who is making the donation.
Michael Price, PCC Treasurer.
Some good news!
We have now heard that Alisdair is to be installed in our benefice on 1 September! More news as we get it.
A letter from Alisdair, our Rector in waiting.
Hello again, from the far side of Hull. Listening to the news, and looking around the hospital and the streets, it is clear that things are changing. It is also clear that change is happening in the midst of uncertainty.
Happily, when it comes to joining all of you, there is also change, also with some uncertainty, but hopefully not too much! I have been able to hand in my notice of resignation to the Trust, which means I will finish here at the end of July, hopefully move during August, and be able to formally take up my post in early September.
You will notice that not once have I given a precise date for any of these changes, but they will happen. Perhaps one of the good things we are being reminded of, in our age of ruthless scheduling and precision timing, is that many things - given space - happen well enough in their own time, and that hurry and impatience seldom bring either peace or joy.
Or, in our Lord's words: "...seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." – Matthew 6.33-34.
Around the world the truth of those words is being highlighted by our present circumstances, but may we also know and trust that, day by day, we are indeed in safe and patient hands.
God's peace be with you,
The church is open daily from around 9am to 5pm, or until dusk if earlier. Access for ambulatory visitors from the car park on High Street is up the steps between the handrails and direct to the north porch. Wheelchair users' access is through the gap in the east wall of the car park, through the lychgate and again to the north porch. There is a ramp for wheelchairs just inside the porch to help negotiate the entry step. Entry to the church from Church Lane, to the south of the church, is via the kissing gates and the paths leading to the north of the church. These routes are not accessible to wheelchair users. There are some areas of the churchyard cordoned off for safety reasons pending attention from the Patrington Parish Council, who are responsible for churchyard maintenance. If you are interested in exploring our beautiful church but do not wish to participate in a church service, we respectfully suggest you avoid service times (shown in the calendar). If you would like to organise a group visit, please contact the PCC Secretary in advance, so that clashes with other visits or activities are avoided. We advise that a group visit covering the whole of the church will take a minimum of two hours, three hours if a tower tour is included. We do have a toilet, but unfortunately space and access constraints mean it is not suitable for people with disabilities. It is available for church services, all church events, organised parties and whenever the church is stewarded. It is NOT available for use by casual visitors other than by prior arrangement with one of the Church officers.
Safeguarding vulnerable people.
St. Patrick's Church takes very seriously our duty to safeguard vulnerable people. More information is available from the PCC's Safeguarding Officer (see the "Contact us" page) or from the Diocese of York at https://dioceseofyork.org.uk/safeguarding.
Our Conservation Management Plan.
We began preparing our Conservation Management Plan (essential for all Major Parish Churches) in March 2019 and began community consultations at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting on 30 April 2019. Results from a local questionnaire indicated responders would like to see more major events in church. An inital draft of the Plan was adopted formally by the Parochial Church Council in September 2019.
The PCC has agreed to progress the priorities defined by Purcell Architecture Ltd. and is discussing where we go from here with other national and regional stakeholders and partners - essential when looking at the future of a Grade 1 Listed Building nationally recognised for its quality and heritage value.
We'll provide more information to (and want views and help from!) our local community, supporters and friends as events unfold and our plans for the future of our lovely Church crystallise. This may seem to be taking a long time, but dealing with reordering and enhancing such an important heritage building (plus the major repairs which are necessary over the next few years) isn't straightforward.
If you would like to read the CMP, it is available by email from the Project Manager, Michael Price (firstname.lastname@example.org). As it runs to 104 pages and has many colour photographs and illustrations, we cannot provide paper copies.
We now have a Facebook page - St Patricks Church Patrington - authentic page - to keep everyone in touch. The title is a bit longwinded as there were already other pages about the church which aren't ours. If you like what you see, whether on Facebook or on this website, please tell your friends. Better still, come and visit our lovely church - visitors always welcome, but if you want to see it all, it will take a couple of hours.