Update 17 Feb

Dear friends,

IT’S HOT!!! Praise the Lord for air-conditioning. In my previous parish none of the 3 churches were air-conditioned and 2 didn’t have ceiling fans…. Wearing robes was a challenge some days. We are blessed at St Nic’s, and as the air conditioners in the church have been serviced, cleaned, and had new batts installed recently, they are working at full capacity. Who does this kind of maintenance around the church, you may ask- and who pays for it? Our Wardens liaise with approved contractors to do the work, and the money to pay for it comes from our offertory – the money we give to the church. The parish’s only income is from this giving plus a small amount from hiring the hall to various groups. So when you pop money in an envelope, or in the plate, or give via direct debit, it goes towards maintaining the church and its ministry, with a proportion set aside as ‘Faith Giving’: this goes to agencies such as Anglicare, CARAD, GRGWA, Anglican Board of Mission, St Bart’s, and Katoke School in Tanzania. Fund-raising is for specific projects, like our patio.

Speaking of fund-raising, I would like to have a conversation with anybody who is interested in continuing to have a stall at Poynter Market four times a year. The stall is as much about our presence in the community as it is about raising money. Please come along with your thoughts and ideas: you will NOT be given a job unless you want one! Saturday 26th February at 11am Please let me know if you plan to come along.

Our wonderful Balga Breakfast Club volunteers have moved to a different way of providing breakfast to the students. As Covid-19 is spreading rapidly in schools it is prudent that nobody enters school grounds unless absolutely necessary; so we are providing food for the school to make up into breakfast packs and distribute. What we require at the moment are packs of Up ‘n Go, and nut-free muesli bars. Packs will be a paper bag containing Up ‘n Go, a muesli bar, and a piece of fruit; this may be tweaked as time goes on. If you would like to donate goods that would be lovely, or if you prefer you can donate cash and we can bulk-buy as required. Thank you!

Can you count? No, that isn’t a rhetorical question! We need people willing to count the offertory (at least 2 people at a time) which will be banked by the Treasurer. Currently counting is done on Monday mornings but could be done following the 9:30 Sunday service. Please talk to me or Sam if you can help.

Following Tuesday’s meeting of Parish Council a letter has been sent to the leaders / convenors of every group that uses the hall (or church); as this is important information for everyone, here is what it says:
Given the inevitable increase of covid-19 infection in the WA community, St Nicolas’ Parish Council now requires all groups and individuals who use the premises to do the following:

1. Remind everyone to check in each time upon entering the building, either with the appropriate app or using our own contact register forms, provided in the hall and church.

2. Wear a mask at all times while indoors: although masks may be removed for eating & drinking, we suggest having morning / afternoon tea / lunch outside under the patio, where masks do not have to be worn. We are now doing this on Sundays and it keeps the carpet clean as well!

3. Encourage social distancing where possible

4. Use anti-bacterial wipes (kept in the kitchen) after wiping benches, tables etc. with hot, soapy water

5. Remind people to stay home if they are at all unwell

6. Most importantly, if (when) anybody who has been in the building tests positive for coronavirus they MUST notify the Rector immediately. Call Revd. Lorna on 0474 418 372 at any time. It is a condition of entry to St Nicolas’ that everyone agrees to notify the Rector if they have a positive PCR or rapid antigen test. The Rector can then notify the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre who will initiate contact tracing and advise us regarding closing the building and cleaning requirements.

7. Please ensure that everyone who attends is aware of these requirements.

I have already been advised of people who cannot attend church, either because their doctor has advised them against it or they have a vulnerable person at home, and I am sure there will be more who need to stay home. The good news is that the equipment we have ordered for live-streaming services should be installed (please God) in the next couple of weeks! So if you can’t come to church you will be able to watch and join in. There will be more details once everything is in order.

The reason we are moving to this instead of what we did during lockdown is that the church is likely to remain open and some people will be able to attend, so rather than a recording involving only a couple of people you will be able to choose to join in at home with your parish family. Watch this space for news as it happens!

That’s enough for one day. Don’t forget to sign up for Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday!
God bless,

The Reverend Lorna A M Green