Dear Companions and friends,

I hope that you are all managing to live with the lockdown.  I know that some of you will have sorrow and anxiety so that a simple ‘I hope that you are all keeping’ well does not fit the bill.  I know and believe that God will be with you and bless you wherever you are.  My thoughts and prayers are with the whole CR family.  Many of you have written to me asking for prayers for friends and relations and I have a very long list.  It is my custom to light a candle at compline in response to prayer requests but the list is now so long that I spread it over several evenings – be assured that we carry you all in our hearts and we leave the prayers with God.

As I think some of you have found there are some benefits from the lockdown – the beauties of nature, less pollution, quietness and time to enjoy it.  The CR family has never seemed more together.  Although I would love our doors open once more I feel the joy of many, many people joining us five times a day for worship.  I have really enjoyed reflecting on the mysteries of Christ with the aid of great works of art.  I have a great sense of good will from everyone who clicks on even if they only stay for a minute.  Obviously a daily reflection is not sustainable but I am hoping that I might do something like ‘A Word for the Weekend’.  We’ll see how it goes, Thank you for all your encouragement and comments.

One of the great joys this year is having the Community together for such a long time.  I realise how loveable the brethren are (please don’t tell them I said this).  There has for me been a richness and renewal in worshipping together.  And we have a postulant! Pray for Charlie and pray that he will be the first of many.

I have received quite a number of commitment cards and people have been asking me about the Festival weekend.  As Robert Burn’s says ‘To a Mouse’ ‘the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray’.  There is very little chance that the Festival will be held under normal conditions.  We are determined  the we will still celebrate our thanksgiving for all that God has given to us

un the CR family.  Whatever we do will be streamed and we are trying to find the best way in which Companions can renew their commitment under conditions of social distances.  We will publish details in the June quarterly and I will send the same by email and through the Newsletter so ‘watch this space’.

Speaking of mice one of the great moments in auction history was the day when during the first Mirfield Auction my brother George brought the gavel down

and pronounced ‘sold’ for £18,000 on the set of Thompson furniture.  The Thompson signature is a little mouse carved somewhere on every item.  Even if one could afford it most of us wouldn’t have room for a Thompson suite so this year’s auction is offering you the opportunity to appreciate just a taste of Mouseman craftsmanship in the form of this lovely Thompson napkin ring.  Please don’t forget that I need donations and take the opportunity to look for things that you no longer want.  I have been offered several exciting items including rare coins and a beautiful Beijing antique clock.  If you have anything that you think would be good for the sales please let me know so as I can be prepared to receive them once the doors open again.

The campaign is going reasonably well and is giving me light relief from all the bad news and sad news that is around us at the moment.  My smallest item is a fourpenny piece, my largest is an organ and my most beautiful is a burse and veil (see the auction album on the CR Facebook page).

The Corona troubles are very sad and even though for most people it means upset of our routine, travel problems and many other frustrations for many others it is pain fear and disaster.  Let us remember them in our prayers, be thankful for what we have and don’t panic.  There is one verse that helps me face all possible futures – ‘Will not the righteous Lord do right?’

My love and prayers to you all,

John CR