Vicar's update 16th MarchSteve Newbold1

I hope you have had a good weekend and managed to join us for worship – whether at the children and youth groups or the 11am Livestream.
At our 11am service we continued to look at the book of Hebrews. Mark Tate encouraged us to keep our eyes on Jesus by using the ‘tools’ of prayer, reading the Bible, Christian worship and fellowship.  You can catch up here.  We also heard from Grace Edwards about her experience of home schooling and returning to school.
I am really sorry to let you know that Beth Skelton our Youth Pastor will be leaving us at Easter so that she can live closer to her family in Yorkshire.   We're so grateful for all that Beth has done to keep in contact with our young people and to encourage them in their Christian journey during these past challenging months.  Beth will be with us this Sunday so that we can say farewell to her during our 11am Livestream.  Over the coming weeks we will be thinking how to manage this important area of church life but in the meantime want to send our love, thanks and best wishes to Beth. 
This Lent we are supporting the Diocesan Lent Appeal 2021 Challenging Youth Violence. and donating Easter Eggs to the Marylebone Project for homeless women as we have done in past years.   See our website for more details about these appeals and click on the relevant link to donate.  
During Holy Week our special services will be as follows:

Palm Sunday 28th March       
9am                 in person Communion (booking required)                                                
9.30/10am        JAM on Zoom
11am               Livestream Service on You Tube
Tuesday 30th                           
8pm                 ‘First Tuesday Prayers’ on Zoom (brought forward a week)
Wednesday 31st                     
No 11am Service this week
8pm     Stations of the Cross on Zoom
Thursday 1st                           
8pm     Communion for Maundy Thursday on Zoom
Good Friday 2nd April             
10am to 12noon Church Open for Private Prayer (no booking required)
2pm     Livestreamed Reflective Service on You Tube                                                                  
Easter Sunday 4th April          
9am     in person Communion (booking required)
9.30/10am      JAM on Zoom
11am   Livestream Service on YouTube
Also during Holy Week and the following two weeks there will be an Easter story trail around the streets near the church.  This is designed for Primary School age children to help them to discover more of the story of the first Easter, along with their parents and carers.  There will be 10 stops with a poster featuring a fact, a question to discuss or a challenge to do and a QR code that links to part of the Bible story.  (Non-Smart Phone users will find the story on our website).  More details soon. 
This coming week we have as well as our weekly Sunday 11am Livestream service we have:

  •          Morning Prayer on Thursday at 9am
  •          Holy Communion on Wednesday at 11am
  •          Stations of the Cross on Wednesday at 8pm
  •          JAM – Children’s Groups on Sunday at 9.30am and 10am
  •          Zoom at Noon – informal catch up from 11.45am.

All of these are on Zoom and if you want the passcodes, do contact me.
Finally, it has today been announced that our Area Bishop Pete Broadbent, will be retiring from 30th September 2021.  Pete has been our Bishop for over 20 years and has been a great support and friend to us at St Stephen’s and will be greatly missed.
With my love and prayers