Outdoor Church @ St K’s

At St Katharine’s we have been making much more use of our churchyard area to have our all age services, Eco church and Covid safe children’s groups.

Our first outdoor St K’s Together was a day that poured with rain but in this case, rain didn’t stop play! Adults and children all gathered around the campfire…. physically distanced but socially connected….as we celebrated being back together again.

With marshmallows toasting and the fire pit burning, we truly felt connected across the age groups.

Inside the church, similar groups worked on craft projects (physically apart but socially linked!) Using clay and chatting about a wide range of topics, there were times of prayer, laughter and a sense of being the church family together.

Our monthly Eco Church session involved using a Kelly Kettle to provide hot drinks. What a revelation! If you’ve never seen one it’s a real mystery until you know how it works! You’ll have to come along and find out! During this session we had great fun moving leaf mulch from the churchyard to the Coach House to plant daffodils in pots. Meanwhile, another group worked hard to rake the grass in the wildflower areas of the churchyard. Yellow rattle seeds were planted ready for wildflower planting in the Spring.

We are seeking to hear the Holy Spirit in these times and bring scriptural truths naturally into our conversations.  The planting of daffodil bulbs led easily to chatting about how prayers can seem to be unanswered but often God is working in unseen ways.

Looking at the amazing fungus on the decaying tree stumps covered how God has the most efficient recycling system, and His desire for us to care for Creation.

Perhaps most importantly of all, this new way of being church – having fun and even getting soaked – spoke to us all of connection and relationship. Connection with our heavenly Father who loves and delights in us. Relationship with each other, working together, being together, sharing together.  This new way of doing church has revealed again something important….WE… the people…are the church.

 


Eco-church news

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I have heard the last months described as the Corona-Coaster: a good description I feel for all of us as we have experienced the ups and downs, twists and turns of our daily lives. For me the one constant was the nurturing I felt within God’s Creation as the seasons unfolded and the grey turned to green, burgeoning with life. We met so many other folk out and about immersing themselves in our wonderful surrounding countryside and there was much talk about this sometimes new-found appreciation continuing and being a positive move in caring for God’s earth. Then the cork burst from the bottle and hoards of people not used to visiting our countryside and beaches came and left their litter with no thoughts of leaving the place as they found it. Now there is a new scourge of discarded blue plastic PPE.

Where does this leave us and what is our role in this connection as Christians in this community?

Over the last couple of years we have managed to gain a bronze Eco Church award. One area of focus is Lifestyle; how has ours been? While we are spending less time in church perhaps this is where our focus should be.

 

In our still accessible grounds at St. Katharine’s we are making strides towards creating a more diverse area for wildlife in the lower churchyard. Chris Flannery and I have been popping down between the heat and rain to dig out the current rough vegetation which Anthony has now mown off. We have promises of a little help but could do with some more so we can be ready to sow wild flowers seeds in the autumn. Thank you to Alan and Joan Cottle for a little garden bench which will soon be ready. We want to create space for anyone to find peace for prayer and contemplation and where they can feel at one with nature.

 

September is the church’s season of Creationtide. As nature around us changes again from summer to autumn, plants produce seed, swallows fly back to warmer climes and animals prepare for winter why not use the time to contemplate God’s role for you in caring for his creation.

 

If you would like to join our gardening team, share your efforts or take a role in furthering this cause please get in contact via Lucy in the office. We look forward eagerly to hearing from you.

Jane Scheuber


Coach House Garden update

As autumn approaches we see signs of the changing season, colour coming in the acer leaves and cooler mornings with quite heavy dew on some occasions.  Some of you will have in your own gardens, the stately spires of Acanthus Spinosus or to give it its common name bear’s breeches. It has been noted that bumble bees get trapped once they have entered the flowers and cannot retreat leading to their demise, with this in mind we cut down the flowering spikes a while ago and this autumn plan to eradicate the plants from where they have been spreading at an alarming rate. The phrase ‘garden thug’ comes to mind. We must protect our bees at all costs.

 

Meanwhile general tidying carries on along with bird feeding. There were some beautiful orange berries on the honeysuckle near the front door recently and I had planned to take a photo on our next visit, however they had all been gobbled up by the blackbirds!

There is a walnut tree surplus to requirements kindly planted in the wrong place by a squirrel, would anyone like to have it later in the season? We continue to enjoy the privilege of this peaceful outdoor space for which we give thanks. Happy gardening…best regards from Lynnette and Arthur