All posts by stmarysredbournorg

Wire Sculptures in the Churchyard: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse

Four beautiful wire sculptures have arrived in the churchyard as part of the Forest Tots trail based around the book ‘The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse’ by Charlie Mackesy.

The sculptures were made by Virginia Corbett and can be found around near the West Door of the church.

The Forest Tots trail has been set up to keep our Forest Tots group for toddlers and pre-schoolers together and busy whilst we can’t meet together.

Near the sculptures you will also see their ‘Happy Houses’ which they are building and working on each week, the Thank You Tree where whey draw or write on chalkboards something they are grateful for each week, painted stones near the Welcome Tree, which shows a different page from ‘The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse’ which is our theme for the trail each week.

Do pop down to have a look at the sculptures, and join in with the trail if you wish – there is no upper age limit to helping to build the Happy Houses, writing on the Thank You Tree or reflecting on the theme each week!

Current Restrictions and our Ministry at St Mary’s

A letter from The Vicar, Revd Will Gibbs

The latest Government restrictions and a third national lockdown bring with them many challenges and elicit a whole range of emotions, I’m sure.

For my part, I am relieved in three particular ways. I am relieved because the current numbers of Covid cases and infection rates are incredibly high, especially locally, and something needed to be done before things spiralled out of control.

I am also relieved because it means that the schools are closed until at least February Half Term. I had real concerns for Claire and for all teachers working in close proximity to lots of children from many
households with this new more infectious variant. (But I know this will be hard for parents working from home and juggling busy work pressures and home schooling and childcare.)

And, thirdly, I am relieved that this current lockdown still permits churches to be open – both for private prayer and for individuals to come and visit and pray, but also that public worship can continue to be offered.

This is a notable difference compared to the restrictions in the first national lockdown and bears testimony to the efforts and protocols that we and many churches have put in place to ensure that coming to a service is as safe as we can possibly make it.

It does mean that St Mary’s will continue to be open each day from 9.30 am until 5.30 pm Monday to Saturday, and from 7.30 am until 5 pm on Sundays. Permission for churches to stay open means that each of us has a choice about whether to come to St Mary’s or not, rather than that choice being taken from us.

I realise that there will be a considerable number who won’t feel able to attend services at the moment and that is fully understood and appreciated. Please know that you are missed and are being thought of and prayed for.

We will be continuing to offer our online services each Sunday morning and from the kind messages we have received I know that many people have taken great comfort from these. The fact that these are broadcast at 9.30 am with almost identical words and music to our service in church also at 9.30 am gives us an added sense that we are very much together, even if apart for now.

For those who don’t feel able to attend services in church at the
moment, do consider calling in to St Mary’s quietly under your own steam, so that you can sit and pray for a while during the week. I know that many have found great peace and solace by being able to still come in and enjoy the sense of God’s presence and peace in this place. And it is warm!

You can also light a candle on the votive candle stand if you wish, and that is being used and appreciated by many since we acquired it. It is lovely to come in to church and see a number of candles burning as a
sign that others have been there before us and have been praying also.

And for those who do feel able to come to services, we continue to offer 9.30 am Morning Prayer and 5 pm Evening Prayer each weekday, our 7.30 pm Wednesday Eucharist and weekend communion services at 5 pm on Saturdays and 8 am and 9.30 am on Sundays.

Last weekend, we had almost identical numbers attending at each
of these so our desire ‘to spread the load’ is working well and it means that we can space out more than the required 2 metres and feel very secure and comforted by that.

We will wait to see what the next Government review brings and what this means for us but, in the meantime, if you are aware of anyone who is struggling or who needs support or pastoral care then please do let me know so that we can respond appropriately.

Whatever life throws at us at the moment, I am determined that we stay together as a church, even if apart to an extent, and that our prayer, worship and pastoral care of each other continues and is extended, as we make our way at the start of 2021.


Forest Tots Trail in the Churchyard

We’ve been busy making a Forest Tots trail for you to enjoy during your daily exercise, so pop down to church tomorrow or any time during the week to have a look.

There will be a new activities set up each week so do keep coming back.

Our theme for this half term will be the beautiful book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy which feels particularly relevant to us all at the moment.

This week’s trail includes:

1. Snowdrops to plant

Please bring a trowel with you, and look out for a basket of small snowdrop plants under the Welcome Tree. You can plant one or two underneath the Welcome Tree, but please be gentle as they are quite delicate!

2. Add to the Thank You Tree

Please bring a piece of chalk with you if you can, to draw or write something you are grateful for at the moment on the boards on the Thank You Tree.

3. Our new Happy House

We are so excited to have a project we can all work on together whilst we’re apart – building a Happy House! Penny and Keith have started us off with a basic structure but we need your help to make it bigger, better and more beautiful over the coming weeks.

Could you find some big sticks in the churchyard or when you’re out on other walks, to add to the structure? Or can you add pretty things you find in nature to the inside or outside? We can’t wait to see how it grows!

4. Activity Sheets

There will be activity sheets left in the porch – these will be laid out along the bench on the left hand side so do look out for them and please try to touch only the pack you will be taking away.

Do keep in touch and let us know how things are going for you, or if there’s anything we can help with, even if it’s just a chat on the phone from time to time.

Keep safe and we hope to see you soon.

With our love and prayers,

The Forest Tots Team xx