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10 October 2020

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Last year, as part of the Diocesan-wide Growing in God initiative, clergy from our Deanery (Loes) organised a series of monthly Sunday afternoon services based around the Taizé tradition. These services used meditative chants, prayer, silence and scripture around a variety of specific themes.

The Rev’d Canon Graham Hedger, from the Orebeck Benefice, hosted the services in Easton and the service-format was compiled by Rev’d Wendy Gourlay from the neighbouring Mid-Loes Benefice. A good number of people attended and the plan was to continue the initiative in 2020.

The COVID-19 lockdown jeopardised those plans until technology was harnessed to make a new series of services available via YouTube. The format remains the same but the individual elements - bible reading, prayers, a meditation, an interlude for silent reflection and live music to accompany the chants - were pre-recorded and then edited together into a service lasting around 30 minutes. Each service is “stand-alone”, and each has a different focus. We are grateful for the dozen-plus contributors who have made the services so personal and individual.

The final service of 2020 will be available from the 15th of November and can be accessed via the St Peter’s, Cretingham page of the Mid-Loes Benefice website: www.mid-loes.com/cretingham.php   This location also gives you access to all of the 2020 services from June onwards. A printable order of service is also available on the same webpage but the words for chants, prayers, etc do appear on-screen.

To date the services have been viewed over 350 times and it is hoped that a new series will be available in 2021 - especially if the pandemic is still reducing our opportunity to meet safely in larger groups.

You do not have to be a subscriber to YouTube to watch these services. They are loaded to a private channel within the site and only accessible via the channel code accessed via the Benefice website i.e. you cannot search for them via Google. 

Alister Gourlay (Lay Chair Loes Deanery)