We are writing to invite you to become part of something new in our churches. We have been praying and discussing the best way to see church survive the winter under lockdown. In fact we hope we will not just survive but thrive and grow - it could be an exciting winter!
Lockdown has, so far, been almost endurable with the help of a glorious summer, but we all know that winter is approaching, which will put a new slant on what life will be like. Who knows what further or different restrictions may follow during this season? We may even see face-to-face services being stopped once more.
Our question of God was, how can we structure ourselves to best combat the uncertainties and restrictions, yet still meet together in the Lord's name? "Where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them." Is Christ's promise to us - what a wonderfully enduring promise! From there we went to Acts 2 - the story of the birth of the church - where they met with glad and sincere hearts, in each other's homes, sharing, praying and devoting themselves to God. We feel he has inspired us to look in the direction of small groups.
A name that came to mind for these small groups is POD. The imagery is helpful too. Pods hold seeds that speak of new life and growth - as well as connection into something larger. Thinking mechanically, a pod can also be a place of safety and protection. But we also think of a pod of whales, suggesting extended family journeying together through rough seas. Of course, a three-letter word lends itself to an acronym too... People of Devotion? People on Discipleship? Can you think of something better?
The Basic Idea
Groups would be made up of four people. You would commit to meet togther once a week for 30-45 minutes. You could meet together in any way the group agrees on. It could be in a garden, a home, a café, via Zoom (or any other) or by phone, in fact there are many ways for a group of this size to meet together at the moment. Your group would be all the same gender but may not all be the same age or from the same place.
You will meet for a purpose
Whatever you decide to do together and however you do it, you should be asking each other these questions:
1. How are you doing - have you got all you need?
2. What are you praying for this week?
3. How have you seen God at work this week? What are you thankful for?
4. Have you read anything in the Bible that has spoken to you?
Nobody likes being put on the spot, so a legitimate answer to these questions could be "pass!" But what a great chance to be thinking, during the week, of how you could answer these questions. Each group will have someone who will facilitate your meeting together and perhaps kick-off the questions. Nobody's in charge and nobody has the final say, but everyone gets to contribute.
Rule of Six
That's the current limit for groups meeting together, we know about that. So think and pray together about who you could invite to your group to grow it to that limit of six. That's not a requirement - some groups may stay at just four - but feel free to ‘add to your number' if you want.
Are you in?
If you are interested in joining us in POD church you will need to say. Let us know by emailing us and sending these details: your name, contact number and preferred way in which you'd like to meet. (in person, online, phone) We look forward to welcoming you into an exciting venture together as we continue to meet in God's name throughout the winter.
Email us here:
or click here to tell us your details: Form
This is where you will be able to find our plans for re-opening our church buildings as the country juggles with lockdown. This is a tricky process to negotiate, but we have people's health and safety as top priority. Please follow our protocols to keep yourself and others safe.
As of 5th November...
The country is back into full lockdown. At the time of release, church services have been stopped. Personal prayer is continuing, as it was previously during lockdown.
There is a lot of talk - in national church circles - about an exemption for churches this time round. There is currently no such thing and churches cannot open for services. This might change and it will probably be down to the local church to decide what it will do.
Meanwhile do keep an eye out for our benefice-wide Chiristmas plans and continue with your POD, if you are part of one, and we shall let you know when things change.
You might be thinking about taking the chance to read the Bible more or regularly. Here are some links to places that provide daily readings that you can use.
Call to prayer
The Church of England is calling everyone to pray at 6pm each night through November. See link:
Unite714: Join with the world in Prayer
This is an exciting opportunity to join our voices with our fellow Christians across the world and to do exactly what God asks us to do if we are to claim His promises to us.
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
Don't forget to join us in prayer together each Thursday. Eight o'clock prayer - if you can't make it at 8am then go for 8pm. Of course you could always pray twice!
We also have an online Prayer Watch that happens every Tuesday at Noon via Zoom. You are very welcome to join us - to do so contact us at CottesmoreBenefice.Office@gmail.com to receive the link.
Click to open our most recent PrayerCal 2020c. (pdf file, ready to print onto A4)
Our Sunday Service for 29th November.
Also - did you know you can listen to our weekly service on the phone? Tel: (01572) 497000
An excerpt from the Communion Service if you'd like to celebrate the Lord's Supper.
Links to Charities mentioned in our services
The Lodge Trust and Tel: 767234
Tearfund Big Quiz night
was on Saturday 14th November.
Thank you so much, everyone who supported this year's Big Quiz to raise money for Tearfund. £830 (so far) was raised to help lift people around the world out of poverty.
Call for a greener climate recovery
Join Tearfund in signing The Climate Coalition's declaration, calling on the UK government to lead the world in delivering a greener, fairer recovery, which limits warming to 1.5°C
The Prayer Room
Rev Rhona Knight from Oakham, whom some of you will know, is producing some thoughtful and creative prayer activities that she's sharing with us. To take a look at all the activities there are - click on the picture and choose a day.
We are currently on A Journey with Jesus.
A Superb Online Game for Children!
The Guardians of Ancora is a game developed by Scripture Union and is both Biblically based as well as safe for children to play.
You can play it through the web or via a number of different apps available for phones and other mobile devices. Just search online for it and have fun!