Being Church at Home

From the Revd Jane Isaac

Being Church Together in the United Benefice of St John the Baptist, Shedfield and St Nicholas, Wickham

Sunday 17th January 2021


Greetings from the ministry team to everyone. Whether you’re you come to church once a week, once in a while or once in a lifetime – welcome to the weekly eBulletin.


First of all…

Soggy but splendid: the first snowdrops of the year, spotted in St Nicholas’  churchyard on Saturday morning

Lockdown update – St Nicholas, Wickham and St John the Baptist, Shedfield remain closed for private prayer during the week and for public worship on Sundays.  

The ministry team and churchwardens will continue to review the situation in the light of national Church of England, diocesan and Government guidance.  As always, you can find those can be found here: or

Our hope is that after the anticipated review of the third national lockdown in mid-February we may be able to hold services in our churches once again.

Whilst I’m confident that our in-church protocols and cleaning routines remain as robust as ever, I’m all too aware of the vulnerability of many of our congregation, choir members and key volunteers, together with the risk of our mingling beyond our household and support bubbles before and after church.

Our bespoke Being Church at Home weekly services will continue, along with this weekly eBulletin (which will include details of some of the many services available on diocesan and national CofE online platforms).  Printed copies of the eBulletin and weekly online services can be delivered to those unable to receive them online: just ask those who might be interested to get in touch with one of the clergy.

Daily Hope – ‘church at the end of the phone’

Well worth recommending to those without internet access is the Church of England’s Daily Hope line, a free 24-hour national telephone line, offering music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services: 0800 804 8044.

Gavin and Christina Collins

Farewell service for Ven Gavin Collins

Archdeacon Gavin Collins will soon be leaving the diocese to become Bishop of Dorchester (Diocese of Oxford).  His leaving service was originally to have taken place at Portsmouth Cathedral, but will now take place in the chapel at Bishopsgrove, via Zoom.  You can share in the livestream via the diocesan Facebook page, or watch later on the diocesan Youtube channel: Facebook page Youtube channel

Alpha goes online: course starting 21st January at 8.00pm

A chance to explore the ‘big questions’ in life, hosted on Zoom by St Peter’s Church, Bishops Waltham.  If you’d like to sign up, please contact Emma Andersen for more information and the link to the first session:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) scams – be extra vigilant

Our parish councils and the diocesan safeguarding team have asked us to pass on as widely as possible the news that scammers are taking advantage of people’s worries and uncertainty about the pandemic, especially those who are alone, self-isolating or in financial difficulty within the Hampshire area.  One recent incident that’s been reported involved an older person being cold-called from an individual claiming to be able to provide a COVID vaccine for a fee.  The NHS is the only organisation which has access to the vaccine, and will never ask for money.   Medical or health professionals will not come to your home unannounced and without prior notification.  If anyone attempts to force or coerce you into handing over funds – in person or otherwise – always contact the police.

Coronavirus-related scams include:

  • Sales of fake products such as face masks, supplements, anti-virus kits and sanitisers, which may be harmful or simply never arrive
  • Bogus healthcare workers who try to gain access to your home by claiming to offer the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Emails asking for donations to the NHS.

This Sunday’s services

This week’s Being Church at Home services are traditional morning prayer prepared by Revd Ruth and Revd Jane’s Sunday worship service ‘Can anything good come from Galilee?’, which explores that familiar story from John’s Gospel (chapter 1.43-end) about Philip and Nathanael’s meeting with Jesus. Join Ruth and Annabel at home for the readings and Revd Jane for the reflection. Ruth’s Prayer During the Day is also available via the Being Church at Home pages on the church websites.

Please do be reassured that the Being Church at Home services can be accessed directly via the church websites as well as via the link you receive with this eBulletin.

What else is available this Sunday?

Join Portsmouth Cathedral’s live-streamed Sunday services at

A national Church of England service continues to be available every Sunday.  This week, worship for the second Sunday of Epiphany, ‘How God is revealed through Jesus’ comes from St Alban’s Church, Fulham.  Leader: the Vicar, the Revd Matt Hogg.  Live broadcast at 9.00am, with a downloadable order of service: go to

The Revd Matt Hogg and the online community at St Alban’s, Fulham

This week’s Sunday Worship (8.10am, Radio 4 and BBC Sounds) features Alexander Olleson, BBC Radio 2’s Young Chorister of the Year.  I know that many of us are really appreciating Songs of Praise at the moment (Sundays at 1.15pm, BBC1), and Ruth and I would value your thoughts about an initiative that will be featured in this week’s programme – an outdoor ‘walking church’.  It’s something we’ve been talking about for a while now… watch the programme and let us know what you think!  Have a look at for a description about how one parish in Kent is experimenting with ‘church on the move’.

And finally…

It’s a salutary reminder to the clergy not to take themselves too seriously when we discover that some of the most-remembered moments in our ministry are when things have gone wrong in church!  And at the moment, with so many of the clergy using online tools for the first time and the internet’s inability to forget, there are some magnificent bloopers doing the rounds on Youtube and Facebook.  For those of you who’ve asked to see my outtakes from a sermon last June one last time – click here: Garden outtakes – YouTube  (the theme was how important it is to focus on the big picture, not the minutiae – just in case you’re wondering!).

And enjoy this collection from hapless vicars around the country!

With the assurance of our constant prayers for you all, from Jane on behalf of the benefice ministry team.

Epiphany 2

Reading (1) Psalm 139.1–6, 13–18
After many months now when life has been challenging, the writer’s words ring very true – wherever we are, in whatever circumstances, we can be assured of God’s guidance and love.

Reading (2) John 1.43–51
The Psalm describes how God’s all-embracing knowledge of us stretches back before we were born and holds all that we are and might become. Perhaps its verses were in Nathanael’s mind as he tried to work out how Jesus manages to have such an insight into his character.
John introduces us to Jesus’s ministry one day at a time: on the previous day, Andrew and another of the disciples, along with Simon Peter. Now, Jesus takes the initiative and finds Philip. This pattern of ‘finding’ continues as the group of disciples takes shape, with some finding each other and some being found by Jesus. The disciples are finding Jesus at another level too: ‘We have found the Messiah’ (1.41) describes their connection with his mission and ministry. But when Philip finds Nathanael there’s a blip in the process, because rather than accepting the invitation Nathanael challenges Philip to prove that anything good, let alone the Messiah, can come from somewhere so downmarket as Nazareth. Philip’s reply echoes Jesus’s invitation from the previous day – ‘Come and see’ (1.39). ‘See’ means much more than ‘take a look’ here, because seeing is to understand.

Gospel passage John 1.43-end

This morning’s reflection, with the Revd Jane Isaac, Incumbent of the United Benefice of St John the Baptist Shedfield and St Nicholas, Wickham

Prayer During the Day

Spiritual Communion

A service of Spiritual Communion for use during the coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has made it necessary for the Church of England to suspend all public acts of worship. Using the national Church of England’s recommended liturgy as its guide, the ministry team has prepared this short act of Spiritual Communion for you to use at home.