Church services from a distance

Sadly over the summer break Mrs Price’s husband, Don, died unexpectedly after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. Along with the wonderful support of our St James’ Hatcham church and school families, Fred cat has been a great source of comfort to her. As the new church year begins, on Wednesday mornings Mrs Price will welcome one class each week back into church to learn more about Jesus and the importance of faith in Him. So that everyone gets an opportunity to share in these sessions, Fred has kindly agreed to continue giving us his feline views on Christian faith. Please click on the links below to read what he likes to call his ‘furballs of wisdom’.


The theme for this new term is Psalm 23, David’s great song of thankfulness to the God he worshipped and relied on all his life.

1The Lord is my shepherd;
I have everything I need.

He lets me rest in fields of green grass
and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water.

He gives me new strength.
He guides me in the right paths,
as he has promised.

Even if I go through the deepest darkness,
I will not be afraid, Lord,
for you are with me.
Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.

You prepare a banquet for me,
where all my enemies can see me;
you welcome me as an honoured guest
and fill my cup to the brim.

I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life;
and your house will be my home as long as I live.

May David’s words reassure you that God is at the heart of St James’ Hatcham and that His values of Love, Peace, Hope and Joy will not just the carry the staff and children through this period of anxiety and uncertainty but will allow them to flourish as kind and caring individuals.

 


Despite social distancing, Love, Peace, Hope and Joy still touch every heart at St James

Over the past weeks of lockdown, I have been privileged to witness the care and commitment of all the teachers and support staff at the school. Whether in school or working from home, a huge community effort has kept the children in school safe and at ease so that they can learn; while those at home and their families have been regularly contacted, supported and engaged with online learning resources. Ms McFarlane and her team have worked tirelessly to cope with the ever-changing practical guidelines on social distancing while focussing on the wellbeing of the children and their families.

Unfortunately, we are not yet able to welcome the children back into St James’ Church, but I have now been able to resume leading a worship assembly on Wednesday mornings in Jenny’s Place. It has been lovely to see the children again and to thank them warmly for the way they have responded so positively to the lockdown. Their families can be justly proud of their enthusiasm for their school and the spirit of care and compassion it models.

For those not in school yet, Fred cat has graciously agreed to continue sharing his ‘Paws for Thought’ on the website each week. He will give his feline take on what we have talked about on Wednesday mornings.

As a church, St James’ folk have continued to pray for the school so, if you have any particular concerns, please email me at stjameshatchamchurch@gmail.com or visit our website at stjamesandstmichaelshatcham.org.

Having attended a couple of governors’ meetings as the new vice chair, I would just like to add their thanks to the staff, the children and their families for doing all they can not just to maintain some level of learning in these extraordinary times, but to actively participate in creating an environment which teaches our future leaders the important life skills of flexibility, resilience and selflessness.

Christine Price

Church School Liaison Officer & Vice-Chair of Governors


 

Prayer for school

On Wednesday 18 March it was lovely to gather at St James for what would turn out to be our last Wednesday morning assembly in church until government restrictions to tackle the coronavirus are lifted. During Lent we had been thinking about Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness alone; without food and thinking deeply about what an uncertain future might bring. As many of us enter a time of enforced isolation, worrying about whether there will be enough food or toilet rolls to go round; whether we or someone we love will become infected, we can take comfort that Jesus truly knows what we are going through. He understands the feelings of frustration and helplessness. He knows the temptation to take matters into our own hands; to stockpile, to go out and risk infection and infecting others. His response to the very human desire to put ‘me first’ was to pray to His Father God and to trust that in God’s hands all would be well. This did not bring a miraculous quick fix; Jesus chose a hard life of service to others and, in the end, He gave up His life for all God’s human children.

JESUS

Whatever your belief, may I encourage you to start your day as the children at St James do with the prayer Jesus taught His disciples. The prayer that tells us God is the Father of us all. He is holy and worthy of our worship. Following His way of love and selflessness will make the world a better place. He will always give us the things we need, not necessarily the things we want. Through Jesus’ selflessness, He is generous in forgiving us for the things we do wrong and He encourages us to be generous to others. God’s spirit lives within us and, if we listen to His still, small voice, we can stand against evil and be instead an example of His love.

Finally, when all around is uncertainty and fear, take heart that God is in control and because of it we can always have faith, hope and love as a light in these dark times.

Our Father, who are in heaven, hallowed by thy name;

thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom, the power and glory, for ever and ever. Amen

The St James’ Church family will be praying for you all over the coming weeks. If you have a particular prayer request, please email stjameshatchamchurch@gmail.com.

Christine Price, Church School Liaison Officer