Dear Church member,
"When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof" (Deuteronomy 22:8)
You would be forgiven for thinking that the recent heat has gone to the Rector's head. Why is he talking about parapets? Who is building a house? What does this archaic Old Testament law have to do with me?
I thought of this law as I was reflecting on the recent moves to enforce the wearing of face coverings in enclosed places where we are likely to meet people we do not often see, and this includes in church. The main point of face coverings during this pandemic is to protect others from an infection we may (unknowingly) be carrying. Whilst inconvenient and uncomfortable for us, it is a practical expression of the command to love our neighbour. It is out of concern for others that we comply. And it is why the multi-purpose flat roofs in the ancient near east needed parapets.
We continue with our online services, but it has been good to be able to start some small services on Sundays at 6pm alternating between our churches, this week in Harwell. It is helpful to indicate here if you are intending to come. And please cover your face if you are able to.
The practically-skilled among us will probably make their own face coverings. Others of us will be buying, quite possibly online. If you use Amazon, do please consider supporting St Matthew's at no extra cost to you by using Amazon Smile! Just search for 'Harwell Church' (Chilton Church is unfortunately not eligible).
It is now our intention that our church buildings are open every day, usually from 12 noon to 7pm. Special thanks to those who are looking after our buildings and keeping them clean.
Holiday Club is well underway, with week one of three done. Please pray for the teams, the children and their families, for them to understand and experience God's love, and for lasting fruit in their lives.
In other news, the Oxford Diocesan Pathways magazine is now available online here. It is worth taking a look.
Parapets do not guarantee to prevent people falling off a roof, but they make it less likely. Let's stay safe and - following the example of our Lord who is the true 'Good Samaritan' - love our neighbours with the love of Christ.
Yours, in Him,
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton