Dear Church Family,
This Sunday is a feast day in the church calendar, it is a very significant day which is 50 days on from Easter. Christians celebrate Pentecost, it is often referred to as the birth of the church, in a way it is the birthday of the church. Last week we were reminded of Jesus departing this world and returning to heavenly realms. Jesus promised that another would come to be with those followers of Jesus, a comforter, power would come from on high they were told.
So they waited together in Jerusalem where Jews from all over the world were also gathered for a celebration. In the midst of this international gathering God sent the Holy Spirit and what a spectacular start of the church. The Holy Spirit came like the sound of a mighty wind and in tongues of fire resting and empowering, making bold those followers of Jesus as they met the power and presence of God in a new way.
The people who were onlookers were amazed thought perhaps they were drunk and many heard their own language spoken. The Holy Spirit came and got everyone's attention.
Then Peter, who was feeling bold and prompted by God gave the best sermon ever about God's great love and forgiveness for everyone and we hear how hundreds of people became believers. The church began and has been sharing the good news of God's love and Jesus' life and death ever since.
Each of us can ask God for the Holy Spirit to help us be bold and talk of God's love, during this covid pandemic we have noticed an openness to hear and reach out to God, we encourage you to be bold and ask for God's help at this Pentecost.
Yours in Christ.
Revds. Bridget and Nigel

Attached are some resources and activities for Children

The Church of England will stream a Pentecost Service at 9am 31st May find them on facebook or You Tube or Church of England website.
Contributions will be from His Holiness Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York, Archbishop Angaelos, Pastor Agu Irukwu, Methodist Youth president, Thelma Commey and Heidi Crowter, an advocate for people with Down's Syndrome.
Diocesan Prayer Diary

The diary was written before the Coronavirus situation so the events themselves are not happening.
God bless you in your prayer and witness
Bishop John

Digital resources from
 
There are a range of new and existing Christian resources available for people to engage with at this difficult and challenging time in the life of the nation and the world:

 
  • Time to Pray app - everything you need for Prayer During the Day, with variations according to the day of the week and the season of the Church’s year. Download for free from Church House Publishing.

  • Daytime prayer and Night prayer service audio - building on the existing daily prayer feed, this includes daytime prayer and night prayer for each day. It will be available as a downloadable app in the coming weeks.The Church of England website under heading Prayer and Worship.

  • Live streaming services from churches - AChurchNearYou.com now lists hundreds of churches offering livestreams of services from across the country. Churches need to add the 'Livestream' tag to their services and events that will be broadcast. Remember to add into the description how people can watch this. You add a link to the platform you're using to stream, such as your Facebook Page or YouTube Channel. Find out more about live streaming services and events.
  • Increasing the number of training webinars - to help churches stream sermons, events and make the most of digital platforms. Sign up for free.

  • #LiveLent: Care for God's Creation - the Church of England's Lent campaign for 2020. With weekly themes shaped around the first Genesis account of creation, it explores the urgent need for humans to value and protect the abundance God has created. This daily audio content is available via the app and daily emails. Sign up for free.

  • The BBC's Daily Service and Sunday Worship - radio programmes will be using some of the themes from #LiveLent as part of their broadcasts.

  • Prayer for the day - each day the Church of England publishes audio and text of the Prayer for the Day.

  • Smart speakers – daily prayer and #LiveLent audio content can be accessed via our smart speaker apps.
 
Read a blog which outlines how a church can inexpensively stream a sermon, service, event or thought for the day from the vicar or member of the church in situations where people are unable to attend church.  
 
What will be developed in the weeks ahead?
 
In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to significantly expand our output:

 
  • More video content – this will include video services and more films for Holy Week and Easter. In addition, we will make Holy Week audio content available.

  • A series of new reflections from Easter Day onwards – work is underway on an updated app, audio and email resources. More details to follow soon.

  • Mental health reflections – daily reflections to help people, especially at a time when they are feeling lonely, isolated or anxious.
 
Alongside the use of audio, app, smart speakers and social media, one of the main principles we are working to is to make as much as possible available in simple downloadable and printable formats for those who can’t easily access the technology.
         
   
       
                 
           
                   Prayer and liturgy          
       
A new page has been created containing:
 
  • Prayers and intercessions for personal or group use
  • Special prayers for use if it isn’t possible to meet in church
  • Asimple form of prayer for the morning and evening, which can be downloaded, printed, and shared with those remaining at home or who are unable to access the Internet.
 
These resources are offered to help those who are struggling to find words at this difficult and stressful time, and to enable Christians to worship in solidarity with one another even if it is not possible to gather in church.