Latest news from St Mary's 


The latest news from St Mary's is below, use this link if you would like a RSS feed of our news.
 

Covid measures including face coverings 

The staff team and wardens keep our Covid measures under review and have looked again at our approach to face masks. The government advice continues to be that people wear face coverings in crowded public spaces, including church services. We continue to advise everyone to wear a mask during our services; a range of exemptions apply and we do not insist on it. Our stewards have disposable masks at the door if you leave home without one. We continue to ventilate our large worship space well (so you may want to wrap up as the weather turns colder), we operate with a reduced seating capacity and we ask that you sanitise your hands on arrival.
 
Churches have a range of approaches to the current situation. We feel it is important that everyone who wants to attend church in person, or any of our activities, feels safe to do so, and we want to relax the restrictions at the speed of the slowest. Some of you find this frustrating; please bear with us and consider others. All NHS premises continue to enforce mask wearing strictly, as do some local entertainment venues. Covid rates are currently rising in Woking.
 
For smaller meetings in the church building, we are leaving it up to the organiser of the meeting to agree with those attending whether they will wear masks or not.
 
If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to any of our clergy or staff team, or Colin Hickman and Sarah Macdonald our church wardens. 

Birthday chocolate 

We will resume giving out birthday chocolates to the congregation in the building from this Sunday! 

Message from the Rowland’s 

Thank you to everyone who has wished us well as we have left Woking / Brookwood / Sheets Heath. St Mary's has been a big part of our, and our children’s, lives and it is a big step to move away. We are thankful for our time at SMOB and the friendships we have made. We are now living on the outskirts of Oxford and will welcome visitors if you are in the area or passing through. Our email addresses and mobile numbers remain the same; we don’t have a landline yet – but that is another story. John & Becca 

Foodbank collection this Sunday

The next Foodbank collection will be the 17 October. Please take your donation to the church car park between 12-2pm.
The following items are needed:
Shaving cream, Men’s razors, Men’s and women’s deodorants, Marmite, Coffee, Sponge puddings, Chocolate bars, Tinned rice pudding and Instant mashed potato
Thank you for your continued support.

Tidying up the Church 

Now the church is used much more for various group activities, both in the week and on a Sunday, we would like to smarten our look a bit more. To this end we will be doing some "tidying up" of items which are currently lying around in the church building. We will begin this process in half term week, from 23rd October, and any items which might belong to someone that are not labelled or claimed will be available on a 'lost property' table on Sundays over the following few weeks. Please let me know if you think there are items in church which may belong to you so they are not lost in this process. Thanks. Sarah email:  sarah.macdonald@stmaryofbethany.org.uk 

Deanery Synod Monday 18th October 

This Synod meeting is an open meeting to all who would like to hear Alison Moulden the Diocesan Environmental Officer, speak on ‘Climate Grief and Climate Action’. It is an in-person meeting which we hope most can come to, especially synod members for the business meeting, but will be also be available on Zoom for those who just want to hear the presentation. The link will be https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82700107321?pwd=VlRBNEczTFZCRTg3S2srQ1JrMnRqZz09, Meeting ID: 827 0010 7321, Passcode: 205656. 

Recycling of masks 

Now that wearing face masks is an everyday part of life, we would like to encourage all our members to consider recycling their old disposable face masks - this can be done locally at Morrisons and Wilko.

Message from the Van Den Broek family

Allister, Jen, JoJo, Beth, and Isabelle van den Broek would like to say goodbye and thank you to you all. We are so grateful and blessed to have been part of this community, and thank God for your kindness and generosity to us over all these years. We hope to see you around Woking! 

Our annual Memorial Service is on Sunday 7th November at 3pm

At this service we remember people who have died, whether recently or in the past, and you can light a candle to remember them. If you would like to have your loved one’s name read out in the service, please contact the Office.

Invite deliveries 

As we start thinking about our Christmas card/invite deliveries we would like to ask for some feedback from those who have delivered cards in our Parish previously. Please respond to our questions via the office.

  • Are there any particular connections members of SMoB have within our parish?
  • Are there any new developments/businesses/organisations etc.?
  • Are there any areas of our parish that we’re really not very connected with / blocks of flats etc.?
  • Any other feedback/ideas.

We think it would be ideal if everyone in our congregation could deliver to their road/surrounding area, if able. If you would like to reserve your area for each time we deliver our Christmas/Invites out, please do let us know that too!

Concert at St Mary of Bethany

World renown instrumentalists from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Academy of Ancient Music are performing an inspiring and intriguing programme of electro-Baroque fusion here on Sat 23 Oct at 7pm for FREE! Book at violin@joannalawrence.co.uk

Ministry opportunities

Thank you to those who have come forward to help with a few of our ministries. Families, Children and Youth Ministries are recruiting volunteers for a diverse range of activities and groups at St Mary of Bethany.
 
Young Families

  • Tina is hoping to reopen Bethany Babes, with appropriate consideration given for Covid19 measures, at the end of September.  She is grateful for those members of the existing team who are able to continue supporting this ministry but in order to be able to offer the parents and carers the support and relationships that they really value, she needs to recruit some new team members.  Currently the need is for at least 1 person for Tuesdays and 2 for Wednesdays.  Team will need to be available from 9.45am until 12.00pm during term time.  The roles will involve safer recruitment.  If you would like to support this ministry but are unable to commit to a full morning, it would be helpful to have team members who are able to come and welcome and register our parents and children this would involve being there from 9.45am until 10.30am.   If you would to discuss these roles please contact Tina.   Tina.thomas@Stmaryofbethany.org.uk
     

Children

  • FNC is looking for some more leaders or helpers each week. Fridays 6.45pm – 8.45pm. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with enthusiastic 7-11 year olds and be part of a fun team.
  • For Fun Club, Kate would like another helper each week. This would enable me to increase numbers from 12 children each week. So I am looking for another 3 helpers.

If you are interested, please contact Kate: kate.clarke@stmaryofbethany.org.uk
 
Youth
Dave is looking to recruit new leaders for:

  • Pathfinders – 2 helpers monthly  on Sundays - currently 10.20am – 11.45am.
  • Sunday evenings – 3 leaders from 4.45pm – 6.30pm twice per month.
  • FX Friday evenings – 2 leaders who can commit to 2 Friday evenings per month in term times from 8.15pm – 10.15pm.

Safe recruitment will be required.
For info go to smob.uk/youth
If you are interested, please contact Dave: Dave.doran@stmaryofbethany.org.uk

Buildings management 
Each activity comes with set up and set down. Some have a small amount of work, however, sessions such as Bethany Babes and FNC/FX have a far more significant furniture/resources set up and pack down. So, whilst each team needs volunteers there is still more need for assistance in these areas too. If you can offer to help Monday, Wednesday or Friday, please let us know as we would value your help.

AV & projection training with Sarah

Sarah Tapp is calling anyone who is interested to join her in a training session, led by the tech team, to serve in AV and projection. Anyone can join us for training although currently there are no women at all serving in AV and only one serving in projection!  
We did put this notice out pre-Covid and several people did sign up.  Please let the office or Sarah know if you are interested (or still interested) and we will arrange a date for training.

An update on returning to two services 

The church survey earlier this year made clear that the majority (but not all) of the St Mary of Bethany church family would like to return to the pattern of two services on a Sunday, with an additional 8am Holy Communion once a month. We would like to be able to return to this pattern in the autumn; however, at present, we do not have enough volunteers on the teams needed to make this possible.

Please could you prayerfully consider whether you could serve on a team as part of a rota on a Sunday morning. You may have a sense of what you feel you can offer, e.g. projection or welcoming or music or youth, in which case please do get in touch with the Church Office so they can put you in touch with the right person, or you may feel you can do something but are not quite sure about which team, please do talk to Bekah or Sarah or Dave. We'd love to help you discover your gifts and perhaps even try something new in this new season in our church's life.

Sunday services

Along side our 10.30am physical Church services, our services will continue to be be streamed online via Youtube, which is easier to manage for our tech team and more accessible for people who don't like to use Facebook. Some people have struggled to find the services; if this is the case then it will help you to subscribe to the St Mary of Bethany feed - this will make our content appear more prominently. For one-to-one tech help, email us here.

Prayer

We are still praying together at 9am on Wednesdays via Zoom. You can join us by following this link.
The October Prayer diary is out now! Download your copy from here. You can download a copy of the Diocesan Calendar of Prayer here.
SMOB has started a prayer list. We will pray for everyone on the list each Sunday in our intercessions, and during the week in Morning Prayer. You can add someone by first name, full name or just an initial; you don't need to give us any details. We will pray for people for three weeks and then ask whether they need to continue. To add someone to the list, please contact the Church Office.