OPENING OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS
Our churches can only be opened under strict conditions in accordance with guidance from the government and the Diocese of Leeds.
For details of services ( by phone and by Zoom) see the Services page
Face coverings must be worn in church, along with social distancing and the use of sanitiser. Sanitiser is available immediately inside the churches as well as the means to provide details confidentially for test and trace.
Our church buildings are presently open on the following days*:-
Preston under Scar and Wensley - Daily
Aysgarth - daily
Castle Bolton - daily
Redmire - Daily
West Witton - Sunday and Thursday
* the buildings will close for three days before a service or a funeral to allow time for virus degradation.
Aysgarth church -
As, due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are no printed guides available in the church at present and it is difficult to access the war memorial plaque the following are now available online -
War Memorials and Graves at Aysgarth church
The responsibility for keeping buildings clean and the public safe rests with the members of each church council along with myself as Vicar. We show our care for the community by only opening after we have studied the guidance and made a careful risk assessment.
The church (as the family of God), of course, has remained active and alive throughout the health crisis. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if we can be of help.
The Rev Tom Ringland
Scroll down to message of March 21 for tdetails about baptisms, funerals and weddings.
Vicar’s Letter - December 2020
As I write this letter there is no doubt, that in our current context, these are deeply challenging and difficult times for us all. When we are surrounded by fear and suffering, it can be hard to feel hopeful, and this coming winter feels like it will be longer and darker than usual. Even so there are also many points of light in the coming weeks and months ahead.
The other day I was asked; “What brings you joy?” well apart from my family, walking has brought me joy and peace over the past few months. Before the first ‘Lock down’ I would walk when I could. Mainly at the weekend or when on holiday, but since the pandemic I have had to work from home, although this has been difficult, missing colleagues, dropping in for a chat and ‘Zoom’ fatigue, it has given me the opportunity to walk on a daily basis. I have noticed in minute detail the changing seasons around me and it has reminded me that whatever is going on in the world that new life and re-birth continues, often silently, beneath the earth, but in time it will re-emerge and new creation will burst forth!
That routine of the seasons encroaches into how we live on a daily basis, and I know this year it has meant that the traditions and family time have had to be re-imagined in ways that no-one could have ever predicted and it has been tough.
Christians, during the next couple of months, keep the seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. For many the family traditions of Advent Candles and calendars, Christmas presents and family gatherings are an important point in the year. This year we will have to wait and see what shape these will take depending on the status of the Pandemic.
Advent for Christians is a season of expectation and preparation, as the church prepares to celebrate the joy of the birth of Jesus, God with us.
Advent season falls at the darkest time of the year and we use symbols such as candles and Christingles to remind us that as we pray ‘Maranatha’ – ‘Our Lord Come’ – just as with the rhythm of nature, we are assured that it will soon be Christmas and we will celebrate again the joy that comes with a birth of a baby.
At his Birth Jesus was also called Emmanuel. It is a word that appears in lots of Carols. It means ‘God is with us’, sharing our darkness and our struggles, bringing comfort and joy. It is the source of our hope. As the bible says: “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5)
This year the Church of England has put together with a number of public figures short reflections exploring the theme. Comfort and Joy: Nine Lessons and Carols for Christmas. The reflections for each day from Christmas Day to 2nd January feature contributions from Kate Bottley, Jonathan Bryan, Bob Chilcott, Martha Collison, Stephen Cottrell, Guli Francis-Dehqani, Chine McDonald, Sally Phillips and Justin Welby.
These are available on-line from https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/preparing-advent-christmas-2020-comfort-and-joy
Even though there is much darkness around us, let us remind ourselves that just as with the nature that surrounds us – that we will emerge from this darkness and new creation will burst forth. So let us shine in the darkness of this winter, let us be kind to ourselves and others and let us focus on what brings us joy!
May God bless you and keep you and all those you love.
Rev Penny Yeadon
Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044. Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on COVID-19. Please let your family and friends, who are not on internet, know about this. More information at: https://www.leeds.anglican.org/news/free-dial-prayer-service-launched-national-church
MESSAGES FROM THE REV TOM RINGLAND
It’s so good to hear numbers of people are sharing in reading and praying together on Sundays – and for some of you in weekdays too!
In addition, many have been creative in searching the internet for streamed services of worship, either in places you know from the past, or those advertised on the diocesan or national church websites.
Paul encourages us to “rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances”
and continues, “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Three things (rejoice, pray, thank) - clear positive attributes - which are to characterise our day to day living, whatever betide.
If we can develop these in this time of isolation, we will be strengthening our own mental health, and will bring the grace of God to bless those for whom we pray.
There are things to lament but also things for which to give thanks.
[ I read today that this is the first time our buildings have been closed for public worship since 1208 – when the then Pope placed England under an interdict for rejecting his appointment of Simon Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury!! - from an article by Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop designate of York. For full article click here.]
We can and should lament … and also for the sufferings of others caught up in this crisis rather more deeply than we ourselves: the sick, dying and bereaved; the NHS, those who's lifework has come to an abrupt end ... But we can also look around and notice where we are now. What is emerging for you?
... Increased support within the community, more frequent contact with family and friends ...
– but also a refocussing on what is important in life and perhaps time to stop and reflect on who we are and where we are going.
Unwelcome and challenging as these days may be, we have an opportunity, perhaps even a responsibility to accept them and use them and learn from them.
Bishop Nick in one of his excellent blogs writes: (March 28th) “When you are in the desert, don’t look for the flowers that grow in the fertile areas; look for the flowers that grow only in the desert”. (see https://nickbaines.wordpress.com/ for more)
Why not begin a record – a journal of your own experiences, thoughts and feelings through this time.
We will continue to adapt, learn and grow - I pray we'll find a deepened connection with God, and that as a society we may learn again to be more generous and compassionate. I gather Andrew Marr began his show recently saying 'maybe selfishness will fall out of fashion'!
We'll also find new ways of communicating and sharing news and encouragement. For a Sunday service see Services.
We remain a people of hope - an Easter people ... and so lets pray for chances to infect others with that positive outlook. Where are the opportunities in this new regimen?
Simple good humour will go a long way to maintaining our spiritual health, so attached is a picture with some good advice...’
Please note the following:
Emergency baptisms can take place in hospital or at home, though subject to strict hygienic precautions and physical distancing as far as possible.
Funerals with a small number of people present can be held at the graveside or crematorium and are now permissable again in church. Please contact the Revd Tom Ringland for details.
Weddings can now be held with a limited number of people.
Live streaming of services is more important than ever and is still permissible from homes. We encourage us all to consider how we can be as creative as possible with streaming services and other resources. There are many, many fantastic examples of churches and clergy using technology to reach and engage communities. Read more guidance here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/church-resources/digitallabs/labs-learning-blog/beginners-guide-going-live-your-service-or .
See also -
• churchofengland.org scroll down for 13 daily reflections, the #LiveLent materials and worship and prayer resources
• arthurrankcentre.org.uk click on 'Together Apart' for a range of resources for rural churches
• leeds.anglican.org click on Covid-19 (the starry screen) for resources including services streamed from local churches
6. The Church Pantries at Redmire and Castle Bolton churches are now available in Redmire village hall. These provide free food and hygiene products to those in need. You can consider making a financial contribution to these or your nearest foodbank.
The Rev Ringland was licensed as Vicar of Penhill Benefice in November 2019 - scroll down to the bottom of the Benefice Information page for the report.
Click on Aysgarth Church Harvest Flower Festival 2019 to see photos of that event.
See Festival of Remembrance for a report and photos about the flower festival and Remembrance event from November 9 to 12 2018.