An Easter Tree of Hope
Throughout the week leading up to Easter Sunday members of the church’s Eleven 30 team organised a Tree of Hope in the churchyard. As advertised in Syston Town News last month, members of the public were encouraged to come along, take a card from the table of equipment and then write what their hopes were for the future as we came to the end of a very difficult winter. Adults and children alike contributed, and here are some of the messages that were hung on our Tree of Hope…..
I HOPE……that everything goes back to normal soon
I HOPE that..our town..our county..our country… our continent…our world…may be filled with peace, joy and love
I HOPE…that I can hug my family and friends soon
I HOPE…for a new vision and new life in all places
I HOPE…to be able to see distant friends and relatives
I HOPE…for Syston to be happy, healthy and
I HOPE and pray….for my son and for all who lost loved ones
One child wrote….I hope the virus is almost done so that I can see my friends again… (a thought that must be in thousands of children’s minds across the country)
And little Joshua from his buggy drew lovely shapes on his card….
How we celebrated Easter this year.
Most readers will know that the festival of Easter and the week leading up to Easter Sunday (which is known as Holy Week) are very important to all Christians. Working within the restrictions imposed by the pandemic has been challenging for both the clergy and parishioners, and much use has been made of modern technology this year by our Vicar and Curate to bring services into parishioners’ homes.
The Sunday before Easter is known as Palm Sunday, and the palm crosses which are normally given out in church were blessed by the clergy and then were left in the open church porch for parishioners to collect at any time during the day. A Palm Sunday Service was held on Zoom in the morning.
During the following week there was an evening service of Compline on Zoom on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Compline is a wonderful calming service of readings and prayers, which is accessed by many parishioners as well as people further afield.
On Wednesday morning the church was open for private prayer as it is every Wednesday from 9.30 to 10.30 am. All local people are welcome to come and spend some quiet time in Syston’s wonderful ancient church during this weekly hour.
On Maunday Thursday there was an evening service of words, readings and prayers on line.
On Good Friday the church was open for private prayer for an hour in the morning and at 2.00pm a service of readings and prayers for the Last Hour at the foot of the Cross was broadcast on Zoom.
Saturday was left as a day of quiet reflection before the wonderful joyful service of Easter Sunday was relayed to the congregation with a ‘livestream’ of the Easter Eucharist on Facebook.
Although not all parishioners can access on-line services those that can have appreciated the effort put into bringing Easter to them from their local parish church, and for the feeling of being part of a community despite not being able to meet together in these strange times.
Trouble in the bell tower and why we were not able to fly the flag at half-mast on the death of Prince Philip.
During the past few months the bell tower has been out of bounds to the bell ringing team, but due to some concerns one of the team recently had to enter the church and climb up to the ringing chamber. When he arrived there he found that some breeze blocks had fallen (been blown in) from the west window. We believe that they had been put there in the sixties or seventies, although we are not sure when, why and by whom. And certainly breeze blocks are not on the list of acceptable materials for use in this ancient building! This means that the churchwardens will have to get Taylors of Loughborough, (the bell foundry), to come and check that the bells haven’t been damaged and that all are safe to ring after over a year of not being rung. There is also a problem with the clock and the flag pole needs mending.
These will be costly jobs but are just part of the maintenance of this ancient building, as will be the mending of the flag pole and the fitting of a new rope so that the flag can be flown. That is why we were unable to fly the flag at half mast on the recent announcement of the death of Prince Philip. The money for the work will have to be found somehow.
It is hoped that on 9th May the churches in Barkby and Syston will be open for in person services. The rules for keeping safe will remain in place with the emphasis on wearing masks, hand sanitizing and maintaining social distance. This has been well rehearsed and works very well in observing Covid protocols. Times of services are probable but keep an eye on the church website! Barkby 6pm and Syston 10am.