Christ Church

Tony Berry's Weekly Thoughts


Second Sunday in Epiphany - 18 January
Dear Parishioners,

Well lockdown continues, but I hope you are able to keep your spirits up. The weather does not help I know, but hopefully despite that, maybe you have been able to find some comfort in the limited contact you may have with friends and family.

The restrictions we find ourselves bound which means that church life has also had to go back to a different way of operating. Christ Church now is back to doing online worship and many of you will have had Mary’s email about our Evensong online service this Sunday at 6.00pm giving the Zoom link (click here for her email address if you need the link). 

We will be posting details about the rest of our services when we have sorted exactly what will happen when,  We regret having to take this decision but we hope that you will join us and worship with us when you can.

Once again we need to say if you need help in any way do please get in touch.

God bless you all and keep you safe.

Tony

With a new Lockdown Tony has resumed providing a weekly set of thoughts including some on YouTube.

Christmas
Dear Parishioners

I hope you all have a very happy Christmas. I am sure it will be different from the one you may have planned and hoped for.

Christmastide Services have been a highlight here for me, and I am very sad that we have not been able to do things as we usually do, and that I cannot be with you at the services we are managing to put on.

Of course, although our circumstances are very different this year the message of Christmas is unchanging. Every time I have sat down to think about what to say at those services which I love so much, I am amazed at the profundity of it all. I know I can never do it justice; that the God of the universe should want, not just to share our humanity, but also to redeem it. It is a wonderful message and a privilege to share it with you.

As you celebrate in whatever way you are able to may you know that inner peace from God that the angels told the shepherds about, may you find that wisdom that brought the Magi to worship the Christ Child and may you come to know Him for yourself.

God bless you, and those you love, this Christmas.

TB

There will be a pause in the posting of Tony's thoughts as a consequence of  undergoing surgery on 17 December.

Third Sunday in Advent - 13 December
Dear Parishioners

I expect you are into the business of Christmas; decorations, present buying, trees and lights. I hope that in spite of all the difficulties your preparations will pay dividends and you will have a very joyous time.

It is all rather strange for us. As some of you may already know, a couple of weeks ago a tumour was discovered in my inward parts!! We were told by the surgeon that he thought it was malignant and a process was begun. Well, I now have a date for the operation, 17th of December. BUT  much to our surprise the scan and biopsy have come back clear! Which as you can imagine is a huge relief all round.

So many people have sent kind messages of care and concern, and wished us well. Many have also told us they are praying for us, and we are so grateful. Grateful to those who have included us in their thoughts and prayers, and grateful to our great God who graciously has answered those prayers. We are so thankful to Him. It has been a very humbling journey. 

So, sadly, I won’t be able to celebrate Christmas with you. We are very lucky that Rev Virginia Smith and our lay minister Hilary Swift will be taking services, and our Churchwardens have striven to make sure we make as much of our church celebrations  as circumstances allow. Let’s make it a Christmas to remember!!

This Saturday and Sunday Abinger  will be “Celebrating Christmas” with music and readings at 6pm each night [please ring Parish Office to book] Coldharbour has a Holy Communion Service at 10 am.

My video thought will be posted on Monday.

God bless you all

TB

Second Sunday in Advent - 6 December
Dear Parishioners,

I hope you have adjusted to the new regime. I must confess I am still a bit confused on some things.

Hopefully as we head towards the New Year we may indeed begin to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

We now anticipate being able to implement the December church services we had hoped we would be able to do.

So do please look out for emails and check on the website to find out more.

My weekly YouTube  thought can be found below.

God bless you all

Tony


Advent Sunday - 29 November
Dear Parishioners

Well, as one sort of lockdown comes to an end, another begins. Trying to know what we can do and what we can't becomes ever more complicated.

At the moment we are trying to see what kind of Christmas it will be like, who we can share it with. It is not an easy time and wrestling with our conscience about whether we do bend or break the rules or interpret them slightly differently to others can cause a lot of heart searching and no doubt a little bit of heartbreak.

Above all Christmas is a time of hope; so maybe we can look forward to the future with something other than frustration or despair.

I hope you are surviving ok. Do let us know if you need support of any kind.

As usual in lockdown our service is on Zoom tomorrow at 10.30am. It is a joint Benefice service so we are hoping friends from Holmbury and Wotton may join us. Mary Hustings has sent the address out by email. 

Hope to see you there

God bless you all.

TB


Sunday 22 November
Dear Parishioners

Well we are halfway through lockdown, hopefully things will become clearer soon about what Christmas and beyond might look like. Hope you are not too downhearted.

This weekend we are trying to be clever and replicate our usual pattern for a 4th Sunday when we have two main services, one in each church.

While we would normally celebrate Christ the King  in Christ Church, this year we celebrated it with a Zoom.

We also be had our discussion type St James service  “Sideways” on Zoom.

There is a thought from me on our YouTube Channel below. 

Don’t forget if we can be of any practical assistance do please get in touch.

God bless you all.

Tony


Sunday 15 November
Dear Parishioners

Well one week down, only three more to go!

I hope the week has not been too frustrating for you. In many ways it doesn’t seem that different from the previous few weeks, but I guess that is because life in the Surrey Hills is very different from the busyness of suburbia or city life.

My experience may not be yours. So if you are finding things a bit difficult then do please get in touch.

Of course it does mean that church life is very different. We can no longer use the church building, just when we were getting used to it again, so it is back to Zoom and YouTube. We are making plans for Christmas which of course may all have to change, so keep an eye out for details both in the Parish News and on the Websites. 

We have two Zoom services this week. Our usual 10.30am and then at 6pm we are trying to do Evening Prayer for the first time. Do please join us if you can.  Mary Hustings has included the Zoom address for both in an email with this message.

God bless you all.

Tony


Sunday 8 November
Dear Parishioners,

Well here we are again! I do hope you are not too crushed by the idea of a month long lockdown, maybe you may even be able to see it in a positive light and enable you to finish all the things you started last time but never quite got there.

It is a tragedy that the first weekend of the new regulations should be Remembrance weekend. It has been made quite clear that we are not allowed to encourage people to attend any of our Acts of Remembrance. However those who have an active part to play will be able to do that on our Parishes’ behalf. We hope to record them and put them on our websites. It feels very strange and goes against every desire, not to say “hope you can join us”. However you may wish to visit the memorials at some point during the day to make your own Act of Remembrance for all those who gave themselves for our Nation.

Once again I need to say if you are struggling with some aspect of lockdown and need help of any kind - do let us know.

I intend to return to giving you a weekly thought next Saturday. Until then I do hope you will keep safe and help to keep others safe too.

With very best wishes 

God bless you all

Tony