Monthly Newsletter

Dear Friends,

This virus has affected all our lives and the life of the church, in so many ways. It has been challenging for all of us.  Now, we face the next phase of recovery as we continue to move forward to restart the economy, our jobs, our schooling, to open our shops, restaurants and pubs, and to open our churches.  While I cannot address the whole of the United Kingdom’s recovery, I wanted to let you know how we are getting on with the re-opening of our churches in Binstead, Havenstreet and Wootton.

With the Bishop’s permission, we have opened our churches for individual private prayer.  The church opening hours are included below. This past week, we also received permission from the government and Bishop Christopher to open the churches for public worship from July 4, as well as for weddings and funerals – all of this with the understanding that appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures are in place.  And, with the understanding that physical distancing and hygiene measures are specific to church capacity and other building considerations.  This is great news, but it doesn’t mark the end of the pandemic or the church’s responsibility to remain extremely careful about the safety of those who choose to worship with us.  We have a lot of work to do to get to the opening of the churches.  There is a lot of information and many regulations to sift through and then to implement to ensure we accomplish a safe start.

At present, we are working through several different ideas and scenarios to address to the various needs and age groups of our many congregations across the parish churches of Binstead, Havenstreet and Wootton.  And we are on the cusp of various ‘cunning plans.’  No promises – as we live in strange times - but, we are hoping to open our churches for public worship some point in August – hopefully.  I hope that comes to fruition.

On a totally different matter and as you probably have already heard, I wanted to let you know that I have accepted a post as the Vicar of Highcliffe in Winchester diocese.  I came here 5 years ago with many exciting mission plans.  And we have accomplished much together and have shared some very memorable and joyful moments.  I will cherish these.  I am especially grateful for all your support.  It has meant a lot to me.  My friends and colleagues throughout the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Diocese have been helpful and kind.  And, I have enjoyed working with all of you.   It has been a great privilege to serve the parishes of Binstead, Wootton and Havenstreet over the past five years, and I would like to assure you of my continued prayers as we all begin a whole new journey in the days ahead.

With love and prayers in Christ,