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Dear friend,

Welcome to the August newsletter from St Peter's Church. In this newsletter you'll see the dates and times of our services in July, and details about what else we're up to as a church family.
Jess Davis, our new priest-in-charge

Licensing of Jess Davis, our new priest

You'll probably have heard by now that we have a new priest - Jess Davis - who will be joining us in September from the inner city parish of Brunswick in Manchester. You can learn a bit about Jess in this video.

A date has been set for the licensing of Jess, the service will be at 4pm on Sunday the 19th September - put the date in your diary! This service is an important event for the church and for Jess, with the Bishop attending as well as Jess' friends and family.

Unfortunately, spaces have to be limited so this will be an invitation-only service. We do hope to stream the service so you can watch it live from the comfort of your own screen. More details will be forthcoming about that.

Refreshments will be served after the service, but of course all plans are dependent on the COVID situation and regulations at the time. We will hopefully be able to give you more information in the September edition of this newsletter, or keep an eye on our website.

Lifting of COVID restrictions

The last 18 months have been like none in living memory, with restrictions put in place on many of the activities we took for granted. While these restrictions were for our safety, and have no doubt saved many lives, most of us want to get back to some sense of "normal" - whatever "normal" turns out to be!

As you know, legal COVID restrictions have mostly been lifted. Churches, like many other areas in society, can start to move forward. However, there are many who continue to be concerned about infection.

So, St Peter's church is taking a cautious approach to dismantling the restrictions by maintaining the distance measures for now. Face masks are optional when sitting down in a service but should be worn when moving around inside the building. For now, the Peace will not change and neither will the format of the communion service.

We should respect one another and keep an adequate distance from people who wish to continue wearing a mask, so honouring those words we all know well: "Love your neighbour".

And to those of you who we haven’t seen for a while, whether because of sheltering or any other reason, we would all like to say that church is probably safer than most other places on a Sunday morning, and we would love to see you back with us because we miss you!
Bishop Musa and his wife, Diocese of Rorya, Tanzania

Tanzania Link update

We do not at present have anyone looking after our link with the churches in the Dioceses of Mara, Tarime and Rorya in Tanzania. What is involved is receiving and passing on and exchanging periodic information about our respective diocese and parishes, and requesting prayer for our fellow Christians there.

If you feel that this is a ministry you could carry out, or to find out more, please speak to Solly or Denise or Miles. Please also contact us if you would like a copy of the latest newsletter which contains a lot more information about the church's ministry in Tanzania.

(Picture: Bishop Musa, the new Bishop of Rorya, and his wife)

This month we are asked for these prayers:

Sunday, 1st August

Please pray for the Diocese of Tarime, for Bishop Mwita Akiri, his clergy and parishes and the Diocesan link officer Rev John Msuma.

Sunday, 8th August

We pray for the new Bishop of Rorya and the many challenges he faces. We pray for the Mothers Union in Rorya Diocese that it will continue to build its leadership and support families at this critical time.

Sunday, 15th August

Give thanks for the work of the Water for Life group and please pray for future development projects as the dioceses consider what their future priorities might be.

Sunday, 22nd August

Please pray for Issenye school in another academic year, for its connection with the locality and numbers of students

Sunday, 29th August

Please pray for the Diocese of Mara, for Bishop George his clergy and parishes and the Link Officer Lay Canon Arthur Mauya. Pray for the plans to focus on evangelism, to continue the support of widows and orphans and to develop more Health Centres such as at Issenye

What's on in August

Our full online service have now stopped, and we hope to see you in church on Sunday mornings at 10AM. However, if you cannot be with us, there will be a short message from the church on Facebook and YouTube each Sunday morning.

Some of our less mobile members find it difficult to get to church on their own. If anyone can help with offers of lifts, or if you would like a lift, please let Leif or Wendy know and they will do their best to coordinate.

Prayer Ministry Team members will be available every Sunday to pray with anyone should the need arise. If you aren't in church for the Sunday service but would like prayer, please contact us - the Holy Spirit can cope with a telephone call. Please don't worry or suffer alone.
Yorkshire flag flying above Hunmanby Sands, Filey Bay

Did you know?

Yorkshire Day is a yearly celebration on 1 August to promote the historic county of Yorkshire, England. It was celebrated by the Yorkshire Ridings Society in 1975, initially in Beverley, as "a protest movement against the local government re-organisation of 1974".

On 1 August the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 was passed, during the British Empire in 1834. William Wilberforce, a Yorkshire MP, had campaigned for the emancipation.

The day was already celebrated by the Light Infantry, successors to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, as Minden Day, after the battle of Minden. Together with five other infantry regiments of the British Army, a rose is permitted to be worn in the headdress. In the case of the Light Infantry, the rose is white.

(Information shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia!)

Prayer for August

Lord, this is a time of huge change
We are going through a massive transition and it is not easy
Many of us face anxiety, fear and doubt about the future
Thank you Lord that your compassion never fails

We pray for those who have become unemployed
Others whose jobs are uncertain
May they know your faithfulness today

We pray for children going back to school
And for those wondering about career choices
May they know your faithfulness today

We pray for the vulnerable and the marginalised
Unsure of the support that may be available
May they know your faithfulness today

For politicians and national leaders
As they seek to find a way forward
May they know your faithfulness today

For church leaders
As they seek to discern your will and offer hope and vision
May they know your faithfulness today

Thank you Lord that while everything changes your love remains constant.
We trust in your faithful compassion

In Jesus’ name,

And finally

If you need support in any way - prayer, or practical help - please contact us on our special email address:

We hope you enjoyed this newsletter. If you have suggestions for things we can put in it please do get in touch.
Thanks for reading. God bless you all.

St Peter's Church, Birstall