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eNews - March 2021
National Day of Reflection

Tuesday 23 March is the anniversary of the first lockdown. Organised by Marie Curie and supported by the Church of England, it’s a day when we can reflect on our collective loss, support those who've been bereaved, and hope for a brighter future. You may wish to phone a friend or neighbour or family member in order to share thoughts about the last year; remember those who have died; pray for those who care for others; pray for all who are in need; share hopes for the future.

The past year has been a time of significant loss in all sorts of ways. Many people have been bereaved, unable to be with loved ones as they died. Couples have had to cancel or postpone a wedding. Young people were unable to say goodbye to friends and teachers as they left school; the traditional rites of passage had to go virtual or be abandoned altogether.  We have all missed hugging family and friends, travelling to work, visiting one another, going down the pub, attending a concert, chatting at the school gates, going to a sports match, worshipping in church, eating in a restaurant, meandering up a street or wandering around a shop, celebrating birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries, having a hair- cut……We have lost jobs and routines, ways of living and loving that before the pandemic we simply took for granted.

On this National Day of Reflection, we can think back over this past year. As we do, we can continue to reach out in support of one another. As a symbol of that support, we are invited to tie yellow ribbons to trees in our gardens. Or you may like to tie them to the railings around Discover DeCrypt as you pass by on your daily walk.

As we share the stories of this past year with one another, we can also share our hopes for the future. At 8pm, candles will be lit across the nation. As you light a candle in your home, you may like to make the following prayer your own:   

God of Love, as we think about all that has changed this year, help us to trust that you are always with us. As we remember those who have died, help us to trust they are at peace with you. As we reach out to others with kindness and care, may hope shine out in every heart and home. Amen.

Rev Canon Nikki Arthy, Rector 

Faith 

Prayers for the City

From Friday 16 April 2021 we will be streaming the Friday lunchtime service of prayers from Discover DeCrypt on our YouTube channel. The service starts at 1.00pm and all are welcome to join.

There are Virtual Services  via zoom weekly in the parish. For more information please visit  http://www.swithunandmary.org.uk.  If you need support in the meantime and would like to speak to somebody, please get in touch via mail@discoverdecrypt.org.uk.


A Comment from one of the participants on Through the Day with Mary: A Lenten Quiet Day


"During this pandemic, my home has also become my workplace, my gym, my church and the place where I socialise (over zoom!). This quiet day gave me space to step back from all of that and reflect on God's presence in my home and in my everyday life. The range of different activities were good, and gave us helpful time away from the screen. Even though we were meeting virtually, everyone was very friendly and welcoming. "

We thank Canon Sandra and all the participants who made the Quiet Day such a special event. If you would like more information or to be informed of the next Quiet Day, please contact us at mail@discoverdecrypt.org.uk 
 
Story: History and Heritage News

Take a (virtual) trip to the crypt this Easter holidays.

We are delighted to be taking part in the Gloucester History Festival's Spring Weekend 17-18 April 2021 with a virtual tour of the crypt. 

Visitors often ask about the 'crypt' of Discover DeCrypt but unfortunately due to the difficult access it is not normally possible to take people down. This short video will be a chance to see what is there and learn a little about its fascinating history.  At various times a tavern, timber and munitions store, workshop and storage for miscellaneous bits of the building, the crypt has many stories to tell. 

The virtual tour takes place at 2.00pm on Sunday 18th April. It's free, but you must book a ticket at https://www.gloucesterhistoryfestival.co.uk/events/take-a-trip-to-decrypt/

Life: Upcoming events and Activities  
 
There's still time to enter our Family 'Design an Easter Card' Competition!
 
eggs marbled with shaving foam

 

We are inviting all artists and crafters out there to design an Easter card for us.  You can be as creative as you like - use paint, crayons, collage, pens or anything else you choose. You could even make an Easter sculpture, paint an egg or use natural materials and assemble something outside. Whatever you do, make sure it expresses how you feel about Easter and write a few lines to tell us about it.  Please take a photograph of your creation and send it to us, with your name and age (if under 18), at: mail@discoverdecrypt.org.uk

Our favourite submissions will be posted on our website and turned into cards for next Easter. There will be a small prize for each design we use. The deadline for submissions is 11.59pm on Friday 26 March 2021.

Here's an idea for painting eggs to get you started...

You'll need eggs, vinegar, shaving cream (or whipped cream) and food colouring.

First boil your eggs. Once boiled, let them sit in a bowl of vinegar for 20 minutes (this will help the dye to take better). Dry them completely. Spray a layer of shaving cream onto a flat baking tray to the depth. of about 2.5cm and smooth it out. Generously drip food colouring of your choice all over the shaving foam and swirl it around with a skewer or fork. Roll an egg over the surface until it is completely covered with shaving foam. It will pick up the colour at the same time. Allow to dry for 20 minutes. When completely dry, dip the egg in a bowl of water to remove the shaving foam and carefully pat dry (don't rub or the dye will come off). You should find you have beautifully marbled eggs.  If you want to eat your eggs after decorating them, don't use vinegar and replace the shaving foam with whipped cream.
 

Spring in the Churchyard

Anybody who has had the chance to walk past or through the churchyard recently will know how beautiful it is looking with all the spring flowers coming up and the new growth on the shrubs and trees.  The young hedging saplings along the east railings are doing well and we particularly enjoy the creative ideas for edging the beds that have appeared! Enormous thanks to the volunteers who have put such efforts into transforming the space for us all to enjoy.

Please do keep your donations of plants, bulbs and seeds coming. Any spare gardening equipment would also be much appreciated.
 
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