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THE WATERSIDE CHURCHES - KAREN'S CORNER


THE CHURCH WARDENS

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KAREN'S 23RD MAY MESSAGE

Pick 5….

I may be on annual leave but I am taking this opportunity to remind you about ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.

I haven’t stepped away from the beach or kicked off the flip flops to stop and to do a bit of work.

I wrote this ‘Karen’s Corner in advance’ of the start of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ on Thursday 26th May.

In the days between Ascension and Pentecost, it has been the habit of many Christians, for many centuries, to make the focus of our prayers the same as those first believers.

“Thy Kingdom Come’ encourages each of us to hold 5 specific people in mind in these days; so that the Gift of the Father would work through us for their sake, but also would touch their hearts.

The prayer is very simple, “Come Holy Spirit’. I would encourage you to spend a few moments thinking about 5 people who you would like to see come to know Jesus in their lives. Please pray for them.

There will be resources to help your prayers on the website and booklets in church. These resources have been prepared before hand and have been sent to Paul so that our website can be updated daily (thank you Paul). Please check the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ page daily for updates, readings and reflections.

There will be a service of prayer on 31st May at 7pm in St Piran’s Church in Perranarworthal to help us to focus our prayers. This will be a short service of worship and prayer, including the opportunity to use prayer stations. All welcome.

During ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ we are invited to discover new habits and ways of praying to God.

I hope that you will find a new spiritual rhythm to your prayers which will nourish you spiritually. We will be a part of a global wave of prayer during these days.

I hope that you will take this opportunity to join me and to pray for five people who you would like to come to know God in their lives and, God willing, get to know Him as we do.

I look forward to seeing you again next week after my holiday. Whatever your week holds, I pray that it is blessed.

Revd Karen

… on a beach somewhere in Cornwall…

… with a good book in hand….

…toes in the sand….


KAREN'S LATEST - 16th MAY

I’m here but not here….

I’m not here…

As you read this I will have put my clerical collars back in their box, the flat shoes are in the bottom of the wardrobe and my cassock is in the dry cleaners.

My wet suit is in the car, my flip flops are on and my ‘out of office’ message is on my computer.

Brothers and Sisters, the Vicar has left the building… well, not exactly but I am on annual leave for two weeks. We are staying at home but we won’t be working. 

These next two weeks are an opportunity for Chris and I to spend some time together, get the wet suits out, get into the water and to rest for a while. It’s a time to spend in nature, to explore and to enjoy each other’s company.

Our daily routines change and a that is as good as a rest, as they say.

Monday 16th May would have been my beloved Dad’s birthday. He was not a ‘natural’ on holiday. He, like me, took a couple of days to unwind and to start relaxing. When I was a child he would lay my duvet on the back seat of the car and pop my pillow behind my head before we started our journey to wherever we were spending our holiday. It was his way of saying, ‘settle down, this could take some time…’ He would get into the driver’s seat, stick a Shirley Bassey tape in and off we would go, in the vain hope that we would reach our destination before midnight!

Our destination was often Cornwall or Devon. Back then, in the mists of time before the M25 and the SatNav, it was a VERY long journey. We would often see the sights of London more than once on our circuitous journey to Hayle. Mum was a dreadful map reader and I recall seeing the tourist sights of central London three times during one journey…

Someone once said, ‘It’s often the journey and not the destination that matters most’. I don’t who that was but he never travelled with my Mother.

There is a truth in that saying however. It is those travels in my Dad’s Ford Granada that I remember most. Happy memories that still make me laugh. He would give me the history of the famous sights that we were seeing. He loved history and I had to recite the history of The Monument each time we went to London.

Those holidays started a life-long love of Cornwall. I have some Cornish blood and often returned to Cornwall on holiday, it had a magnetic pull. Returning was like recharging my spiritual batteries, plugging myself back into the place where I felt truly at rest.

There was something that touched my soul. I felt at home, at peace and it was always a wrench that brought tears to my eyes when I had to get back in the car and head back to Essex.

I would sit on Mawgan Porth beach on the last day of each holiday and talk to God. I would ask Him if there was a way that I could come back to live here. I asked that same question for over 20 years.

Nothing is ever in our time, it’s always in God’s time. He knows when it is the right time for us, his beloved children.

Sometimes it’s hard to accept that. Our prayers aren’t always answered quickly or in the way that we want. God has a way of knowing what we need and not always what we want, when we want it.

Being on annual leave here in a place that means so much to me is a joy and one that I am grateful to God for. I will sit on Mawgan Porth beach at some point in the next two weeks and this time my conversation with God will be different. It will be to say ‘thank you’ and to ask him to continue to bless my life and ministry here in Cornwall.

There will be no Shirley Bassey belting out ‘Big Spender’ in the car and I won’t be sitting on a duvet on this holiday.

However, as Dame Shirley once sang, “Something in the way he knows, all I have to do is think of him. Something in the things he shows me’ (Something).

God does know and all we have to do is think of Him and have a conversation with Him and He will show us the way.

Whatever you are doing in the next two weeks, may it be blessed.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 

KAREN'S LATEST

What day of the week is it and where am I going…?

The life of a Vicar is never dull, that’s for sure!

Last week someone told me that I couldn’t be in two places at once. I’m not That’s very true. Unless I was Hermione Grainger out of the Harry Potter novels who had a ‘Time Turner’ I can’t and I certainly wouldn’t want to be.

My diary is full, yes that’s true. However, as a very wise Vicar once told me, ‘it’s important to be present in the present’. A Vicar’s ministry is full of ‘mind swerves’ that’s for sure. One day last week I attended church business meetings, conducted an interment of ashes, arranged a Christening, visited parishioners and wrote invoices for weddings, amongst other things. Unless I am ‘present in the present’ I don’t allow God to work through any of these situations. Each one is of equal importance and it’s also important to be fully ‘present’.

Every evening I sit at my desk and check my colour coded diary (I know… but I do like a bit of organisation!) and plan my movements for the next day. I will admit that are those days when I ask myself, ‘what day is it and where am I going?!’

Underpinning all of my ministry is a robust prayer life. When I was Ordained I made a promise to my Bishop to pray the ‘daily office’ twice a day. There’s so much more than those twice daily prayers though.

I pray when I am in the car, when I sit on a beach, when I am in church and when I am shopping in Truro. I pray everywhere and throughout each day. I pray as if God is sitting/walking next to me. Sometimes I begin with ‘God, yep it’s me again, I just have another one that I want to give to you’. Sometimes it is a simple ‘Thank You!’

Other times words fail me and I just sit and offer what is on my heart to God, to leave it at His feet and simply to know that He knows. There are also times when I say, ‘Well God, that could have gone better or I could have done something different there, help me to do that next tim’.

Sometimes it’s just about sitting in the silence and listening to God and not saying anything at all. It can be when all you have are tears. Each tear can be a prayer and God sees and knows what’s caused each one that falls.

Before any service of worship it’s very important to pray. I pray with the choirs and those who are taking part in the service. Our prayers bring us into the presence of God, to offer our worship to Him and to ask for his blessing upon it. It’s a few minutes that still our minds and opens our hearts to what God will do in our worship.

From 26th May until 5th June (Ascension Day until Pentecost) we are called to pray as part of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. During this time we are invited to discover new habits and ways of praying to God, that those we know might come to Jesus.

There will be a Service of Prayer at St Piran’s Church in Perranarworthal at 7pm Tuesday 31st May as part of ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.

Our website also has more information about this 9 days of prayer and I will be providing resources to help all of us to pray. If you would like to have a chat about prayer or would like me to pray with you or for you please give me a call.

As Christians, having prayer life which sustains us and gives us life is vital to our faith. So if you are a ‘prayer warrior’ or a newbie to praying do join in. If you would like me to pray for you or with you, just give me a call. God wants nothing more than for us to have a relationship with Him, to speak to Him. The glorious thing about that is that it doesn’t matter how we do it or when, just that we DO IT! There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to pray, it’s just about having a conversation with God, just like you do with anyone whom you love.

Every blessing

Revd Karen

Not loaves and fishes but cake and a Full English…

Jesus’ ministry often involved meals; a wedding feast, loaves and fishes that fed hundreds, fish over a fire on the beach and the last night that he spent with his disciples involved sharing a meal together.

This week I haven’t lit a fire and BBQ’d some fish as Jesus did in our Gospel reading. However, this last week has involved sharing food. Hospitality has always played an important part in my ministry and the example that Jesus gave in his ministry has always been an influence in my own.

On Friday our volunteers who had worked so hard over Holy Week and Easter gathered together at The Parish Centre in Devoran to share coffee and cake. It was my opportunity to host and to thank them in person for all of their efforts.

It was a joy to see people gathered around one long table, chatting and enjoying each others’ company.

On Saturday morning Chris hosted another ‘Men’s Breakfast’. 18 sat down to a full English breakfast, read the newspapers and again, enjoyed each others' company. I donned my pinny once more and manned the stoves. A huge thank you to Mandy and Trish whose help was invaluable.

After breakfast we had a fun quiz and those gathered guessed the theme tunes to some TV shows. David Simmons aced that part of the quiz and his knowledge of theme tunes had to be heard to be believed!

We have booked The Perranwell Centre on 30th July for another of these events. Do let Chris or I know if you would like to book a breakfast.

Staying with theme of hospitality, this week has been one of plate spinning. Keeping all of the plates spinning at the same time is a bit like some aspects of ministry. When the dog ate my Filofax (see last week’s Karen’s Corner for that minor disaster!) I realised just how much I rely on keeping notes in the right order; with deadlines that are colour coded. Ministry involves so many different threads that it reminds me of a meme that made me laugh, ‘My mind is like my internet browser. 19 tabs are open, three of them are frozen and I don’t know where the music is coming from…’

I have found a system that works for me but like all things that are linked to a human, it’s not fool-proof. I have found a peace with that fact and that it is OK. I would never profess to be perfect, nobody can. That takes me back to our gospel reading for last week. Jesus asks Peter to look after his sheep, his flock. He knew that Peter had denied him and had run away the night before he was crucified. Despite this human reaction He felt that Peter was just the right man to look after his flock. He knew that Peter loved Him and that his heart was for Jesus’ followers. I take great comfort in that.

As a Vicar there is always lots of time spent doing paperwork, organising and ensuring that one is on top of everything that needs to be done. There is joy to be found by stepping away for a while and having a good catch up with parishioners over a coffee. If you would like to join me for a cup of something please do give me a ring. I am always just on the end of the phone if you would like a chat. If I am unavailable do leave a message and I’ll get back to you (07591 240 640). I am a bit of a Vicary cliche in that there can never be too much tea!

Whoever you are sharing your hospitality with this week I pray that it is a blessed one.

Revd Karen 

Karen's Latest Thoughts

The Best laid plans....

I had a plan for last week. I should know better by now that the best laid plans of mice and men etc etc....

My plan was to take a bit of time off after a busy Holy Week and Easter Day. However, things didn't quite pan out. Instead the week was busy, filled up with enquiries about weddings and memorial services, meetings and other things and before I knew it the weekend was upon me.

I did get some quiet time and finished reading a short novel, which is in itself a novelty for me. It was a real treat to sit down with a brew and to read for pleasure. I confess that it wasn't 'War and Peace' or anything highbrow but it was a ripping good story!

Amongst the busyness of the week God was doing His usual thing, he was moving in this place. Well I say place, I mean three places! Lots of people spoke to me about Holy Week and Easter Day and how they really felt that they had 'gone on a journey' through Holy Week with Jesus and the disciples. These conversations were a real answer to prayer and were a joy to have. There were plenty of other blessings as the week went on and there is so much that is positive happening in our three churches.

I conducted the funeral of the late Doug Angwin at St Piran's Church on Wednesday and the church was full of Doug and Sue's friends and family. Please do keep Sue in your prayers at this difficult time.

Thursday brought the monthly planning session for the Devoran Worship For All meeting. It's always good top join the team and to help plan the service and to chew over the lectionary.

At St Feock on Sunday it was lovely to have Bishop Philip and his family join us. +Philip baptised his great Nephew and we welcomed a new member into the family of Christ.

Last week also brought a bit of an organisational hiccup as Willow (our Pug) decided that she would go into my office and eat my Filofax! As some of you know, I am a quite a traditional kind of woman where it comes to keeping life and ministry in order. I like to see a page of notes and my diary, I always have. I use a fountain pen most of the time and my Filofax contains my life between it's covers. Whilst I was at the Coffee Stop in Perranwell she had committed this dastardly deed.

Willow had not only chewed it, she had scattered all of the many pages across the sitting room floor. My life literally flashed before my very eyes... No two pages were in order, some were eaten, others were torn into pieces. She looked at me, with a corner of a page sticking out of her mouth, caught mid chew. She has a way of looking at me with her big brown eyes which means that I can't stay cross with her.

The issue is resolved, life has returned to some paper order and Willow is none the worse for wear for her foray into filing. The first thing I did was to diarise some time off next Wednesday. On Monday, my usual day off I have a Zoom meeting with the College of evangelists at Lambeth palace to discuss our services on 19th June, when the Archbishop of Canterbury is visiting the Diocese. Keep an eye open for our plans on the website.

Have a blessed week

Revd Karen 

Karen’s Corner - ‘He is risen and the Vicar went down…’

I began Easter Day at a time that even the birds were only just clearing their throats in preparation for the dawn chorus.

I went into the garden to cut a wand of Rosemary for the sunrise service and tripped over our fire pit. I went down in a very undignified manner…

On Good Friday I had managed to trap my toes in the car door as Chris pulled away from Penpol. Thank goodness for the extra large bottle of Arnica gel for bruising that I keep at home!

Anywho… Christ is Risen, Alleluia Alleluia! Easter Day was celebrated in all three of our churches with a Holy Communion Service. All of the churches looked beautiful, dressed in their floral finery and adorned with the special lilies of remembrance. We had visiting family members as well as those who had not been to a service of worship before, which was a real blessing. Children and young people were amongst the full congregations, again another blessing to us.

The Easter Trail in Perranwell attracted families who joined us for our Easter Event in St Piran’s Church hall on Holy Saturday. Great fun was had by all as we checked trail answers, listened to the Easter Story and made Easter gardens.

God had certainly answered our prayers with regards to young people as we have now reinstated links with the schools, our Youth Church group is under way and our Easter Events and services attracted young families. We will now be working to build on this and finding out where God is leading us. We are all aware of just how important, on so many levels, that children and young families are to our churches.

The Walk of Witness on Good Friday was very well attended by folk from various churches. Again, young families joined us for part of the walk and it was a real joy to see children walking (or being carried aloft) along the route.

It was privilege to lead the walk as the co-ordinator for Churches Together Up The Creek. We were met at Penpol Chapel with a wonderful spread of food, which was delicious!

The folk who walked commented that they were glad of the shorter route this year due to their advancing years and I will keep this in mind for next year.

Please do check the website for more pictures of Holy Week.

My prayers and hopes for Holy Week in the three churches was that it would be a journey that we would take together. Rather than jumping straight from the triumphal entry in to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the celebration of Easter Day we would travel with Jesus, as his disciples through the whole week.

Services and events were planned to ensure that churches and communities had the opportunity to deepen their own discipleship in this holiest of weeks. How can we spread the God News of the Gospel if we don’t live it ourselves?

To enable this week to happen I would like to thank our fabulous group of volunteers who worked so hard throughout this week. Services and events were planned with love and care and everyone put so much energy into all that went on in our churches.

We started on Wednesday with a reflective and powerful Tenebrae Service, complete with the throwing of 30 pieces of silver.

St Piran’s held an Agape meal on Thursday evening with foot washing and Chris led our prayer by reciting the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, the language which Jesus would have spoken.

All three churches were offered the opportunity to sit with Jesus at the foot of the cross on Good Friday and to reflect upon his crucifixion. Thank you to Jane and Janet for leading these moving services at Devoran and St Piran’s.

Holy Saturday brought our Easter Event at St Piran’s and David Harris lit us a wonderful Easter Fire. Were joined by families in church for a service of light afterwards.

Easter Sunday stared in the most wonderful way. Jane and I were joined by 27 folk on Devoran Quay for our Sunrise Service at 6am. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect morning; a full moon, a full tide, bird song and a clear sky. It was breath taking. Revd Canon Martin Boxall blessed us all and we returned to church for coffee and croissants.

New Paschal candles have been lit, we have witnessed the promise of the risen Christ who has overcome death and we have shouted our ‘Alleluias!’. We are an Easter people and ask that our God of glory to continue to fill our churches with faith and hope.

Right, I’m off to slather my bruises in Arnica gel and I wish you a blessed week.

Revd Karen 


An Easter message from Karen

Preparing for Holy Week

As Easter quickly approaches, our minds can be filled filled with ideas of what we need to do…. Preparing our homes to have our families visit us, the Sunday roast, the chocolate eggs for the children etc.

Whereas none of this is ultimately bad for us, do we really take time to consider the depth the week leading up to Easter holds?

May I encourage you to take a step back and journey through Holy Week together, with prepared hearts that draw us to the cross.

Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter, starting on Palm Sunday. The point of this week is to provide each believer reflection on the events leading up to Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the grave.

This is a week to celebrate, grieve, and rejoice in the different events that occurred as Jesus prepared for the biggest sacrifice anyone has ever made.

We can prepare our hearts for this week by learning about each day and what scripture has to say about each event that occurs.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday begins our pilgrimage through Holy Week. This day celebrates when Jesus triumphantly entered Jerusalem the week before his crucifixion. John 12 describes people laying palm branches down in front of Jesus as he entered.

“The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, 'Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the king of Israel!'” —John 12:12-13

To prepare our hearts for what scripture has to say, read the following:

• Matthew 21

• Mark 11

• Luke 19

• John 12

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday is a day when people reflect on the Passover Meal or Last Supper. This is the day when Jesus called his disciples together for one last meal in preparation of the events that would proceed in the days to come.

"While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.' Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.' When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." — Matthew 26:26-30

Maundy is derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning commandment. It refers to John 13:34 when Jesus says “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Here are scripture readings to prepare ourselves for this day:

• Matthew 26

• Mark 14

• Luke 22

• John 13

Good Friday

Good Friday is recognised as the day Jesus was crucified and died on the cross. Our Good Friday services will highlight and remember the blessed day when Jesus died for all our sins.

This day is a key day in the Christian faith. Meditating on this day and remembering the reality of Jesus dying on the cross to take away our sins is of utmost importance.

Here are a few Gospel references to prepare for and remember this day

• Matthew 27

• Mark 15

• Luke 23

• John 19

Holy Saturday

This day is the day between Jesus’ death and resurrection. Here are a couple of Gospel references to prepare your heart:

• Matthew 27: 62-66

• Luke 23:55-56

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is the day that we join together to celebrate the risen Christ. It is a day to celebrate and rejoice that our King has risen from grave and beat eternal death forever! To celebrate this day let’s read what God has for us in Scripture and rest in the fact that Jesus paid the ultimate price for each of us so we can dwell with God forever in his glory.

• Luke 24: 2-3

• John 11: 25-26

• Acts 4:33

• 1 Peter 1:3

• Mark 15: 46-47

• Luke 24: 6-7

• Acts 3:15

• 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

• Mark 16:5-7

• Matthew 27:65-66

• Luke 23: 46-47

• Romans 6:8-11

• Mark 15:32

• Romans 8:34

• Colossians 1:13-14

• Ephesians 1:20

• 2 Corinthians 5:17

• Philippians 2:8

Preparing our hearts and minds for Holy Week is important. Holy Week evokes a whole raft of emotions in us as we journey together from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem to his desperate plea in the garden of Gethsemene, to the sorrow of his crucifixion, the silence of Holy Saturday and the celebration of Easter Day.

It is a time that leave us feeling exposed and fragile as Christians as we are faced with the horror of the crucifixion, of our own frailties as Christians. There is something important for us in making the journey through the whole of Holy Week and we do this together in our worship, prayer and personal reflection.

It’s easy to jump straight from Palm Sunday to Easter Day and to miss out on the ‘messy bits’ of the denial, betrayal and crucifixion. There is no doubt that these events are uncomfortable as we are faced with human frailty.

The Good News is that by preparing ourselves to be open to what God wants to do in our lives during this coming week, He does with a huge love for us. He knows us, inside and out. He knows what’s on our hearts and what we struggle with. We journey together as The Waterside Churches to the foot of the cross, knowing that God loves us unconditionally, without boundaries.

However we travel through this week, God walks beside us in joy.

I hope that I will see you at our services throughout Holy Week and that we can share worship, prayer and our love for Jesus Christ our Servant King, together.

Have a blessed week

Revd Karen 


Karen's Latest blog

Over the last few weeks I have been reflecting on the ways that hope and despair have been seen butting up against each other. Joy in the midst of abject suffering; pain in the midst of real rejoicing.

In some strange way, hope and worry were also pictured in a meme I saw doing the rounds recently, featuring two doors: 'Exit Covid' and 'Enter War'. To see war in Europe after such a long period of peace and prosperity is shocking and heart breaking. And yet we have somehow become used to the experience of morning-to-evening footage of the same bad news, having just been through two years of it in the pandemic.

Last week we celebrated Mothering Sunday. The purest picture of the giving of life, and yet also one that captures real pain for the woman who is going through her labour. The bombing of a maternity hospital was surely the most devastating of the stories that came out of Ukraine in the last month; and the photos of some of those babies born safely, some of the most joyous and poignant.

During the last couple of weeks of some of the most dreadful escalation of the war, I must admit to tuning out of much of the news. I was feeling unwell with Covid and each news bulletin brought tears and the pictures from the news stories lingered in my mind.

And two weeks ago, a short interruption in the constant updates from Ukraine, with extraordinary news of an extraordinary mother being released from Iranian prison, reunited with her little girl after an ordeal of nearly six years. Even news reporters and diplomats were filmed weeping with joy.

In these turbulent times of war and injustice we can only remind ourselves during Lent that Jesus is with us on both sides of the cross and death – He is our resurrection hope. This doesn't deny the very real pain and suffering in the world – there is a reason why he is called both the Suffering Servant as well as the Prince of Peace, the lamb slain before the foundations of the world as well as the conquering Lion of Judah. But Christ is the Alpha and Omega, in whom everything is held together: death and life, human and divine, mourning and joy, time and eternity. We need to turn to him as our firm foundation, and remember the promise that despite the uncertainty of the world, there is nothing in all creation that can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Have a blessed week

Revd Karen 

LATEST BLOG FROM KAREN

I came across this piece of prose on Twitter this week. It was tweeted by The Bodmin Hermit. He lives in solitude in Cornwall along with his Greyhound Sophie. His tweets are often very beautiful in their simplicity.

This tweet was entitled,

'Where are you God?'

I am in the next seat.

My shoulder against yours.

You will not find me in the stupas,

nor shrine rooms,

nor synagogues,

nor cathedrals;

nor masses,

nor kirtans,

nor in eating nothing but vegetables.

When you really look for me,

I am the breath inside your body.

This reminded me of the time that a very experienced and incredibly wise Priest told me that God was always closer to me than my very own breath, closer to me than the pillow that I lay my head upon at night.

I think that it can be easy to forget that God is so close to us each and every day. In the busyness of our lives we just 'get on' with what we feel that we need to be doing each and every day. As Christians, God is the very air that we breathe. He is always there, even if we forget that He is at times.

Having had Covid-19 for the past week has made me slow down. The cough that feels as if it is registering on the Richter Scale brings one to an abrupt stop at times! Chris also had Covid at the same time and we sounded like a couple of barking seals. We would sit outside in the morning sunshine with a coffee and take it in turns, it seemed, to have a good cough in the fresh air. Not going out or being in the churches felt very odd. The quiet times that I spend in prayer in the churches was done at home.

It was good to think that God was with me, as the tweet says; at my shoulder, in the next chair. There was quiet time to be reminded that God is the air that I breathe. He is all round and ever present. When we feel unwell or are having a tough time it can be hard to find God in the messy parts of our life. I made a conscious decision to really look for God in all that was happening.

God was there in the small things of last week: having time to notice that the blossom was in bud on the trees in the garden, that there was a Robin teaching his offspring to use the bird feeders, that we could laugh at the absurdity of a joint coughing session, the glorious sunshine, the joy in reading a new book. There were also the lovely emails and phone calls from parishioners asking after our health. Thank you to all of you who got in touch, your messages were very much appreciated.

One sadness of last week was not being with Revd Jonathan and Hilary as they said Goodbye to the Waterside Churches. It has been good to have them both with us and we wish them every blessing upon their new ministry and in their new home. I know that they were given a wonderful send off and that they appreciated their gifts and cards.

I look forward to being back out and about later this week now that I have had two negative LFT. I do get 'itchy feet' if I don't get out and have a good walk. Now that the weather is warming up I'm also looking forward to getting back into the water and having a swim in the sea.

Have a blessed week, stay safe and well.

Revd Karen 

BLOG

Covid-19 cases are on the rise again in our area and some of our parishioners have contracted the virus over the last week. We have been in contact with them to ensure that they have all that they need and to 'check in' on them. They are all in my prayers and I wish them a very speedy recovery.

May I respectfully request that, if you do feel unwell and are showing symptoms of the virus please do not come to church or any of the events that are currently going on in our churches. Please do a LFT test and let myself or one of our Church Wardens know: we are here to support and help you as well as to pray for you. It is imperative that we keep each other safe and well as cases rise.

Chris has tested positive for the virus this week and has been feeling quite unwell. I appreciate that we are told that the Omicron variant of the virus is not as debilitating as the Delta variant. However, for those with underlying health conditions and our older parishioners it can still 'knock them for six'.

If you feel uncomfortable about mixing socially or coming to church because of the virus do let me know. I can keep in touch by phone or pay a visit (once Chris tests negative). I think that, at the moment, it is best if I keep my distance a little until Chris is well again. I do feel a weight of responsibility to ensure that you are all kept safe and well whilst still doing what I can to support you.

March 27th is Mothering Sunday and we will be marking this in our churches during our services of worship. Mothering Sunday can be difficult for some. For those whose Mums have died or who have had difficult relationships with their Mums it can be a 'crunchy' kind of day. If you find this day difficult do give me a call, I am very happy to pray for you and to have a chat. I too, find Mothering Sunday a bit 'crunchy'. My own Mum died four years ago and I have never had children of my own. It is a blessing to be able to conduct services of worship on Mothering Sunday and I love to see families gathered and Mother figures celebrated. However, I always ensure that I have some time during the day to reflect and to pray; for my own Mum and to just 'sit' with my own feelings in God's presence.

In order to sit and reflect and to pray I need time. As we all know, time can be difficult to find in our busy lives. We are all bombarded with news and we are still dealing with the pandemic and our own lives can be chock full of 'stuff'. It is important to take some time out, to spend some time allowing ourselves just to 'be'. Self care is vital and Lent calls us to be mindful of taking time to pray, to reflect, to read and to just 'be' in God's presence as we move towards Easter.

Our churches play an important part in this self care. They are places of tranquility, of peace and of comfort. St Feock, St John and St Petroc churches are open daily for private prayer and St Piran's is open each Wednesday morning. You are always very welcome to come in and just 'be'. Sometimes there are no words that need to be found, no prayers said, just silence. God is in that silence and hears you. He knows you better than you know yourself and knows what is on your heart and in your mind.

Please do stay well and safe. Take good care of yourselves and I am only at the end of the phone if you would like to talk. I am equally happy just to sit in silent companionship if that is what you need. My husband would say that I find silence difficult as I love to chat but I can do silence when needed!

Every blessing,

Revd Karen 

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BLOG 2

'The second week of my ministry in The Waterside Churches didn't end quite as I expected! I was 'pinged' by the NHS on Wednesday evening, which was unexpected. Chris wasn't 'pinged' and neither of us have any symptoms. We are testing very regularly and we are both 'negative', which is good. We are both extremely careful and still continue to wear masks, sanitise and don't go anywhere that is crowded. It has been a reminder that Covid-19 is still very much around and we all need to be very mindful about what we do.

I would like to thank all of the Church Wardens, Revd Jonathan and our team of volunteers who have been incredibly supportive and who stepped in at the last minute to lead and help at planned services.

Being in self isolation is not something that comes easily to me, I confess. I like to be out and about on foot and I had only just got into my stride with my rota of visiting churches and parishioners. I am an 'outdoors' person and find it difficult not to be able to just 'pop out' for a good walk. My trainers are looking a bit bereft in my wardrobe! Being at home has given me the opportunity to do some extra reading however.

By nature, I am an introvert and do enjoy times where I can sit quietly to pray and to read. Sitting in silence is something that I have grown to appreciate more since training as a Priest. I have always enjoyed reading and writing a journal as well as spending time in prayer and reflection. Working as a Priest allows time to plan into my working week times of prayer and for reading and study. Prior to Ordination my work in education meant an incredibly full diary and very often no breaks during the day, with lunch eaten on the hoof or at my desk. Finding a good life/work balance was difficult and one had to be incredibly resilient. I saw many a good teacher 'burn out' and give up teaching because of this. Over the years I learned many skills that enabled me to sustain this type of working life and continue to use those skills as a Priest.

Mondays are my rest day and I will return any calls or messages on a Tuesday, unless there is a dire emergency.

Chris and I are very sociable people and enjoy the company of others and I spend a lot of time as a Vicar with others, which is a joy and a blessing. I also recognise when I need to stop and have some quiet time too. Like many things in life, it is about finding a good balance.

Chris has been sent on an errand to collect some new 'work' shoes for me this morning as I am in isolation. The shoes that I chose come from a company called 'Heavenly Feet' which seemed quite appropriate. The style of shoes also have a name, 'Angel' which is something that made me chuckle and made Chris raise a wry eyebrow! I chose 'Heavenly Feet' because they are a company who provide vegan friendly footwear and have recyclable packaging with no plastic.

Since moving into our new house I have put up lots of bird feeders in the garden. I am sitting in my office with the doors open, looking at the increasing number of birds who have found the feeders. We have a family of blue tits, a newly fledged family of long tailed tits and a father blackbird who feeds his one fledgling at them. A newly fledged Robin also visits and he is gradually gaining his scarlet waistcoat. Squirrels race up and down the trees and try to help themselves from the peanut feeder. After reading the reports of how climate change is having such an impact upon our world it has led me to reflect upon how we can do more to protect God's beautiful creation in The Waterside Churches.

I look forward to getting out and about again and to meeting more of you once my period of isolation is over. Please do let me know if you would appreciate a pastoral visit or call.

Every blessing

Revd Karen 

IN THE PARISHES


KAREN WILL BE IN THE PARISHES AS FOLLOWS:


Tuesdays: Devoran. 9.00 for morning prayer - noon. Based in the church office. Includes BCP and coffee stop.

Wednesdays: St. Feock. 9.00 for morning prayer - noon. Based in the Vicar's Vestry.  

Thursdays:  Perranarworthal 9.00 - noon. Based in the Vicar's Vestry. Includes Coffee Stop in The Perranwell Centre