Since we installed floodlights to light the church during winter evenings, we have made disposable money boxes available for spare change as a relatively painless way of funding them. This has been very successful. However, this year, we feel that a shopping trip to try to purchase disposable cans and the difficulty of handing them out with the church closed, make this operation unwise. Also many people are using cash very little this year and so spare change may not be forthcoming. Please could we ask our congregation to find suitable containers and make a donation which will be collected at the Harvest Worship for All service, assuming that we have one. If we are still not gathering on the 2nd Sunday in October we will make other arrangements. Thank you very much in anticipation.
The dry April has seamlessly continued into a dry May and crops are desperately needing a rain and some warm nights. The night-time frosts we have had lately are proving difficult in the vegetable garden and I am quite relieved to have no sugar beet to worry about. May and tree blossom seems to be good but with insect eating birds nesting I hope that a bit of warmth and a shower will bring more blossom in the various bits of conservation mixtures we have sown ready for the chick feeding.
The wheat crop looks reasonably good in general and provided we get a couple of inches of rain to fill the grains in June it should be ok. Spring barley is poor. the dry April has caused some germinating seed to fail to emerge from cloddy seed beds. The least bad field is the one we tried out a cover crop on which will encourage us to repeat the process next year. The oil radish component of the mixture may have help to prevent the soil becoming consolidated by the rain and lack of frost. There was certainly no problem with sowing though the residue. Spring beans being sown deeper and more robust plants have emerged well and should produce a reasonable result if weather conditions are favourable.
How has lockdown and social distancing affected us? Broadly speaking, our style of arable farming has continued more or less as normal. Chemical and fertilizer deliveries have not been affected so far. We have been able to get any building materials and spare parts that are needed although understandably delivery times are much longer and in the case of machinery dealers. We have to go and collect from a box outside the stores. Dust masks to use in the grain-store have quadrupled in price and delivery before harvest is not guaranteed. Delivery drivers and store staff of the companies we work with have been help and careful without exception.
We have seen a large increase in exercisers and dog walkers on the farm. The sunny weather has obviously encouraged this which is very good to witness. On an average day we get 50 – 60 folks out with at least half of these coming through the farmyard. Sam has put up some new signs showing what is supposed to be growing where and indicating which areas we are trying to leave disturbance free for conservations purposes. Thank you all for respecting these. We have had very few causes for concern. We do still have some loose dogs going into the growing crops. I don’t think their owners realise that skylarks are on nests at the moment and a Labrador blundering past is not conducive to chick survival. We have several pairs close to the main footpaths. I hope that next year we will have even more.
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Give Me One Good Reason!
We’ve all had to adapt dramatically to the Coronavirus situation. How have you managed the changes? As a church it’s been very strange. We can’t meet together at all the time of writing. We now have a Sunday service online with a group Zoom meeting afterwards, and we also produce and distribute daily ‘thought for the day devotional’ videos via What’s App and YouTube. If you’d like to check out some of these short videos you can find them on our YouTube channel. Just visit YouTube and type Mickfield Evangelical Church.
In the midst of all this we have seen an increasing interest in Christianity. Many people have been engaging with the videos on our website, on Facebook and on YouTube. …Why not use the opportunity to have a peek and see what Christianity is all about without the (perhaps daunting) prospect of having to set foot in a church!
We want to continue to provide a means for all kinds of people to explore the Christian faith. So, over the next few weeks I will be posting 3 videos, exploring 3 very personal reasons for my own faith in Jesus. The first is, what I call, the Monty Python reason!
Sometimes people say: “give me one good reason to believe!” We’d like to present 3. And we’d love to know your thoughts. Feel free to begin a conversation and share your thoughts in the comments section on YouTube or via my email (listed above).
Stay Safe and Blessed!