St Thomas Newsletter – May 2021

Message from Janet

Dear friends,

Last summer I wrote an article for Milnrow Parish Church’s magazine about getting slowly back to normal as lockdown started to ease. I had no idea then that we would be still slowly edging back to fully open and lockdown eased a year on – and nobody is willing to try and guess when we can call our lives ‘normal’ again!

It has been a most peculiar year and I think we have all learned lots of useful things and become more adaptable.

But now here we are, back at the start of summer. I think our spirits lift as the sun comes out don’t they? I am certain that one of the reasons the last lockdown was the hardest for many of us is that it was cold and dark which made us feel even more trapped. We have had a few weeks of lovely sunshine and everybody seems to be in a better mood (except the press but they seem to think it’s their job to be gloomy and negative).

Light can lift us. Think about all the ways we use light and darkness to describe our feelings. We talk about black depression, dark thoughts, and feeling gloomy. We also describe people as bright and cheerful, light-hearted and even in a sunny mood.

That is why it is important for us to remember that Jesus called himself the Light of the World. He didn’t promise us that our lives would be easy if we follow him, but he did promise to be our light in dark places. If we follow him he gives us enough light to see our way, even in the darkest night, the light of hope. In the hymn ‘lead, kindly light’ the writer asks for enough light to see just one step ahead, I think that is about right for the moment. Let’s concentrate on letting Jesus guide us to the next step and then the next until gradually we find ourselves where we need to be.

I hope to see you all soon, the church is open at the usual times and we are doing our best to be as safe as possible. Until then, take care and God bless you.


Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM)

Sunday 2nd May, 12 noon (after service)

Don’t forget this Sunday we will be holding the Meeting of Parishioners (to elect Churchwarden), followed by the APCM.

If you would like to be part of Church management and are able to offer some time to help with any of the available roles (firstly THANK YOU!), secondly, please contact Janet as soon as possible (see ‘Pastoral Care’ for contact details) to fill in the relevant form before the meeting.

Anyone who has an interest in the management of our Church and who is on the electoral roll is eligible to attend the APCM, either in person (subject to seating limitations) or via Zoom. If you are on the electoral roll and would like to join the meeting via Zoom, please contact Janet as soon as possible and request the meeting link.

Due to Coronavirus restrictions and infection control measures, we ask members to wear masks (unless exempt), remain distanced and not mingle. Also, if attending Worship before the meeting, please remain in the same seat (to prevent potential infection transmission).

APCM reports have been emailed and will hopefully be delivered by hand in advance to electoral roll members. Email recipients, please click ‘Read-only’ to open the Accounts spreadsheets.

Please review the APCM report and if possible, bring your own copy to the meeting electronically or printed, particularly if you have any questions.

St Thomas Service Timings

Sunday Holy Communion 11.00am

Thursday Holy Communion 10.00am


Flowers at St Thomas

If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of the flowers in church (either non-specific or in celebration or memorium on a special date, please contact Judith

(M: 07795 818047 / T: 01706 845046) or email

COVID-19 Guidance

Always follow the guidance for the safe use of places of worship:

Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.

Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space.’

hands –Sanitize hands thoroughly on entry and before exit.

face – wear a face covering in church (unless exempt)

space – stay 2 metres apart wherever possible and DO NOT mingle with anyone you do not live with or have not formed a support bubble with.

In all circumstances, you should follow the guidance on meeting others safely.

DO NOT attend if you are self-isolating, feel unwell or have any of the recognised symptoms of Covid-19.

Track & Trace: registration is required on the service sign in sheet, however you can also scan our NHS QR code on arrival using the NHS COVID-19 app.

Download the NHS COVID-19 APP here

A prayer for those who mourn

Gracious God, as we remember before you the thousands who have died, surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion. Be gentle with us in our grief, protect us from despair, and give us grace to persevere and face the future with hope in Jesus Christ our risen Lord. Amen

Mission Action Planning

Don’t forget our Mission Action Planning Group is meeting on Thursday 13th May at 7:30pm via Zoom.

If you want to be part of framing how we are able to respond to local needs, and be the welcoming, inclusive and spirit-filled community that shares God's love with all.

Please contact Tom Parsons via our church email if you would like to join this meeting:

Graveyard Improvement Group

Following on from Janet’s previous message regarding the condition of the graveyard, we would like to form an action group of 3-4 persons with an interest in improving the look and condition of the graveyard.

Volunteers don’t necessarily have to be hands on or ‘gardeners’ as additional resources for special projects will be requested, but help coordinate improvement work in the public areas, encouraging environmental responsibility and an adherence to the Regulations for church graveyards.

If you would like to help, please contact Janet (see contact details under pastoral care) or Judith (M: 07795 818047 / Email:

A prayer for those working from home

Father of creation, the structure and the shape of our days are so different. There are so many distractions at home and there is a huge temptation to spend more time working than we did before lockdown. Help us to use our time wisely, to invest in the relationships most important to us and to take proper breaks. May we rediscover a new shape to our days that is centred and guided by your Spirit. In Jesus’ name Amen


We received the sad news this week that Brenda Thorley has passed away. Many of our long-standing congregation members will remember Brenda and her husband Peter who was the headteacher at St Thomas' school in the late 70s and early 80s. They moved to Buckinghamshire but always tried to come up for the Christmas fair/tree festival.

Pastoral Care

Please contact Janet:

Tel: 01706 594284


Get Involved

If you have an article or story you would like to share with your friends at St Thomas please get in touch. Please email your article, story, photos to

by Tuesday 25th May 2021


Stay safe and God bless.


 We invite you to pray for our nation

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written an open letter to the nation as we reach the dreadful milestone of losing 100,000 people to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Archbishops invite everyone to pause as we reflect on the enormity of this pandemic. They said, "100,000 isn’t just an abstract figure. Each number is a person: someone we loved and someone who loved us. We also believe that each of these people was known to God and cherished by God.

"We therefore encourage everyone who is feeling scared, or lost or isolated to cast their fears on God."

Starting on 1 February we invite you to set aside time every evening to pray, particularly at 6pm each day. More than ever, this is a time when we need to love each other. Prayer is an expression of love.

How can you get involved? Click the link below for the Church of England’s free resources and pray for our nation every day at 6pm