The good news: the new Government regulations forbidding more than 6 people to gather together, DO NOT apply to church services. St Mary’s will be open as usual on Sunday 13th September at 10am for Holy Communion. Last Sunday 56 people attended the service.

The PCC met via Zoom a week ago. A number of important decisions were taken. First of all, the day to day running costs are likely to be £17,000 higher than our income, over the course of the year. To minimize the deficit it was agreed that Rev Stephen Oram’s expenses would, for the foreseeable future, be paid out of the Vision Fund. This will allow the church to meet its Parish Share promise for 2020, although there will still be a small deficit. Our Parish Share for 2021 will be announced in November but it is unlikely that St Mary’s will be able to pay as much as it has in 2020.

It was also agreed that a further 10 stackable chairs would be purchased. These cathedral style chairs are the easiest and safest to keep clean especially during the current pandemic.

The annual general meeting (APCM) will be held on Sunday 4th October at 11am in St Mary’s. The TAR (charities report) will be given, as will the churchwardens’ report. Those wishing to stand for the PCC (or existing members whose 3 year term has expired) will need to provide a signed and seconded application form available from the Secretary, Bernard Amos. Social distancing and other safety measures will be in force.

CO2 emissions. During lockdown, this column reported on a number of occasions, on the levels of CO2 in Bristol. The City Council declared that the reduced traffic in the city was producing a big drop in the amount of CO2. We quoted the city’s own monitoring station data showing that CO2 was, in fact, only marginally down from pre-lockdown levels. Now it seems, CO2 remains in the atmosphere for far longer than was previously thought. St Mary’s 1 – Bristol City Council 0

And now, humour, of a sort:

Adam and Eve were the first people who failed to read Apple’s Terms & Conditions.

Seamus was on his deathbed so his family gathered around and were joined by the priest. With his dying breath, Seamus said to his 3 sons “Patrick, you can have 21, 23 and 25 Connaught Street. Declan, you shall have 2,4 and 6 Brody Street and Conor I’m leaving you all the houses in Water Lane.” With that he passed away. The priest was flabbergasted. He turned to Rose, the widow, and said “I never knew Seamus owned so many houses.” Rose replied “Oh no, he didn’t, but he had a big window cleaning round.”