By Martin Gibson

With great sadness we learn of the death of Bishop Alphonse of Uganda due to Covid 19. Many of us remember the Bishop and his wife attending our Harvest Supper last October.

Severnside North Benefice had recently collected around £1,200 for the church in Uganda. Rev David Moss suggested to Bristol Diocese that in the circumstances, the money be apportioned so that £1,000 went to the Ugandan church and the balance to Bishop Alphonse’s widow, Evelyn. This kind gesture has been approved.

The Service of Holy Communion has now been held twice on a Wednesday at 10am via Zoom. Yesterday 13 people attended the service hosted by Rev Ann Lloyd. This experiment is proving successful, so Rev Steve Oram who organises the event, now plans for a regular SUNDAY 10am service of Holy Communion.

There are a number of people in our congregation who do not use a computer but a telephone service is available which allows them to join in – please contact Michael Kirby for details on 619616.

Are you an Envelope Giver? Or even a cash giver, to St Mary’s? Some people are finding it difficult to know how to pass on their giving to St Mary’s due to travel restrictions. So if you need to know how you can continue giving just ring Michael Kirby 619616.

Excellent News that most of the over 80s in the parish have received their first vaccine injection. Now it seems, the over 70s are starting to receive the jab. We have heard that if you fall into this category you may be offered an appointment at Ashton Gate, Superdrug in Broadmead, or in Thornbury. Apparently Superdrug appointments happen quicker but car parking is more easily available at Ashton Gate.

At the last PCC meeting it was agreed that St Mary’s would support the work of Christians Against Poverty by sending 3 of our members, Gail Lowe, Jo and Bernard Amos on a course.

Spare a prayer for Trevor Anderson who is confined to bed with a leg infection. Trevor has not enjoyed good health in the past year or so. Trevor, along with Rod Williams and the late Roly Bain, has been the keystone of the Monday Movie Club, which sadly is held in abeyance until we can all meet freely again.

And finally:

An elderly man, called Alf, was on his death bed. His best and life long friend, Jim, sat by his side. Together they had a passion for football.

Jim said to Alf “Look, there’s just one thing I need to know about Heaven – is there football there? So whatever happens to you, can you find a way to let me know once you arrive?”

Alf replied “I’ll do my absolute best to get back in touch with you.” And shortly thereafter, he passed away.

Two nights later Jim was lying in bed fast asleep when there was an almighty bang and a blinding light. Jim awoke with a start and found the voice of his old friend Alf talking to him.

“Jim, I’m up in heaven and there’s plenty of good news and just a little bad news.”

Jim said “Give me the good news first.” And Alf replied “Well, there is lots of football here. All your old friends who passed away are here too and we are all young again and we all play football every week. It’s wonderful.”

Jim was thrilled and then said “But what’s the bad news?”

Alf replied: “You’re in the team for Saturday.”