St Helens Church, High Street, Wheathampstead, St Albans, AL4 8AA. Worship Times: 10am every Sunday

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Weekly news from your Church Family

Click the here to visit our website and watch the video of this week’s “online service”

“Excruciatingly beautiful” – St Helen’s “Choir” on Radio Four
The music for our Online Sunday Services is recorded by Simon on his organ at home, then choir parts are added by Rob and Rosanna singing in Rob’s home office.  Despite this makeshift arrangement, the quality is such that “Drop, drop slow tears” was featured on the PM programme on Radio Four yesterday.  Rob had posted onto our Facebook page and John Murray sent it to the BBC describing the recording of Orlando Gibbons’ 400 year old motet as “excruciatingly beautiful.”  Congratulations to Rob and Rosanna on such a wonderful recording and achieving such recognition.  You can listen to it here (fast forward to 1hr 27mins – after the weather forecast

More ways to stay connected,
                     (and spread the word)

In addition to our website – which is regularly updated with new material, you can stay connected with the life of our church by following us on Facebook. , there will be more material on our website throughout Holy Week.
If you like the resources we’re producing and posting on Facebook you can easily share them,  and so boost the profile of our church and help others in your social network find out about all that we are doing.  For example, could you share the video of our Online Sunday service or just the music (as an “audio only” file)? 

On Twitter you can follow the church @stHstPChurch where you’ll find lots related to church and village life. 

Food, glorious food! (Thank you)
We’ve had the following thank you note from our Charity Partner Azalea in Luton,
“Please can you pass on our thanks to everyone at St Helen’s for the food donations, we would usually write but in these challenging times we are doing more communicating by e-mail.  We are really grateful for the sacrificial giving of food, it is so wonderful to see the generosity of God’s people to the poor and vulnerable at a time when so many are stockpiling for themselves.  We are still open and we are seeing lots of women during the day as well as at normal Drop-in hours, the police are allowing them to visit us as an essential service.  Women will be given a bag with 7 days worth of supplies when they come to us so the donations are very welcome indeed.”
Since receiving this note last week we’ve heard that the level of violence the women experience has increased sharply, but also that the NHS and Police describe Azalea as an essential service.  Please continue to pray for the ministry of Azalea to these vulnerable women at this critical time.

Food, glorious food! (Please)

Because the Coronavirus is having such a devastating economic impact, the demand for food from Foodbanks is increasing.  Sadly, this is happening at a time when the supply of food to supermarkets is under great pressure.  The Porch of St Helen’s Church is now the only drop-off point for donations to the Foodbank in the village.  They would especially appreciate donations of: tinned soup, dried noodles, jam & spreads, desserts, rice puddings, tea bags, toilet rolls(!), and laundry liquid / tabs.  Thank you for your generosity.

A Haven for your mental health.

As many of you know, our Reader / Lay Minister Claire Banham is a youth worker for local charity The 267 Project.  Within this she has developed a specialist ministry called The Haven, which supports young people dealing with stress and anxiety.  Claire has filmed this short video giving five top-tips to aid our mental resilience during the Coronavirus epidemic.  Whilst it’s aimed at young people, the tips apply to all ages, so I thought it worth sharing.

It’s only a few days until Palm Sunday and then Holy Week.  We will be sending out another video as our Online Sunday Service, but in preparation…

When our children were small I tried to enforce a, “no drawing on your hands, or arm, or anywhere else on your body” rule.  It’s a rule which they continue to flout.  However, Bishop Alan has picked up an idea from across the border in Chelmsford Diocese as an alternative form of Palm Cross – draw a cross on the palm of your hand and post a picture online on Sunday.  Of course, the alternative is to dig out the cross you received last year which you may well still have at home!

God bless you – Richard