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Wednesday Magazine
St John's East Dulwich
A Jersey Tiger Moth spotted in a garden in South East London (see below).
Wednesday 12 August 2020
Dear friends,
I hope you are managing to stay well in the recent heatwave. So long as I can stay well hydrated and in the shade I love the warm weather and I was reminded of this recently when I spent two weeks' holiday in Scotland. As much as I love going back to Scotland, the days when it was raining and windy made me remembered why I prefer the south of England! While there I visited the first church I remember going to as a child in the village where I grew up and you can read more about that below.

This week's Wednesday magazine email also contains an update from Southwark Foodbank. They saw a 340% increase in the number of people they supported compared to this time last year. Please do consider supporting the work of the Foodbank. There is also information about the new rules around wearing masks in church as well as some local wildlife and street art.

As always, if there is something that you'd like to share then please get in touch. It would be lovely to hear from you.

With love and prayers,
Raymond

 
Masks in Church
Raymond writes: From Saturday the Government has made wearing face coverings in places of worship mandatory. This means that unless you fall into one of the legally defined categories that are exempt, it is an offence not to wear a mask in church! As I'm writing this, it is 34 degrees outside and I don't relish the idea of wearing a mask in this heat and so I sympathise with those who find it difficult. For me, when I'm feeling frustrated with wearing a mask, I try to focus on the fact that it is helping others. To some extent, doing something that is a bit uncomfortable for me in order to help others is a form of ministry in itself, something that we are all called to.

If you need more information about wearing a mask and how to make one, have a look at the Government's website. This includes information about when to wear one, who is exempt and the reasons for wearing a mask. If you are exempt from wearing a mask, you might like to download a badge or card that you can print out so that you don't have to explain to anyone why you're not wearing a mask. 

A few things to minimise the risk of infection that I've found helpful to remember when wearing a mask come from the Government's website:
  • wash you hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting on a face covering and before taking it off, then wash/sanitise your hands after taking it off
  • when it's on, avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
  • only handle the straps, ties or clips
  • avoid wearing on your neck or forehead.
 
Southwark Foodbank Users Up 340% Since Last Year
Southwark Foodbank logoSharon Hunt, from the Southwark Foodbank has provided an update: The Southwark foodbank has had the busiest period we have ever experienced over the past four months. Here are some highlights of what has been happening but there is so much more we can't fit in this space. 
  • On the 6th April, we moved to home delivery, keeping only the City Hope Wednesday sessions open for walk in clients.
  • We are working closely with the Southwark Council Community Hub.
  • We received over 400 offers from people to volunteer.
  • At the peak of the crisis, we delivered 50 emergency food parcels per day.
  • We received financial support from local charities awarding emergency grants, the Southwark Council, local businesses, corporate groups, community organisations, artists, and residents's associations.
  • We received hundreds of donations of food from local individuals, businesses, community groups and corporate groups, as well as restaurants and cafés which shut down from the 23rd March. 
  • Between April - June, we supported 6,194 people, compared to 1,404 in the same quarter last year. This is a rise of 340%!
  • We had so much support from volunteers: packing bags, making deliveries by bicycle, van or car and supporting in the office with answering phones and arranging deliveries by phone.
Thank you!
We want to say a big thank you to everyone supporting us with donations of funds. Our expenses have doubled in the past few months and we can continue to meet need with the generous donations we have received. Our Covid-19 Appeal has raised £103,000 to date! For more detailed information, we will very shortly be releasing news items on our website with photos and more details. 

If you would like support from the Foodbank or you would like to donate, your time, money or some food please visit the Southwark Foodbank website.
 
Help us to raise £5k
St John’s needs to raise £5,000 to help us cover the costs of reopening the church. Do get your thinking caps on to consider how you may be able to raise funds in your own way for this appeal, whether by doing a sponsored walk, run etc., having a Covid-safe bake sale or your own inspired idea. We have produced a sponsorship form which you can use here.
 
Re-visiting Old Haunts
Old church in valley
Raymond writes: Last month I was able to take a holiday and as the lockdown restrictions in Scotland had eased just the day before, we were able to go to visit friends and family there. We took the opportunity to visit Humbie, the village just outside of Edinburgh where I grew up. This included a visit to the church I first remember. Humbie Kirk is in the Church of Scotland and so my first church experience was as a Presbyterian, it wasn't until much later when I was in my late 20s that I became an Anglican.

The church community in Humbie has a long history going back to before the Scottish Reformation in 1560 and the current church building dates to 1800 with additions in the 1860s. But it is the setting of the church that is most notable. You access the church down a long single-track lane through a heavily wooded forrest. The church is in a valley with a burn running below it and tall trees on each side. There is a wonderful peacefulness in the church yard. Of course, the church is closed at the moment but I remember the same peacefulness inside as well.

Although my faith journey has taken me a long way from Humbie Kirk, it is still a spiritual home for me and a wonderful experience being able to re-visit it for the first time in many years.
 
Local Wildlife
Earlier in the week Lois Barmby tweeted this picture of a Jersey Tiger Moth that she had spotted in her garden recently. These moths originate in the Channel Islands, hence their name, but have become more common in Devon and Cornwall and even more recently they are beginning to be spotted in south London. In the last few years it seems that a breeding colony has established itself in Forest Hill and this is a species whose numbers are increasing. The Butterfly Conservation website has more information. Please send us any pictures you take of interesting wildlife where you live.
 
St John's Library
Gill recommends: Gold from the Stone: new and selected poems by Lemn Sissay. Lemn Sissay was brought up in the care system in the north of England and was failed by it in many ways. His poems are full of verve, wit and life, and hint at redemption. It will forever change how you see care-leavers in the UK. Available from Amazon or you can order it from Chener Books on Lordship Lane, who will deliver locally if you are shielding or self-isolating.

Dorothy Oxley writes: I don't think the Dulwich, Peckham or the little library near East Dulwich station are open yet, but Nunhead library has been open for a couple of weeks. You still can't browse, use computers etc., you just go to a front desk (suitably masked and disinfected) and hand books back in and you can ask for a 'mystery bag' of books to take away. The librarian I saw asked me about my tastes, (sci-fi/fantasy, history/mystery, short stories for a low concentration type of day, and steam punk if they have it!) and gave her fifteen minutes while I did some shopping. The six books she selected (you can ask for six or fifteen!) were all ones I might well have picked myself. I'd recommend it. I think it might be useful for parents whose kids have run out of reading material too, I'm pretty sure they've got a kids section.
 
Local MuralsMural showing two faces, one is covered in a mask
Dorothy Oxley writes: I thought you might like this photograph of the big mural covering the front of the Barry Road Stores (the chap in it is the proprietor). I have no idea who did it or how it came about. I wonder if anyone else has spotted any Covid19 related street art?
 
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