Vicar’s Mailings

June 30th 2024

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

I am not sure if everyone is aware that there will be no 8.00 am Holy Communion service tomorrow morning (June 30th). I am sorry for the late notice if this is news to you. The 9.30 am Sung Eucharist and 6.30 pm Evening Prayer will take place as usual.

Please pray for Kevin Parks as he is ordained Deacon tomorrow in Ely Cathedral, and for all those ordained at this time.

Gala Weekend – Churches Together Tea Tent & Worship in the Park

Once again Godmanchester churches will be running the tea tent on Gala Day, which is this Saturday, July 6th. Please contact Lucilia on 0778 623 4571 if you can help with serving on the day, from 1.00 to 5.00 pm. 

We also need offers of cakes and bakes, which you can bring on the day, and help with setting up from 10.00 am (please meet outside the church) and with packing up from 5.00 pm (meet by the tea tent). 

Don’t forget to come to Worship in the Park on Sunday 7th, 9.45 am by the children’s play area across the Chinese Bridge – there will be no 9.30 am service that day.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

June 21st 2024

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

As I am sure you all know, our Summer Fete is tomorrow, from 2.00 to 4.00 pm. The weather looks promising, so it should be held in the churchyard, but if wet, it will be in the church.

We could really use help setting up at 10.00 am. Just come to the church porch – there will be plenty to do, carrying tables and chairs and setting up the hall for the teas. The more the merrier, and the same at the end of the fete at 4.00 pm to help pack away.

It’s not too late to bring bottles for the bottle stall, cakes and bakes for the cake stall or to serve with the teas, gifts for the gift stall, books for the bookstall, hampers for the prize draw. Any time from 10.00 am till the start at 2.00 pm.

Don’t forget the Teddy-bear parachute drop! Bring your bear or soft toy, with parachute attached, to register by 3.00 pm – entry costs £1. Bears drop from the tower at 3.15. Closest to the honey pot wins £5.

Above all, come along, bring friends, enjoy Thrapston Town Band, many colourful stalls, splendid teas, and good cheer and company.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

18th May 2024

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Another one from me, I’m afraid, this time about the summer fete, which is rushing up on us: Saturday June 22nd, 2 – 4.00 pm, in the churchyard if fine, in the church if not. A few requests:

  • Hampers. If anyone, or ones, would like to put together a hamper for the Prize Draw, we would be very grateful. Hampers do not have to be of food and drink only, welcome though that kind are. A selection of gifts, or useful household items, is just as good. They can be delivered on the day, any time from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm.
  • Help with teas, and cakes and bakes. We are very grateful to Ruth Ekblom for kindly offering to run the teas in the church hall this year. She would be very glad to hear from you if you can help, or if you can provide cakes and bakes. The teas will be combined with the cake stall, so offerings that can be sold whole or as a wrapped collection of small eats and taken away would also be much appreciated.
  • Help setting up and tidying away. Set up is from 10.00 am – just turn up, there will be plenty to do, and a fair bit of heavy lifting.. We pack up as soon as the fete finishes at 4.00 – again, the more hands the better.
  • Bottles for the bottle stall. There will be a box for these in church on the Sundays from now up to the fete, or you can bring them on the day.
  • Stallholders. If you need a float, please ask Colin Thirlwall well in advance, not on the day! If you know of anyone who might like to run a stall, please ask them to get in touch.

I think that’s it for now. many thanks in advance for your support for an enjoyable day that also gives a vital boost to our funds.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

4th May 2024

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

At the 9.30 am service tomorrow, we will be welcoming Rachel Harris, a familiar face to many of us. Rachel comes regularly with Ken Berkin to our summer fete and Christmas bazaar to run the colourful stall of crafts from Uganda, and she runs with Ken the Friends of North Kigezi Diocese, the charity which enables our link with the parish of Maaya in that diocese. Rachel will be telling us about the work of the charity, and thanking the Children’s Church for their amazing fund-raising effort for the Bucence children’s centre. Please come to greet Rachel and to hear what God is doing, partly through us, in that corner of His world.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

21st March 2024

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Many things!

  • Tomorrow, Thursday 21st, there will be the first of John Dillistone’s devotional organ recitals in church from 1.15 to 1.45 pm. This is not a fund-raiser and not a concert, but music intended to help devotion and contemplation, and of course it is free for all to attend. The programme of music will be available when you come, but it consists of pieces by Bach and Couperin. There will be recitals at the same time on the following four Thursdays: March 28th, and April 4th, 11th and 18th.
  • There is a church spring clean and tidy-up at 10.00 am this Saturday, the 23rd. Please come if you can to help get our church ready for Easter. Simple refreshments will be available.
  • This Sunday, the 24th, is Palm Sunday. As last year, please let me know asap if you are willing to take part in the reading of the Passion Gospel in the 9.30 am service. I will send you a script by email. Everyone, of all ages, is invited to collect their palm cross and service books from the church before 9.30 am and then join in the brief prayer and reading in the hall and the procession from there to the church. Of course, please feel free to go straight to the church as usual and wait there if you prefer.
  • This Sunday we also have our monthly service of Sung Evensong, with choir, hymns, an anthem, a sermon, and refreshments afterwards. Do come!

I think it is important to let you know that on Monday the PCC re-affirmed its commitment to the Transformation Project. There was one vote against, with everyone else present in favour (3 members had given their apologies and were not at the meeting). I know there is some disquiet about the project, mostly, I think, to do with the very large sum that needs to be raised (up to £2.4 million spread over three phases). I must emphasise three things:

  1.  This is money we are attempting to raise from multiple sources – if we can’t find the money, the work won’t happen. We will not be going into debt, and we will not be spending anything from our regular income. If you give regularly to the church (and thank you if you do), your giving will continue to support the regular costs of the church, as it always has done – not a penny of your regular giving will go towards the project. So we have nothing to lose by trying.
  2. The project has already received all the official approval it needs to go ahead, after very lengthy and detailed appraisal by the external officials appointed to give such permission. The PCC has simply re-stated its support for what has already been agreed.
  3. Please pray for the success of the project, for the transformation we hope it will bring about in the life of the church and the town, and above all, for our continued fellowship in the love of Christ, even and especially where opinions differ.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 
9th March 2024
 
Dear Godmanchester Church Family,
 
Mothering Sunday is tomorrow!
Our 9.30 am service for Mothering Sunday tomorrow is Parish Communion, with our Children’s Church fully involved. Thanks to Liz Irving and her team of helpers, there will be posies of daffodils for mothers and for everyone. The Children’s Church have prepared a song with Jackie Kirby, which they will sing after communion. It should be a special time for all – do come.
 
Quiz Night – Saturday 6th April
The charities committee are hosting a quiz night on Saturday 6th April, 7pm in aid of Thrive. Please come and support. There will be cottage pie provided and you are invited to brink your own drinks. £12.50 for each person with teams of 6-8. You are welcome to come as a team or we can assemble the teams, so no worries if you are on your own.  There will be a raffle (of course!) and any contributions to this are welcome.  Please see Deb, Jane, Kate or Dilys after church for tickets. Or phone Deb on 07804095921.  
 
Devotional organ recitals for Lent and Easter
John Dillistone will be giving half-hour organ recitals on five Thursdays, 1.15-1.45 pm. The dates are March 21st, March 28th, April 4th, April 11th, and April 18th. The aim is devotional and meditative. All welcome.
 
Taize worship
In place of Evening Prayer, on Sunday April 14th at 6.30 pm there will be a service of worship in the style of the Taize Community. This involves simple musical chants that all can sing, reflection on scripture, prayer and silence. There will be refreshments afterwards. Do come.
 
With love
 
David
 
Revd David Busk
Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton
 
The Vicarage
59 Post Street
Godmanchester
Huntingdon
PE29 2AQ
 
01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

2nd March 2024
Dear Godmanchester Church Family,
 
I’m afraid we have no heating in the church until Monday – our oil suppliers failed to top us up automatically, as they are supposed to do, and the tank is empty! Please dress warmly on Sunday, but don’t stay away!
 
With love
 
David
 
Revd David Busk
Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton
 
The Vicarage
59 Post Street
Godmanchester
Huntingdon
PE29 2AQ
 
01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041
 

14th February 2024

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Happy St Valentine’s Day! A belated reminder that today is also Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and you are warmly invited to our service of Holy Communion with the Imposition of Ashes tonight at 7.30 pm. The sign of the cross in ash is made on the forehead of those who wish to receive it, as a symbol of repentance, but attending the service does not mean you have to come forward for this if you don’t want to do so.

There will be a Lent Course meeting at the Vicarage at 2.30 pm on five of the Wednesdays of Lent: Feb. 21st & 28th, and March 6th, 13th & 20th. All are welcome, and the course material, entitled ‘Watch and Pray’, will be provided. Come to all the sessions if you can, but you are of course very welcome if you can only come to one or two. There will be no Zoom communion on those days.

With love

David

 

10th February 2024

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

This will be a fairly lengthy update on our Transformation Project, following Colin’s presentation in church recently. I’d be very grateful if you would kindly read it through, as it concerns all of us – the most important bit is in bold, but it’s actually all important. We are at an exciting moment!

We are all aware that the project has been in the pipeline for several years, and that at times nothing much may seem to have been happening. The mountain of paperwork behind the project is out of sight to most people, but Colin and the project committee have undertaken mammoth tasks to get us to the stage where things can begin to happen.

We are now at the point where the basic structures and layout of the project are already decided and approved by the relevant authorities, but the detailed technical design work – exactly where the wiring and plumbing goes, what materials are used, the specifications of every item required – needs to be done. This involves professional fees, and they are substantial. We already have about £48,000 of the £63,000 needed, but need to raise a further £15,000 to get the design work done. This is very doable! When we raised money some years ago to repair the north roof, the final thousands were raised in a few months as people got the bug and came up with all sorts of creative fund raising schemes.

CAN YOU HELP RAISE THE £15,000 NEEDED TO DO THE DESIGN WORK?

We are looking for a flurry of activity to do this in the shortest time possible. Absolutely anything at all you can think of to raise funds will be very gratefully received, from cake sales to coffee mornings to concerts and whatever else your imagination can conjure up. Lucilia Azevedo has kindly offered to be the focal point for this effort, so if you have an idea please let Lucilia know so that clashes can be avoided and events publicised: luciliazevedo@hotmail.co.uk or 0778 6234 571

Once the design work is complete, we have a good chance of raising the much bigger sums needed to do the project, as donors are far more likely to give to a project that is fully costed and ready to build, rather than one which has only the architectural drawings and sketches we have at the moment. To make that part of the fundraising easier, we have split the project into three phases:

Phase 1 gets the utilities into the church, prepares for the installation of the museum and balcony and, crucially, installs the toilets.

Phase 2 concentrates on the museum so it finishes the upper balcony, the museum room and the partition between the museum and the balcony.  It also prepares the ground work for the office, tea station and choir vestry and installs the steps up to the balcony.

Phase 3 completes the office, meeting room, tea station etc and the rest of the work in the nave such as new furniture, underfloor heating and redecoration.

I look forward to a deluge of creativity and fundraising with an emphasis on the fun!

With thanks and love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

25th November 2023

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Please excuse a longish list of items.

  • Hilton Church’s Christmas Fair takes place today in the parish church from 1.00 to 4.00 pm. If you see this in time, you would of course be very welcome to come.
  • Tomorrow, Sunday 26th, we have our monthly Sung Evensong at 6.30 pm. The attendance has been slightly up recently – the more people come, the richer the worship feels. Do come!
  • Our own Christmas Bazaar is next Saturday, December 2nd, from 2.00 to 4.00 pm in church, with teas in the church hall, and Father Christmas in his grotto. It is not too late to add stalls – we have a few more this year than last, but room for more. Just let me know. Please let people know about it, and please come. If you can lend a hand setting up at 10.00 am, and helping to tidy away from 4.00 pm, we would be very grateful. Stall holders: if you need a float, please let Colin Thirlwall know as soon as possible, not on the day! Thank you.
  • Sunday December 3rd is Advent Sunday, which we mark with Advent Carols at 6.30 pm. This is a very beautiful service, beginning in candle-light, and with wine and mince pies served in church afterwards (contributions to cover costs welcome). I warmly commend this as a moving way to begin our journey of Advent, the season of longing and hope.
  • Please note that because of a clash with the Town Council’s Christmas Market, there will be no Friday at 5.15 on December 1st. It will return on January 5th.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

4th November 2023

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

There is a lot of important stuff in today’s message. I’d be very grateful if you would read it carefully. I’ve said it before, but if you are on the list to receive these e-mails and would rather not be, please let me know – no offence will be taken.

Friday at 5.15 – tomorrow!

If you haven’t been to this, please consider coming. If you know of anyone who might enjoy it, please tell them – or bring them. I hope you all know by now that it is in church, with food, snacks, drinks, games and crafts, music and a short Christian message, and that it is meant to be for all, of any age, church-goer or not.

Children’s Church Communion

The Children’s Church have their termly communion service in the hall this Sunday (5th) at 9.30 am., so they will not be in the church at all. All families with children up to 11 are very welcome.

Transformation Project video presentation

Immediately after the 9.30 am service this Sunday (5th), there will be a video presentation in church showing what the completed project might look like. It gives a far better idea than the plans and drawings which have been on display for a few years now. The video is only 3 minutes long, so even if you have children with you, please come and watch it, as you will understand much better what the project is about once you have seen it. There will be a chance to ask questions afterwards.

There are a couple of points I feel I must make in advance, to help clear up any misunderstandings that may be circulating.

  • The video is schematic, designed to give a three dimensional view of the basic layout. The exact specifications of the furniture, type of flooring, wooden finishes etc. are from the imagination of the video producer, and should not be taken to show the final design details, which have not yet been decided.
  • The video is simply a more graphic and easily understood version of the general design of the project, which has already been given official consent. The project had the approval of the Chancellor of the Diocese at the end of 2021, and that was the final stage of the very lengthy consent process. The video shows, in broad outline, not a proposal, but what will be carried out, God willing.

Evening Remembrance Service, Sunday 12th

Please consider coming to this service at 6.30 pm on Remembrance Sunday. It is attended by representatives of the armed forces associations, the mayor and council and – I hope – by the Air Cadets as a guard of honour. It would be very good to have a strong contingent from the regular congregation as well.

Food hampers for Maaya

Once again we are collecting donations to buy food hampers to feed a family for a month in our link parish of Maaya in south-west Uganda. A hamper costs £40, but of course any contribution towards this is very valuable – please don’t feel that you have to give the full £40 or nothing! Robert Francis has kindly agreed again to receive your donations, which can be in cash or by cheque made out to ‘Friends of North Kigezi Diocese’. You can hand them to him in church or put them through the door of 20 Post Street, by the end of this month, please.

Hampers, and much else, for the Christmas Bazaar

The bazaar is on Saturday December 2nd, 2.00 – 4.00 pm in church.  We are looking for individuals or families willing to make up a hamper for the Grand Draw, to supplement those being made by various church groups. The more the merrier. They don’t even have to be food hampers – baskets of toiletries or household goods would be very welcome. Please bring them to the church before the 2.00 pm start.

We also need:

  • Bottles for the bottle stall, of alcoholic and soft drinks, which can be put in the labelled box at the back of church on Sundays, or brought on the day.
  • Cakes and baked goods for the cake stall, and/or for the teas in the hall. Please bring them on the day.
  • Home-made jams, preserves, chutneys, relishes etc. for a new home-made preserves stall – also to be brought on the day.
  • Gifts for the gift stall, on the day.
  • More stall holders. If you would like to run a stall, or know someone who would, please get in touch.
  • Help setting up – 10.00 am on the day of the bazaar – and tidying up from 4.00 pm.
  • Your presence on the day, along with the large crowds of people you have kindly encouraged to come!

All of the above goods can be brought to the churchany time between 10.00 am and the start of the bazaar at 2.00 pm.

Thank you for reading this far!

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

30th October 2023

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

This is very last minute, but we have a meeting in the Vicarage tomorrow, Monday 30th, at 2.30 pm, to plan for the Christmas Bazaar. We would love to have more people involved in this – please come along tomorrow if you are interested in helping. Even if you can’t make it tomorrow, please let me know if you would like to help in any way.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

21st October 2023

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

A reminder that we have Sung Evensong, with the choir, this Sunday (22nd) at 6.30 pm.

From now on, there will be a choir rehearsal in church at 5.45pm before the monthly service (4th Sunday).  The choir would welcome anyone to join them who would like to sing evensong with them but can’t make the regular Friday evening choir practice.  Colin Thirlwall is prepared to come along earlier before the rehearsal to run through any parts if required and also provide copies of the anthem and psalm in advance, in which case please contact him at candbjt@virginmedia.com or on 01480 457018.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

21st September 2023

Dear Friends,

As you will all know, following the death of our dear friend and sister Jean Morgan, we have the sad necessity of electing a new churchwarden. He or she will hold office until the next church annual meeting, in April or May of next year. Churchwardens are elected annually, and normally can be re-elected up to six times consecutively. Candidates must be on the church electoral roll, over 21, and a regular communicant. Further details are on the attached nomination form.

The election will take place in church on Sunday October 15th, immediately following the 9.30 am Harvest Festival service. Those eligible to vote are all those on the church electoral roll, plus all on the civil electoral roll of the parish. It should be a very brief affair. Signed nomination forms must be handed to me before the election meeting begins – no candidates can be accepted once the proceedings have begun.

I ask everyone to pray for God’s guidance in this process.

From November 5th it will not be possible to guarantee the availability of a priest for the 8.00 am communion service on the first Sunday of the month. Experience in the past has shown there is no demand for morning prayer instead of communion at that time, so the PCC has taken the decision that from November 5th there will be no service of any kind at 8.00 am on the first Sunday of the month. There will of course continue to be a communion service at 8.00 am on all the other Sundays of the month.

It has been suggested there could be a service of holy communion in the evening on the first Sunday, instead of the current evening prayer. It would be very useful to know if there is any demand for this, and also to know if you have any views on the pattern of services in general or any desire to see other forms of service offered. Please let me know.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

17th September 2023

Dear Friends,

This week’s newsletter attached. Please note especially:

  1. The Annual Meeting of the Friends of St Mary’s, tomorrow, Sunday 17th, 11.00 am in the church hall. I hope everyone knows that the Friends exist to raise funds for the maintenance and development of the church building, and I hope everyone is aware of the wonderful work they do in putting on popular events to raise those funds. All are welcome to the annual meeting after the 9.30 am service tomorrow. A good chance to learn about the work of the Friends and their plans, to ask questions, and perhaps to join them!
  2. A fairly urgent need for church cleaners. Please get in touch if you can help.
  3. The monthly service of Sung Evensong is next Sunday, the 24th, at 6.30 pm. Please come to enjoy this special act of musical worship.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

The Vicarage

59 Post Street

Godmanchester

Huntingdon

PE29 2AQ

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

24th August 2023

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Further to my note about Jean Morgan’s funeral (Thurs. 31st August at 2.00 pm), here is a link from Peacock’s funeral directors which you may find helpful:

https://www.dignityfunerals.co.uk/funeral-notices/13-08-2023-jean-nora-morgan/

David Underwood’s funeral is in church on Thursday September 21st at 12.00 noon.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Jean Morgan’s funeral (strictly speaking, a memorial service) will be in church on Thursday August 31st at 2.00 pm, following a private committal at the crematorium that morning. All who attend are invited to join the family for refreshments at the White Hart afterwards.

Jean wants people to wear bright colours and the occasion to be a joyful one – in her words, ‘that is an order!’ 

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 13th August

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

This is to bring you the sad news that Jean Morgan, our beloved friend in Christ, our long-standing Churchwarden, and devoted servant of the church, died today (Sunday 13th) at 12.20 pm. Jonathan Young was with her. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

Please keep her children, Samantha, Glyn and Rachel, her grandchildren Thomas and Henry, and all her family in your prayers. I will let you know as soon as we have a date for her funeral.

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Wednesday 5th July 2023

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

You may have heard already, but there will be no Grub, Games and God this Friday (7th), nor in August or September. We hope to return on Friday October 6th.

In the mean time, we would really like to hear from anyone who would like to help with the planning and running of these sessions. Please contact me if you would like to ensure this important outreach and fellowship can continue.

With love

David

 
Sunday 7th May 2023

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

‘Grub, Games and God’ takes place today (Friday 5th) at 5.15 pm. Come and enjoy bangers and mash and fun with a Coronation theme, plus Christian teaching and songs.

This is very late notice – for which my profuse apologies – but the funeral of Jack Shimmons takes place today (Friday 5th), 12.00 noon at Huntingdon Crematorium. Please remember Jack and his family in your prayers.

Any last-minute people for the barbecue on Monday 8th ? I’m getting the meat tomorrow!

Don’t forget the Concert for the Coronation on Sunday 7th at 6.00 pm. £5 on the door, and a retiring collection for charity.

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 
Sunday 30th April 2023
 
Dear Godmanchester Church Family,
 
Tomorrow we have our Annual Church meeting (APCM) in the hall at 11.15 am. The Annual Report (huge thanks to Jim Heeley for compiling it, and to all contributors), the agenda plus minutes of last year’s meeting, as well as this week’s newsletter (thank you as always, Adrian) are attached. 
 
Please come to the APCM – there is time to have coffee after the 9.30 service, and the meeting should last less than an hour. We need to elect a new Churchwarden – Bob Hurd is standing down after many years’ service, and we are all more grateful to him than can be adequately expressed for his commitment to this vital role over so long. Thank you, Bob. Bill Templeton has very kindly agreed to stand for election, which is open to any communicant member of the church on the electoral roll. The meeting is also a chance to review the past year and to look ahead, as well as to elect returning or new members of the PCC. It is your church meeting – I very much hope to see you there.
 
The Come-and-Sing for the Coronation now has no more spaces in the choir, wonderfully, but of course the concert itself has seating for about 200: Sunday May 7th, 6.00pm in the church, £5 on the door with a retiring collection for various charities. 
 
Don’t forget the barbecue on Monday May 8th at 12.30 pm. Please sign up in church or let me know if you would like to come.
 
With love
 
David
 
Revd David Busk
Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton
01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 


14th April 2023

Dear Godmanchester & Hilton Church Family,

I should have reminded everyone sooner that the weekly Bible study resumes today (Friday) at 10.00 am on Zoom. All are of course welcome to any session – no need to commit to coming every week. We usually look at the Gospel reading for the coming Sunday, which this time will be John 20:19-end, and finish around 11.00. Here’s the link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85790786358?pwd=LzExMW9CalN1NHBsb1BVVkEwejlUQT09

 

If it asks for a password, it’s ‘bible’. 

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

6th April 2023

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

As we move towards the climax of Holy Week, here is a reminder of the services and events of the next few days, But first, I am still looking for people able to hold vigil in the church tomorrow night, Maundy Thursday, after the Eucharist of the Last Supper (which starts at 7.30 pm) until midnight. I have a confirmed offer for the first half hour, until 9.00 pm, but nothing for sure after then. Anja and I will do the final slot, 11.30 pm to midnight, so there are five more to fill. I know one or two of you made offers on Sunday, but I can’t remember who you were or what you said you could do! Please let me know asap if you can help.

Maundy Thursday (April 6th)

There is no 9.45 am Communion service this day. The clergy of the diocese renew their ordination vows in the Chrism Eucharist (at which Holy Oil is also blessed and distributed for use in the coming year) at 10.30 am in Ely Cathedral. The service, presided over by Bishop Stephen, is of course open to all, with refreshments served afterwards.

The Eucharist of the Last Supper, with washing of feet, stripping of the altars, and a vigil till midnight, will be at 7.30 pm. 

Good Friday (April 7th)

The Good Friday Liturgy will be at 1.30 pm. The most solemn and often the most moving service of the year – we try to keep silence in church before and after the service. At the same time the Children’s Church will have their Good Friday workshop, in which they make the Easter garden and bake hot cross buns, in the church hall. All are invited to enjoy the buns after the service.

‘Grub, Games and God’ will take place as usual at 5.15 pm. We thought about cancelling it for Good Friday, but decided it would be better to hold it and use the opportunity to look at what this day means with people who are new to the church and matters of faith. There will be food similar to a Jewish Passover meal, and we will end with worship appropriate to the day. All are welcome, of all ages.

Holy Saturday (April 8th)

The First Eucharist of Easter (also known, somewhat confusingly, as the Easter Vigil service) will be at 7.30 pm. We begin with the lighting of the Holy Fire outside the church by the west (tower) door, before processing into the darkened church by candlelight and then acclaiming the Risen Lord with fanfares, bells and in song, bathed in light and surrounded by the Easter flowers. We also renew our baptism vows as we gather by the font and are sprinkled with holy water. This is a most special service – please come and make it more so.

Easter Sunday (April 9th)

Services are as usual this day – except, of course, that nothing is ‘as usual’ about Easter! 

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

28th March 2023

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Holy Week and Easter are nearly here. This is to let you know what is happening, and also to ask for people willing to take part in various ways.

Palm Sunday (Sunday April 2nd)

As usual, we will have the long reading of the Passion Narrative at the 9.30 am service, with a number of people reading various parts. Please let me know as soon as you can if you would like to read one or more of the parts – some are only one line, so it is easy to double up.

There will be a procession from the hall into the church at the start of the service. You can either collect your books and palm crosses from the churchand then come into the hall for the procession, or take your seat in church in the usual way and wait for the procession to enter.

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday in Holy Week (3rd, 4th & 5th)

There will be a said service of Holy Communion at 9.45 am on each of these days.

Maundy Thursday (April 6th)

There is no 9.45 am Communion service this day. The clergy of the diocese renew their ordination vows in the Chrism Eucharist (at which Holy Oil is also blessed and distributed for use in the coming year) at 10.30 am in Ely Cathedral. The service, presided over by Bishop Stephen, is of course open to all, with refreshments served afterwards.

The Eucharist of the Last Supper, with washing of feet, stripping of the altars, and a vigil till midnight, will be at 7.30 pm. 

If you are willing to take part in the foot washing (which re-enacts Jesus washing the feet of his disciples at the last supper), please get in touch. This year we will each wash the feet of the person next to us in turn, so if you offer to take part you will be asked to join in the foot washing yourself, not simply have your feet washed by me as in previous years.

We need a number of people able to hold silent vigil in the church from the end of the service (approx. 8.30 pm) in half hour slots until midnight. There will be a sheet to sign up in the church on Sunday, but you can also let me know in advance if you can join the vigil.

Good Friday (April 7th)

The Good Friday Liturgy will be at 1.30 pm. The most solemn and often the most moving service of the year – we try to keep silence in church before and after the service. At the same time the Children’s Church will have their Good Friday workshop, in which they make the Easter garden and bake hot cross buns, in the church hall. All are invited to enjoy the buns after the service.

Holy Saturday (April 8th)

The First Eucharist of Easter (also known, somewhat confusingly, as the Easter Vigil service) will be at 7.30 pm. We begin with the lighting of the Holy Fire outside the church by the west (tower) door, before processing into the darkened church by candlelight and then acclaiming the Risen Lord with fanfares, bells and in song, bathed in light and surrounded by the Easter flowers. We also renew our baptism vows as we gather by the font and are sprinkled with holy water. This is a most special service – please come and make it more so.

Easter Sunday (April 9th)

Services are as usual this day – except, of course, that nothing is ‘as usual’ about Easter! 

I look forward very much to seeing you at some or all of these services. Whether you can make it to church or not, may you know the depth of God’s love as we seek to walk in the spirit the way of the cross, the way of life.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday, as you probably know. 

I hope many of you will want to come to the 9.30 Parish Communion, as we have some special musical treats prepared for Mothering Sunday. We will as usual also be distributing flowers to all, not only to mothers – many thanks to the Flower Guild for preparing these. There will be an extra collection plate available for donations to Thrive, the local church-run youth programme that works in our two secondary schools and in the wider community – members of St Mary’s are very much involved as mentors and trustees. There will be croissants served afterwards in the church hall, and donations for these will also go to Thrive, which needs continuous funding to support its paid youth worker.

Sung Evensong is next Sunday, the 26th, at 6.30 pm, with choir, hymns, an anthem, sung canticles and responses, a sermon – and you will be able to leave the church in daylight!

I hope to see you at these services, but in any event, may God give you his peace, now and always.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Wednesday 22nd February 2023

Dear Godmanchester & Hilton Church Family,

The Vicarage is full of germs at the moment – both Anja and I have a rather nasty bug (not Covid), which is taking its time to shift. I think it will be in everyone’s interest if we don’t have the Lent Group here on Friday. Instead, we’ll have our usual bible study at the same time, 10.00 am, and hope we can meet in person next week, on Friday 3rd March. (The Lent material won’t really work on Zoom.) Apologies to those of you who don’t do Zoom. For those who do, if you haven’t been to the bible study before, here’s the link:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85790786358?pwd=LzExMW9CalN1NHBsb1BVVkEwejlUQT09

I have changed the set-up so you can let yourselves in. If it asks for a password, it’s bible.

Hope to see some of you online this Friday, and perhaps more of you next week in the Vicarage.

Best wishes

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 19th February 2023

Dear Godmanchester & Hilton Church Family,

Ash Wednesday

Lent begins this coming Wednesday, 22nd February.  As usual we will have a Sung Eucharist in St Mary’s Godmanchester that evening at 7.30 pm, including the Imposition of Ashes (the sign of the cross on the forehead in ash made from last year’s palm crosses, as a symbol of penitence) for those who want to receive it.  Please come if you can it’s a good way to begin Lent.

Lent Prayer & Study Group

There will be a prayer and study group, for anyone interested from Godmanchester and Hilton, meeting in Godmanchester Vicarage at 10am on six Fridays in Lent, the first on Friday 24th February and the last on Friday 31st March.  We will be using reflections from a booklet called ‘Dust and Glory’, which looks at faith, failure and forgiveness.  The booklet is provided.  All are welcome – do please consider coming.  There is no need to book in advance, and no need to commit to all six sessions.  Refreshments provided. Please contact me for diretions or more information if needed. There will be no Zoom bible study during Lent – that will resume on Friday April 14th.

Evensong 26th February

Our monthly Evensong at St mary’s Godmanchester, with choir, hymns, an anthem, sung canticles and responses, and a sermon, takes place next on Sunday 26th February at 6.30 pm.  All welcome, from both parishes. It would be good to see the chancel full of people!

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 5th February 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Tomorrow (Friday 3rd) we have ‘Grub, Games and God’ once again, from 5.15 pm, in church. Hot food, drinks (wine for those who want it), socialising, games and activities, songs, a talk and prayers. Please come – it is for all, not just for those with children. Bring a friend.

As most of you will know, we have resumed the use of the chalice (communion cup). Please note that intinction (dipping the bread in the wine) is not approved by the Church of England guidance. Many people, quite understandably, think that it is more hygienic than drinking from the cup, but research has shown that the opposite is true. Clergy are also instructed not to place the communion wafer directly onto the tongue of the communicant.

Leaf clearing in the churchyard takes place this Saturday (4th) from 9.30 am. Please come, and bring a rake and/or carry-sack if possible. There will be refreshments, and good cheer!

Please come to the coffee morning at Jean Morgan’s (2a Earning Street) on Monday 6th, 10.30 am to 12.00 noon. This is to raise funds for ‘Grub, Games and God’ (see above), which is without charge to all comers. Gifts for the raffle gratefully received, in advance or on the day.

With love

 

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 20th November 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Parish Communion this Sunday

This Sunday (20th) is the feast of Christ the King, and we have our Parish Communion service at 9.30 am. This is the shorter service with children present throughout and taking part. 

Christmas Bazaar on the 26th

The annual Christmas bazaar is in church (with teas in the hall) on Saturday November 26th from 2.00 to 4.00 pm. Please come, please spread the word, and why not bring a friend? We need more bottles for the bottle stall, please. Both alcohol and soft drinks gratefully received. Bring them to church this Sunday, or bring them on the day any time between 10.00 am and 2.00 pm. If you know of anyone who has a stall they might like to run at the bazaar, it is not too late. Please ask them to get in touch asap.

Advent Carols November 27th

Sunday November 27th is Advent Sunday, and we will once again mark it with the Advent Carol service at 6.30 pm. This is a beautiful occasion, candle-lit, with a different feel from Christmas Carols. Do come.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 6th November 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family

Grub, Games and God takes place (should be ‘take place’, grammatically) tomorrow, Friday 4th, at 5.15 pm. If you haven’t been before, give it a go! It is for all, not just for children. There is hot food, drinks and snacks (wine for those who want it), games to bring young and old together, and a time of worship, with plenty of time to socialise. Do come – we’d love to see you there.

If you read bible lessons in church, or if you would like to, or just to find out more with no commitment, please come to the lesson readers’ meeting at 11.15 am in church this Sunday. It is a time to share encouragement and wisdom, and to pass on tips and pointers. Bring your coffee from the hall – it should take well under an hour.

A reminder that the funeral of Dai Morgan is on Thursday November 10th at 3.00 pm. Please wear bright colours in Dai’s memory.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 16th October 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

We have a couple of newcomers to this mailing list (Welcome!) so for their benefit, and as a reminder to anyone else who may need it, I’ll just briefly outline how this works. It goes out irregularly but fairly frequently, if that makes sense, whenever I feel there is something worthwhile to pass on, to about 130+ addresses. It is blind copied, so it will look as if it is going to you only, and no-one can see anyone else’s address. If you ever have any information you think would be suitable for this St Mary’s-based mailing list, please let me know and I’ll try to pass it on. If at any time you would like to stop receiving these mailings, please let me know. No offence will be taken!

Thrive Prayer Evening this Tuesday

Some of you will know of the church youth project Thrive, which works as a mentoring service in the two local secondary schools of St Peter’s and Hinchingbrooke, and also runs after-school youth cafés. It is funded partly by the Diocese of Ely and also by other local churches of all denominations, and by individual giving, and employs Ruth Hunt, who spoke at St Mary’s recently, as a leader, and uses other local ministers and church members. It is doing excellent and exciting work, and it is really worthwhile getting to know the project.

Apologies for the late notice, but you are invited to join in an evening of prayer for the Thrive Youth Work project in Huntingdon. The evening together will involve giving thanks for the work that God has been doing in Huntingdon through the Thrive project, and praying for the programmes, team and volunteers, and the future of Thrive as it looks forward into 2023. There will also be some ‘Youth Café style’ refreshments, and a short time of worship.

Join us in All Saints Church, Huntingdon on Tuesday 18 October, 7.30 – 8.30pm.

I’ve attached this week’s newsletter, which includes information about the film night this Saturday (22nd) and the All Souls service on the 30th.

With love

David

 

Sunday 9th October 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Grub, Games & God (Friday at 5.15 as was)

This is tomorrow, Friday 7th, at 5.15, and is for all, not only families, but very much including them. It has been re-named so that it does what it says on the tin: turn up from 5.15 and there will be hot food, snacks and drinks, with wine for those who want it. Then some crafts and games that bring young and old together, followed by some simple worship songs, a talk and a prayer. All done by 7.00 pm. Please come, and bring friends if you can. Make a date in your diary for the first Friday of every month.

Civic Service this Sunday

Our annual Civic Service is this Sunday (9th) at 11.00 am. There is no 9.30 service that day. This is our yearly chance to thank God for the life of the town, and to pray for all who serve it so well, many of whom will be there: our Mayor and Town Council, the uniformed organisations (Brownies and Cubs, Scouts and Guides, etc), and representatives of other community groups and of the wider district. Please come – there are delicious refreshments afterwards in the Queen Elizabeth School for all who attend the service. It is really our Town Service, and very much for everyone. Excellent music too.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 25th September 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

A few quick notices:

Friends of St Mary’s AGM

This takes place this Sunday (25th), following the after-church coffee in the church hall. It’s a very good opportunity to hear about the wonderful work the Friends do to support and enhance our parish church. Please stay to join in if you can.

Evensong on Sunday

Choral Evensong resumes on Sunday evening at 6.30 pm. 

A new Archdeacon and a new Rural Dean

We have a new Archdeacon, Canon Richard Harlow, who will be Collated (licensed or commissioned) at St Peter and St Paul’s Wisbech on Sunday at 4.30 pm. Revd Duncan Goldthorpe (Vicar of Brampton and other parishes) is our new Rural Dean. Please pray for God’s blessing on both.

Harvest Festival and Gift Day

This is on Sunday October 2nd. Please come and join in the celebration of harvest, and please give as generously as you can to support the church through what promises to be a difficult time financially.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 11th September 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,
 
I find myself struggling to come up with words that will match the occasion, which for me and for many people in this country – and far beyond it – feels like entering uncharted territory. I am 61 years old and have always been a subject of Queen Elizabeth II. I find that while there is inevitably sorrow at the death of our Sovereign, what I feel mostly is enormous gratitude. I am thankful for and to a person I have never met but who has embodied so many profound values on behalf of so many, things hard to name but sincerely felt that constitute this nation and what still unites us. I am thankful for the late Queen’s steadiness and even predictability, for simply persevering and enduring, for willingly being the focus of her people’s sense of their own identity, and for her plain Christian faith which made it possible for her to do so. Thanks be to God for Elizabeth our Queen: rest eternal grant unto her, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon her. God save the King.
 
There is a Book of Condolence available in the church in front of St Anne’s altar (on the south side of the church, the side of the normal main entrance). The church is open every day as usual. The book will be closed the day after the Queen’s funeral.
 
Flowers can be left as a tribute to Her Majesty by the town War Memorial – please remove any cellophane wrapping first. 
 
As mentioned previously, services this Sunday will take place as usual, and will of course include prayers in remembrance of the Queen.
 
A special service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving will take place in St Mary’s at 6.00 pm on Sunday 18th September, to which all are of course welcome. The Mayor and Town Council, and representatives of other local organisations are being invited to attend.
 
With love
 
David
 
Revd David Busk
Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton
01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041
 

Sunday 1st May 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,
 
Newsletter attached.
 
Please remember the Annual Church Meeting tomorrow in the hall at 11.15 am after coffee – it doesn’t take long, and it’s an important occasion as we elect the churchwardens, any new members of the PCC, and have a chance to think and pray together about the whole life of the church.
 
Please also remember our new initiative, Friday at 5.15, starting this coming Friday, May 6th. It should be a relaxed event, enjoyable for all, not just families with young children. Please come and find out, and in any case please pass on the invitation to others.
 
With love
 
David
 
Revd David Busk
Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton
01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Wednesday 13th April 2022 p.m.

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,
 
I have left this rather late, but we need people willing to allow me to wash their feet at the Eucharist of the Last Supper tomorrow night (Maundy Thursday), 7.30 pm. For those who don’t know, this is a ritual re-enactment of the action of Jesus washing his disciples feet at the Last Supper (John 13:3-17), as a symbol of his servanthood and the servanthood he asks of all of us. Please let me know if you would be willing to take part – you simply come forward when asked, sit on one of the chairs prepared for you, remove your shoes and socks and let me wash your feet in a bowl of water and dry them with a towel.
 
We also need people who will spend some time in church keeping vigil in half hour stints from the end of the service (about 8.30) to midnight. Anja and I will do the last stint from 11.30 pm, so that is already covered, though of course people are welcome to be present for any length of time.
 
Please let me now as soon as you can if you can take part in either or both of these ways.
 
With love
 
David
 
Revd David Busk
Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton
01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041


Wednesday 13th April 2022 a.m.

Dear Godmanchester & Hilton Church Families,
 
There will after all be an ecumenical sunrise service this Easter Sunday, 6.00 am at Castle Hill (behind the Old Bridge Hotel in Huntingdon, off the ring road). Hiltonians are of course most welcome. It is a very simple outdoors service, lasting about 20 minutes. In the past there has usually been breakfast organised for us at one of the local churches, but I don’t think that is happening this year. Don’t let that put you off, though! It is a lovely way to greet our Risen Lord on the Day of Resurrection.
 
With love
 
David
 
Revd David Busk
Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton
01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

  1. Sunday 10th April 2022
Dear Godmanchester Church Family,
 
A reminder that tomorrow is Palm Sunday. The Liturgy of the Palms will take place in the hall at 9.30 am, followed by a procession to the west (tower) door. If you would like to join this part of the service, please collect your service books and palm cross from church first. Please feel free to wait in church for the procession if you prefer.
 
The attached newsletter has details of all the services during Holy Week and Easter listed on the diary page. It is not clear whether there will be a sunrise service on Easter Day – my enquiries so far have been met with silence. If I do find out, I will let you know.
 
I particularly commend to you the three major services in the second half of Holy Week: the Eucharist of the Last Supper at 7.30 on Maundy Thursday (14th), the Good Friday Liturgy at 1.30 pm on the 15th, and the glorious Easter Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter on Saturday 16th. 
 
May the Passion of our Lord go deep into our hearts and souls this Holy Week, and the joy of his resurrection fill our lives and the whole world this Easter.
 
With love
 
David
 
Revd David Busk
Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton
01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 


Thursday 7th April 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

As many of you know, on Palm Sunday we have the custom of reading the full Passion Narrative (the story of the Last Supper and the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus) from one of the Gospels (this year it is Luke), using different voices. I am still looking for a few people willing to read one of the parts – most of them are quite minor, often with just a single line. No acting required, just a willingness to stand at the front of church with others and say your line into a microphone. I’ll send the text to those who respond – please do!

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 3rd April 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

As from tomorrow, Sunday 3rd, we will return to the practice of olden times (pre-pandemic), and pass the collection plate round during the third hymn. If you give by standing order, please don’t feel awkward at not putting anything in – or you could drop in an empty yellow envelope if you prefer. We will also bring up the elements (bread and wine) at the same time.

On a personal note, some of you very kindly sponsored Simon and Karin for a skydive in aid of Cancer Research last October. You may recall their jump had to be postponed because of bad weather. They finally completed it successfully this morning – they nearly froze at 15,000 feet (actual frost formed on faces in the minus 30 degree temperature), but they landed with most limbs attached in roughly the correct places and they’re still breathing, so it counts as a success. If you would like to contribute, it’s not too late: https://gofund.me/9a9c3aca

 

Skydiving for cancer research!, organized by Karin Busk

My brother and I are going to be doing a sponsored 15,000 feet tandem skydive for cancer… Karin Busk needs your support for Skydiving for cancer research!

gofund.me

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 27th March 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Summer Time begins tomorrow – hooray! Clocks go forward an hour tonight – boo!

Tomorrow is Mothering Sunday. (Sons and daughters, now’s your last chance to do something about it!) At the 9.30 am service we have Parish Communion, with children in throughout and taking part, and helping to distribute the flowers kindly prepared by the Flower Guild, to whom many thanks.

We also have our monthly Choral Evensong at 6.30 pm tomorrow. Unlike Evening Prayer on the other Sundays, this involves the choir, an anthem, full sung service with hymns , and a sermon. You may even be able to leave church more or less in daylight, as the sun sets at 7.25. See you there?

Please look at several important notices in the newsletter, especially the ones about a meeting at the Baptist Church on Monday for anyone thinking of hosting Ukrainian refugees, and a time of prayer for Ukraine on Thursday 31st (this coming Thursday) in church from 5.00 to 7.00 pm. I’d be grateful if you would kindly let people know about the time of prayer.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 20th March 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

I hope the beauty of spring is bringing you some joy, and a vision of God’s goodness, in these dark times.

This week’s newsletter is attached. Please note that we have begun the new system of organising the prayer list, so it is very short at the moment. If there are any names missing you would like to see there, please contact either Jim Heeley at jskc@btinternet.com or myself. Names will be kept on the list for a month, unless you contact one of us to say you would like the name to stay on the list. As a means of ensuring that the list is always relevant, we ask you to do this each month, no matter how long the name stays there.

Next Sunday, the 27th, is Mothering Sunday, and we have Parish Communion at 9.30 am with the children in church throughout, and flowers for all, with our thanks to the Flower Guild.

With love

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 6th March 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

I have decided, very reluctantly, not to take any services tomorrow, as I was in close contact for over an hour on Thursday with someone who tested positive that evening. All services will go ahead as planned, thanks to the kind offices of Jonathan Young and Christopher Leffler. I know some may see this as an excess of caution, but I could easily be infectious, and do not want to be the cause of spreading the virus if I can help it. I have no symptoms at the moment.

We all desperately want to help Ukraine, not only with our prayers. You will see from the newsletter that we are taking donations in church for the Disasters Emergency Committee. Understandably, people feel they want to give something more tangible, and many people are organising collections of supplies to ship out to Poland and elsewhere. However, the word from the aid agencies is that money is more effective than goods. The trouble is that piles of unsorted and sometimes unsuitable material arrive in places where it is not needed, with no system to distribute it. The agencies know what is needed and where, and can purchase much of it locally and avoid the costs of shipping it there. The church will not therefore be supporting any scheme to collect and transport material.

Christopher Leffler has reminded me of the work of the Barnabas Fund, which supports Churches and Christians in difficulty around the world. They are raising money for minority Christian groups such as Baptists and Pentecostals in Ukraine, who may often be overlooked in such an overwhelmingly Orthodox country. If you would like to support their work, please use this link:

https://www.barnabasfund.org/gb/latest-needs/help-ukrainian-christians-in-their-hour-of-need/

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 27th February 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

I am sure I don’t need to urge you to pray for God’s justice, wisdom and peace to prevail over the chaos that Vladimir Putin has unleashed on Ukraine – but I do urge just that! If we feel helpless offering ‘only’ prayer, it is when we turn to God helplessly that His Spirit is at work in us, and in the world.

The following three items are all in the attached newsletter (which contains other pieces as well), but I want to highlight them here.

Robert Caroe
There will be a memorial service for Robert Caroe in church tomorrow, Sunday 27th February at 2pm, to which everyone is very welcome.  The service will take the form of a thanksgiving Sung Eucharist, at Robert’s request, and there will be refreshments in the church hall afterwards.  This service will replace the Sung Evensong which would have taken place at 6.30pm on the same day.

Ash Wednesday, March 2nd

Lent begins on Wednesday March 2nd. As usual, we will hold a Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes at 7.30 pm. All who wish to are invited to receive the mark of the cross on their foreheads in ash during the service, as a sign of repentance and a desire to follow Christ. The service is otherwise more or less a normal Sung Eucharist, with the choir, hymns, and a sermon. It is a good way to start Lent – please come!

Lent Course

As in previous years, we will offer a Lent Course. This year’s is called ‘Baggage and Treasures’, and is written by Clifford Owen, a retired priest who lives in Hartford, and who often helps out here and in other local churches. The idea behind this course is to explore what gifts and ministries the local church has; its strengths and weaknesses in growth and mission. The course will be online only, at the time of the weekly Bible study on Fridays at 10.00 am. There are six sessions, beginning on Friday March 4th. The link details are:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85790786358 or ID 857 9078 6358. I can send these by email to anyone who wants them, along with the course material if you want it. However, the material will be shown during the sessions, so there is no need to have it in advance if you don’t feel you want it. As always, anyone is welcome to any or all of the sessions, and there is no need to book in advance, or offer apologies for any missed sessions. Please e-mail me at dwbusk@hotmail.com or call 436400 if you need further information or help.

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 20th February 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,
 
I hope you all survived Eunice with your homes and property intact. 
 
Tomorrow, Sunday 20th, we have Parish Communion at 9.30 am. This is the shorter service with Children’s Church involvement. Come and hear from them about Jesus stilling the storm – how topical can we get? If Jesus and enough disciples are able to make it, we may have a re-enactment!
 
Robert Caroe’s memorial Eucharist is the following Sunday, the 27th, at 2.00 pm. All are welcome, and to refreshments afterwards in the hall. If you would like to bring a cake or tray bake as a contribution, please do. 
 
With love,
 
David
 
Revd David Busk
Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton
01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 30th January 2022

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

I’m sorry I forgot to send one of these last week, with the newsletter attached. Should that happen again, there are now paper copies available every week in church on the table by the south door.

Covid precautions

As you know, almost all compulsory Covid precautions have been removed. In the church, the Standing Committee has agreed that we will revert to our practice before Plan B came into effect. This means face masks are no longer required, but of course anyone should feel comfortable wearing one if they wish. Hand sanitiser continues to be available. We will keep to giving communion in one kind only, the consecrated bread, without the use of wine for now. All of this will be kept under review by the PCC.

Friday at 5.15

We have publicised a new event, Friday at 5.15, to take place in church on the first Friday of each month. We were hoping to start this Friday, Feb. 4th, but we have taken the decision to wait a bit longer, as this is something that involves quite a lot of mingling, hopefully with fairly large numbers, some of whom we hope will be strangers to each other. We want to wait until we can do this comfortably and without anxiety, so it will not happen next week, but it will happen, God willing, and we will keep you posted.

Robert Caroe

There will be a memorial service for Robert Caroe in church on Sunday February 27th at 2.00 pm, to which everyone is very welcome. The service will take the form of a thanksgiving Sung Eucharist, at Robert’s request, and there will be refreshments in the church hall afterwards. This service will replace the Sung Evensong which would have taken place at 6.30 pm on the same day.

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday 5th December 2021

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Firstly, huge thanks to all who contributed in any way to the Christmas Bazaar. It is too early to have a final figure, but it looks to have been at least as successful, financially, as the last one in 2019. But of course it is about more than money – I think we all valued the chance to mingle and enjoy ourselves. Thank you to everyone.

In line with government and church advice, we would like to encourage the use of face masks in church. It is not a legal requirement, but it is recommended, as are other measures such as hand sanitising and keeping a suitable distance.

We will hold a Christingle preparation session in the church hall on Saturday 18th at 10.00 am. All are welcome – the more hands we have, the sooner it gets done. And then of course on Sunday 19th we have our combined Christingle service and Parish Communion – this should be very special. Do come!

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

Tomorrow is Advent Sunday, the first day of the church’s year. At 6.30 pm we have our service of Advent Carols. This is a beautiful candle-lit service, full of longing, expectation and hope. I warmly encourage you all to come and begin this holy season in a fitting way, and to stay for wine and mince pies in the hall afterwards. Contributions to cover the costs will be welcome on the night.

We have lost two dear members of the church, and others from our wider community, in the past few days: Mary Summers, Freda Pauley, June Sington, Bette George and Elizabeth Brown. May they rest in peace and rise in glory. June’s funeral is on Thursday December 2nd at 1.00 pm. Elizabeth’s memorial service is on Friday 3rd at 1.30 pm. Mary’s funeral, which will follow committal at the crematorium for family only, is on Wednesday 7th at 1.30 pm. Bette was a member of the Baptist church, but her funeral is in St Mary’s on Friday 10th at 12.30 pm. Freda’s is on Wednesday 22nd at 12.00 noon.

Next Saturday is the Christmas Bazaar at 2.00 pm, followed by the Godmanchester 2020 Vase Auction at 7.30 pm. Come to both!

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Saturday 30th October 2021

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

As you will know, we have the All Souls Service of Commemoration tomorrow at 6.30 pm. All are of course welcome – you don’t have to be remembering anyone specifically to find it meaningful and moving. You can add a name even at the last minute – I just pencil it in on the printed list I read from – though of course it is helpful to have the names sooner.

Dilys Roe and Kate Barkshire will be serving bacon and sausage butties after the 9.30 am service with coffee on Sunday November 7th in aid of service charities. Please come and eat and donate.

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

Sunday 24th October 2021

 

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

On Sunday 31st October we will hold our annual All Souls Service of Commemoration at 6.30 pm, in place of Evening Prayer. This is a very moving event at which we remember all the departed, and the names of many are read out. All those whose funerals have taken place through St Mary’s in the last three years are named, plus anyone else people ask to be remembered. There is a list at the back of church where you can add names, or you can contact me directly.

Tomorrow, Sunday 24th, we have Evensong, with choir, sung parts, hymns, and a sermon (if the latter is an incentive!) Please come.

We reviewed our Covid policy at last week’s PCC. Precautions remain voluntary and up to the individual, but we would like to remind everyone that the wearing of face masks is officially encouraged, and is done mainly to protect others. A supply is available by the door, with the hand gel, and with the numbers as they stand it should be possible to keep distanced if desired.

We hope to hold a full programme of Christmas services, but of course like everything else this will be subject to circumstances.

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Wednesday 20th October 2021

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,
 
As you may be aware, the Charities Committee is emerging from Covid hibernation, with two very successful events recently, the coffee morning at Jane Nicholl’s house which raised £280 for Thrive, the Christian initiative supporting young people in local secondary schools, and coffee and croissants after church which raised £75 for service charities. Huge thanks to all involved.
 
We would also like to raise funds for two overseas charities we regularly support, Mashambanzou Care Trust in Zimbabwe, and our link parish of Maaya in Uganda.
 
Mashambanzou Care Trust
 
MCT was established in 1990 to provide care and support for people affected by HIV/AIDS, particularly children.
Its care centre in Harare houses 30 patients, providing nutritional care and life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs. MCT reaches out to the community on many fronts: it provides home-based care for the sick, counselling for patients and their families, and outreach for orphans.
The Trust runs a crèche in a high-density suburb which provides day care for 60 children, aged three to six years old, many of them orphans, and most of whom live in extreme poverty. By giving them a safe environment, lunch every day and some preparation for schooling, the children are provided with a ray of hope.
Robert and Anne Francis visited Mashambanzou some years ago, but more recently in 2017, their son Edward, who works for a UK youth charity with projects in many African countries, visited MCT and was very impressed by the work being carried out there.

Maaya School 
 
Rachel Harris and Ken Berkin, who run the Friends of North Kigezi Diocese, our link with Maaya,  discussed with their friends living in that area and they were reminded that the church- founded primary school is in great need of finishing building.
It provides education for some 168 village children including nursery in a school where some classrooms have no roof and others with no doors, windows or floors.
It’s a wonder it survives in this harsh climate but it is located on the edge of the Rift Valley where life is hard and challenging.
They will be needing building materials of sand, cement, bricks and iron sheets for the roof and wooden shutters and doors and solid floors.
Local labour will also require payment.
The government provides no help to build these schools or facilities so children have to sit in cold and sometimes wet classrooms until the building can be finished.
They love their schooling and we are keen to help them the best we can.
Ken and Rachel have visited the place and the children are a delight.
It’s good time to carry out work as the children are currently at home due to lockdown.
It seems a lot but the villagers are hard working and you can see from the pictures what they have already achieved.
Whatever you can manage will be greatly appreciated, like the water tank you gave them (see bottom picture below).
 
 
If you would like to make a donation, in cash or a cheque made out to St Mary the Virgin Godmanchester PCC, please give it to Robert Francis either at 20 Post Street, or in church over the next couple of weeks, or to Colin Thirlwall at 19 London Road. Special envelopes will be available in church. All money received will be split equally between the two charities.
 
With thanks and love
 
David
 
Revd David Busk
Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton
01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041
 

Sunday 17th October 2021

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

A rather late-in-the-day reminder of the Messiah concert tonight in church at 7.30 pm – tickets are available on the door. Flier attached, as is this week’s newsletter. Please remember that all are welcome to the AGM of the Friends of St Mary’s at 2.30 pm tomorrow in church, followed by very good refreshments! Please come and learn more about what the Friends are doing to support and develop the church building.

Total donated to date for Gift Day.  

 

TOTAL DONATED 2021

1,816.00

GIFT AID

   

454.00

 

TOTAL

   

2,270.00

 

 

Total 2020

   

5,811.25

 

It’s not too late to donate!

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

12th October 2021

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

The Friends of St Mary’s have asked me to circulate this invitation and the £15 ticket application form with further details of an exciting event to be held in the Church to raise money for the Transformation Fund on Saturday 30th October at 7.30pm.

GODMANCHESTER AT WAR

THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF THE PEOPLE OF GODMANCHESTER WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY AT HOME AND ABROAD

AN ILLUSTRATED LECTURE AND BOOK LAUNCH FROM ROGER LEIVERS

AUTHOR OF GODMANCHESTER AT WAR

Further details are in the ticket application form.

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

Sunday October 10th

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

A quick reminder of the Civic Service tomorrow at 11.00 am. Please come and thank God for the life of this town – it is a special and rather splendid occasion, and is for us all (with very good refreshments afterwards in the Queen Elizabeth School, courtesy of the Town Council, for all who attend the service!)

Please see the attached newsletter for details of a coffee morning on Wednesday 13th at Jane Nicholls’ house, 14 Corpus Christi Lane,  between 10.30am and 12.00pm.  We are raising money for Thrive a Christian youth project working with young people locally.

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

4th September 2021

Dear All

Please note we have Holy Communion at 8.00 am tomorrow Sunday 5th September, kindly taken by Christopher Leffler, and Evening Prayer (a spoken service without music) at 6.30 pm; and that next Sunday, 12th, there is no 9.30am Eucharist – we have Worship in the Park at 10.00 am. Please come and sing and pray with our fellow Christians in the open air – just over the Chinese Bridge, by the children’s play area.

With love, David Revd David Busk Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

29th August 2021

Dear Godmanchester Church Family,

A reminder that we now have a weekly Communion service on Zoom every Wednesday at 2.30 pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82459088697

Next Sunday, September 4th, we will once again offer prayer for healing during the 9.30 am Sung Eucharist. The only difference from pre-Covid times is that there will be no physical contact between those praying and those being prayed for – those praying will extend a hand as a sign of God’s healing touch, but will not place their hand on the shoulder of those coming forward for prayer, as used to happen. For those who don’t know what this is, anyone is welcome to come forward to ask for prayer at the time communion is being distributed, before, after, or instead of receiving communion. You can ask for prayer for yourself or for anyone else, or any other concern in the world. If you mention a subject for prayer, those praying will pray out loud – although quietly – for what has been requested, but if you prefer to remain silent, then they will offer silent prayer – the Lord knows what is in our hearts. In either case, the time of prayer will end with a short word of blessing. Please come forward if you would like to do so; equally, if you don’t feel this is for you, please feel entirely comfortable in not doing so.

One or two people have mentioned to me the matter of standing and sitting during services. I hope that everyone feels free to do what suits them – it is traditional to stand at certain points, such as for hymns, for the Gospel and the Creed, and during the Prayer of Consecration over the bread and wine, but this is merely a convention, there to be followed if you find it helpful as an act of devotion, and to be ignored if you don’t. I think none of us finds it easy to stand out and do something different from what most people around us are doing, but I would like to encourage an atmosphere in church in which we simply don’t mind – I mean this very seriously – what the person next to us is up to by way of standing, sitting, kneeling, raising hands in the air, etc, and we feel equally free to do as we feel led by the Spirit. 

With love,

David

Revd David Busk

Vicar of Godmanchester & Hilton

01480 436400 / 077 8636 1041

 

PARISH FINANCE

As our church has been closed we are clearly not getting any plate collections, fees or donations in the wall box or votive candle holder.  Although our outgoings have reduced we still have to pay our standing orders of around £8,000 per month including our parish share of £6,647.  We have reserves that will keep us going in the short term so there is no immediate panic.  Although many of our congregation donate by bank transfer (BACS), Standing Orders or the Parish Giving Scheme, for which we are extremely grateful, I know that some people are concerned that they are not able to support the work of the church under the current restrictions.  May I offer the following suggestions:

Free-Will Envelopes – please keep your (filled) envelopes until things return to normal as I am trying to avoid handling cash and hence visits to the post office to pay it in.

Bank transfers – if you wish to donate by BACS transfer, even temporarily,  please let me know and I will email the church bank details to you.  You can then a give one-off donation without any long-term commitment.  Please include your name as the reference.

Cheques – you can send cheques payable St Mary the Virgin Godmanchester PCC  to 49 London Rd, Godmanchester, PE29 2HZ as I have a applied to our bank for postal deposit envelopes.  Please let me know if the donation is for anything specific.

Parish Giving Scheme – this is the preferred method for regular donations as we get a single monthly payment for all of the income followed by a single payment of Gift Aid.  However,  the Parish Giving staff are currently operating from home so they cannot process any new applications.

If you already have a Parish Giving pack with an addressed envelope please note the new address below and wait until things return to normal before sending in the form.

Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) Team will be operating from a new location.