We're open again.. with constraints.
St. Patrick’s will reopen for a service of Morning Prayer at 10.30am on 19 July, using our usual Book of Common Prayer liturgy. Our services have to comply with government and CofE guidance, so they will be rather different – there cannot be any hymn singing, for example; and social distancing rules must be observed. If you are going to attend the service, please go to the north transept door, as that will be the entrance. Please do not arrive at the church before 10.20am. Inside, there will be a notice reminding you of hygiene and other requirements, with a hand sanitiser station (we do not have handwashing facilities). If you have to queue, please maintain social distance. Recording your attendance is voluntary, but the guidance requests us to ask you to do so, by writing your name and telephone number on the slip provided and placing into the basket. You can then pick up your service books and wait for one of the stewards to conduct you to your seat. Members of the same household or “bubble” may sit together, but others must keep their distance, so please stay where the steward places you. The toilet will be closed. There will be no children’s corner and parents are responsible for ensuring their children comply with guidance. The Officiant will give you other necessary information at the start of the service.
If you already receive Grapevine electronically or on paper copy, please bring the readings with you (those set for 19 July are Psalm 139 1-11,23,24, Genesis 28 10-19a, Romans 8 12-25 and Matthew 13 24-30, 36-43) if you prefer to follow them rather than listen to the reader – but to comply with guidance, please take them away with you afterwards.
We cannot at present open for visitors as we cannot meet the required criteria.
Reflections for 11 July: the Parable of the Sower...
In this parable, we are particularly blessed as Jesus, in response to questions from his apostles, explains the parable. He doesn’t explain it just to the apostles but to the gathered crowd:
‘Listen then to what the parable of the sower means’ he says to all of the listeners. When Jesus shouts out ‘Listen!’, it is not because he is having trouble getting the crowd’s attention. It is because he is urging them to listen very carefully to his story, so that they really hear and understand what he is saying to them. So, they listened, and Jesus explained as we also listen and hear in this reading.
Jesus is the sower. There was nothing wrong with the quality of the seed Jesus was sowing – the Good News, the Word of God. Jesus sows in us all the word of the Kingdom. That word is love, peace, hope, joy, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, beauty, wisdom, presence, encouragement, perseverance, courage, gentleness, wholeness, healing, reconciliation, authenticity. This list goes on and on. But, as we know, if any seed is to grow and flourish, the quality of the soil is critical.
When anyone listens to us attentively, we feel valued. When anyone speaks to us in our own language it feeds and enhances the person that we are, making us grow in confidence and self-worth. This is how Christ Jesus listens to us and, importantly, how we need to listen to him, not only in our prayers but as he speaks to us through others. By this caring we nurture the seed of his love in our soil, our whole being, which develops and grows into a part of his great harvest.
But, what about the quality of our soil? Is it nourished and deep? Or is it a thin layer, like areas of the sower’s field in the Parable? How do we improve it? The answer is by prayer, asking for enlightenment and wisdom; by doing a good deed; by giving a kind word; by having sincere contrition for our weaknesses; by paying close attention to the ordinary events of our daily lives; by being fully present to each person, hearing his or her spoken and unspoken needs.
If we listen, we will hear God in all that we do. This is the spiritual fertility given by God. When we accept it, it nourishes the life of God within us. He is with us in all that we do. He speaks to us in gentle tones and in language we understand. Listen to Him; he is the sower, the seed and the food for growth…and then relax. The harvest will take care of itself.
Our church buildings are still locked and silent - but not for long now! Even when we reopen, we will not be able to share our personal love and fellowship in the accustomed and traditional way; and nor can we welcome you into St. Patrick's as visitors to wonder at the beauty and artistry of our lovely building. Whether you feel the government have over-reacted or 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 activities 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 will 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. 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.
Until we reopen for business, may I ask all our congregation and supporters to set aside donations they would normally have made, 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.