Update 25 March 2020

Update from your parish church on the situation during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. Hyperlocal to North Baddesley, Ampfield and Chilworth.

 Support for businesses

Amazing fortitude and selflessness has been on show when we’ve spoken to business owners around Ampfield, Chilworth and North Baddesley. Some businesses have told us that they haven’t heard from the council about the help that central government has promised. Test Valley Borough Council tell us that a form will be sent out to all qualifying businesses on Friday/Monday. Owners need to complete, scan and return the form as soon as it is received.

UNITY support in Test Valley

UNITY support helpline for the Test Valley area is operating 9am – 4pm. Call 0330 400 4116 to arrange help. It may be necessary to call more than once because their service is busy.

Parking

  • Test Valley Car Park charges are waived from today to aid people in being able to carry out essential shopping.
  • New Forest and Hampshire County Country Park car parks are closed.

Avoid burdening the NHS

Forestry England who manage sites including Rownhams Woods are concerned that people should not expose themselves to risk on their land. This is because rescuing cyclists, walkers, and horse riders who get into difficulties can put a significant load on the NHS

A reflection for the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

In this cloud of fear and dread in which we are all living, as we face a true pandemic – circumstances almost no one living has ever seen.

There’s a chat to be had about God and the nature of the world, about why disasters come. Tonight isn’t the night for that, I’ll depute the Bishop, the Vicar or someone to do that bit I think…

I bring news of another very different cloud. Today the church remembers the time the Angel Gabriel came to Mary and announced that she would give birth to a child that she was to call ‘God saves’ – or Jesus. That came to be through the overshadowing power – the clouded, protective power of God.

For the unmarried Mary – this must have sounded like a disaster. It wasn’t a good thIng to have a child in those circumstances then. Yet Mary said yes to God. And that’s what begun the next stage in God’s great plan for the salvation of the earth: Jesus, Immanuel God living among us.

Despite the fear and dread that surrounds us there is good to be seen. goodness and selflessness is seen even in this cloud.

We see that today in the huge outpouring of willingness to volunteer for the NHS, possibly at risk to people’s own life.

I hear that in the patience and good naturedness of business holders in Test Valley who face so much uncertainty. I hear that in the voice of a small business owner who’s first concern was for their employees.

Mary was facing an unknown and unknowable journey that I can’t even comprehend. We also challenging journey. But we can see from Mary’s bringing Jesus to birth that hope persists. Let it be so in this great upheaval too…

The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;

the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’

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