St Peter’s Church, Lodsworth

St Mary’s Church, Easebourne

St James’ Church, Selham

Home Letter from Derek Families and Children Safeguarding Our Churches Weddings Baptism Contact

Letter from Derek

Dear Friends

At the beginning of July our three parish churches returned to Sunday worship.  After an absence that began in early March, it was a wonderful feeling to be back in church; recognising of course, strict government guidelines.  From the outset, to accommodate social distancing we have had to restrict numbers attending – but in spite of this, the feeling of being church again, has been great.

This pandemic has meant that for all of us we have been forced to step back; from family, friends and social groups.  For me, this ‘stepping back’ (which I prefer to Lock Down) has meant that the ‘re-emerging’ from it, has made me value the things that I might have taken for granted in the past, even more.  I wouldn’t want to go as far as saying that ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ – with the amount of suffering that the pandemic has brought to so many lives, one wouldn’t want to detract from its impact - but certainly this has been a time for recognising, even more, the things that we value so much.

As I write this letter, we hear today that face coverings will be required in shops and confined spaces.  The story of Covid 19 and how we respond as humanity is an ever changing landscape.  More than any time in my life, I recognise the importance of my role in working with all of you to make this pandemic go away – we are in this together.  This has meant that, firstly we stayed at home.  Then we tentatively returned to work and shops.  And as every week goes by, new things emerge for our return to some form of normality – having your hair done, or going with friends for a meal of drink.  But in all these things, it is our collective ‘working together’ that will make a real difference.

In all that has happened, I have been deeply moved by the way people have gone that extra distance to help our communities.  From shop keepers who have installed screens and markings to help us keep our distance, to innovative businesses that have worked tirelessly to allow us to get back to gathering for social occasions.  I deeply admire my refuse collectors – always cheerful, always happy to help.  And how can we ever thank our school teachers and staff who have kept our children educated.  Who has impressed you?  To name them all here would take too long – but we are truly grateful to them all. And I want to add my heartfelt thanks and praise to my church wardens, who took hold of the task of returning to church and made it happen; so to Deryck, Lynne, Roger, Janet, Alison and Roger I/we thank you!

Together we get through this.  As communities we achieve so much more.  I am proud to be your parish priest, to be part of your story and I am blessed daily by your dedication to our local life.

May God bless us all.

Derek Welsman

In January next year we will be bringing our three parish churches together under one Parochial Church Council.

This has no real effect on the daily life of our church, but will make a huge difference in the way our churches are managed and the way we work together.  Before this change comes into effect, there is a period of public consultation.  To this affect, there is a Public Notice in each of our three churches for people to read and make comment.

If you would like to view any of the reflections or services

that Derek recorded during the lockdown period please click here.

To find a simple form of daily prayer click here (also available as a video)

Other prayer resources may be found on the Church of England website.