Andy’s update on how God is at work through our pastoral care
At St Saviour’s we are known as a church that is very caring during ‘normal’ times. Naturally, since the pandemic, the need for practical and spiritual support, and pastoral care, has increased substantially. I am very thankful to members of the church, as well as the Pastoral Care Team, for all they have been able to do under difficult circumstances.
During the first lockdown, we were able to provide practical support by operating teams of people who delivered food parcels, collected shopping and medicines, and even provided general house maintenance and gardening on occasions. During the latest lockdown some of our most needy individuals have received grants from a health charity that I chair, and this has shown ‘love in action’ at a very practical level.
Many of you will have heard Sue Jones share the benefits of the newly formed Phone Team on a recent online service, and the importance of staying connected cannot be overemphasized. Our home group structure has also come into its own during lockdown, enabling practical and prayer support to flourish. If you are not in one of our small groups and would like to be, please contact Laura Simpkins by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
There are currently 50 members of the church who perform an unstinting task on a very regular basis by ‘praying’ for people with physical and mental health concerns and other life issues. The extent to which members of the church, their friends, family members, neighbours, and the wider community are helped by this ministry is difficult to measure, but we are aware that ‘God can do immeasurably more than we ask or even imagine’ (Ephesians 3: 20) and the positive messages that we regularly receive encourage the Prayer Chain team on. If you would like to put in a request for prayer, please contact Jan Randall on 07989 211594.
Many of our senior members appreciated Christmas cards, homemade mince pies, and especially the hand-knitted blankets that were given out at the end of last year. As we continue into 2021 with widespread restrictions on our usual ways of functioning as a parish church, our pastoral care needs to be increasingly imaginative in its expression and inclusive in its reach. My thanks go to our Pastoral Care Team and many other members of St Saviour’s who enable this care to carry on in difficult circumstances.
Andy McPherson, vicar