Firstly I have to say that THE LIFT AT DORSET GARDENS IS WORKING! Not that I couldn’t use the exercise, but it does mean that there’s now access for everyone. And there’s lots going on at the Village, much of it in partnership with Dorset Gardens Methodist Church.
For example, Saturday 4th December Dorset gardens is holding both a Coffee morning and a Celebrate & Remember event. It’s an opportunity for tea & cake, hymns and stories, prayer and candles, to remember those who have died – especially during the pandemic, but in a much less formal way than the traditional All Saints Day services. They’re also going to have Stars on which people can write the names of loved ones, which will then be hung on the Christmas tree. It’s also an opportunity to raise funds so that friends of the church are able to receive hyperbaric treatment for MS. Please give generously.
Then on Sunday December 5th our usual 6pm service at Dorset Gardens will also be the World Aids Day service, a chance to remember, give thanks, and look to the future. Will’s leading worship with his music, Rev. Heather Leak-Date will be preaching, Stephen will be saying prayers and facilitating a candle lighting ceremony, and I will be celebrating Communion. It’s going to be a lovely service.
Then later in the month, on Christmas Eve at 4pm, The Village is joining forces with Dorset Gardens for a Carol & Christingle service. I’m looking forward to it, and think it’s going to be lots of fun! (What is a Christingle service? see HERE)
If you’d like to attend a service on Christmas Day then Dorset Gardens are holding a 10.30am service, to which we are all very welcome.
Please stay safe, and God bless you.
If you’d like to contact me you can do so by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come to The Village MCC Annual General Meeting
It’s being held on Sunday December 12th on Zoom, immediately following the Sunday Connection. All the documents you may need (Agenda, minutes, and reports,) are available by clicking HERE.
I have to wonder how different the last 40 years would have been if HIV had broken out amongst the general population instead of some of the most marginalised groups? How many lives could have been saved if the kind of resources thrown at Covid over the last 18 months had been thrown at HIV in the same way? I am so glad that we have effective treatments, that PREP continues to make a real difference in people’s lives, and that there may well be an effective vaccine on the horizon. However, it’s been 40 years since HIV was first documented (1981), whereas in the case of Covid we had an effective vaccine that had been tested and approved within a year.
Of course I’m grateful that Covid is less a threat now than it was a year ago. Although, as I write this, people are still being hospitalised, and still dying, albeit in reduced numbers, and the new variant is worrying. It isn’t over yet. But then HIV isn’t an illness of the past either.
In the UK there are presently just over 105,000 people living with HIV and receiving treatments. Around two thirds are male, and around a third female, and a small number non-binary. In general, infection isn’t through those who know they are infected and receiving treatment, but through those who are infected but are unaware of their HIV status. You can see why testing is as crucial now as it ever has been.
There are some amazing groups in Brighton offering support. The Lawson Unit and The Beacon both offer medical support. Lunch Positive, The Terrance Higgins Trust, and Peer action all offer peer support. The Martin Fisher Foundation (Brighton and Hove) continues to work hard to lower transmission rates, the goal being zero transmission. Five years ago their goal they set out was to ensure that 90% of people living with HIV in Brighton and Hove would be aware of their status, that 90% of people be on treatment, and that 90% of people with HIV on treatment be unable to pass the infection on to others due to untraceable levels of virus in the blood stream.
By the end of 2020 they had surpassed expectations and now 94% of people living with HIV in Brighton and Hove know their status, of whom 99% are on effective treatment, 99% of whom are unable to pass the infection on to others due to untraceable levels of virus in their blood stream, Great work! And wouldn’t it be wonderful if the government rolled out such a scheme nationwide!
The reality is that we still face prejudice and fear 40 years on. By no means at the level it once was, but it is still there. Homophobia and misogyny continue to wreak havoc in society, and although things are changing the attitudes around HIV are a symptom of an even deeper problem that we continue to chip away at.
Oh, for a world without HIV transmission. It is possible. We can do it! And in Brighton and Hove I believe that we will. But whether the will exists to tackle the problem worldwide; well, the jury is still out on that one. Rev. Michael.
Delicious coffee and cake for a great cause!
Dear Michael and friends at The Village MCC,
Do hope you can join us for Christmas coffee, cakes and more at Dorset Gardens church on Saturday 4 th December. We’d like to raise funds for our daughter to receive hyperbaric oxygen treatment at the M .S. Centre in Southwick. All funds raised will go to the MS Charity. We’d love to welcome you anytime that morning, between 10 ish and 12 ish…! With warmest wishes Anne and Chris Garrett ( friends of Charlie and Stephen)
Lord, we lift Wendy and Sarah for your healing touch; and Charlie, as he continues to recover at home. Thank you that Keith is recovering from his injury, and that Simon is doing well. Please be with Robert as he continues to regain his strength after aggressive cancer treatments.
I lift to you my mother-in-law, Chris’ mother Jetje, who has been diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. Please be with her, and the family, as life changes for everyone.
Lord, we ask that you continue to be with Patricia as she mourns her loss, as well as he family who are leaning into her for their comfort and strength.
We also lift all those we may not have mentioned, but who you know need your touch. Lord, please continue to be with us all. Amen.
If you would like to add a prayer to the newsletter then please email me at email@example.com. – Michael x
On the Sundays when the church is not meeting in-person,
please join us for
on Zoom at 6pm
The event is recorded and then, when available, posted on Facebook.
Recordings are all available on our Facebook page.
Zoom : 504 390 105, code 2020
General Conference 2022
Read about all the wonderful plans for next summer
Keeping up to date with MCC Internationally
Do you receive emails from the MCC denomination? There are updates on the way churches around the world are meeting this crisis, along with prayers, support, and much much more. If you would like check out what newsletters are available then please email:
Sarah Barber is our Lay Delegate, and a link with the denomination. Please contact her at the church email address if you would like to know more about how The ‘Village’ MCC fits into the International Church.
Pastoral Care Team – 07476 667353
Pastoral care continues. Call or text the church mobile and leave a message, and someone will get back to you. When the pandemic first broke we tried to reach out to everybody at least once a month. As time has gone on we have reduced our pastoral care calls to those who have either requested them or are at high risk. Of course we don’t want to miss anybody out so if you would like to connect then please let us know
Would you like to give a gift to aid the work of the Village MCC?
Giving to The Village MCC.
‘The Village MCC’ is self-financing, we do not receive any central funding. If you would like to support the work we do, there are a number of ways to do so.
If you would like to set up a regular monthly Payment to The “Village’ Church, which is the best way for us to budget for our work, Please email the treasurer at; firstname.lastname@example.org, you will then be sent the details of how to do this.
If you wish to make a single donation You can send a direct payment from your bank account using the following details From the UK:
• Lloyds Bank
• sort code 77-91-29
• account number 40361660
• account name The Village MCC
• Please use the reference ‘Collection’
Please also email the Treasurer at email@example.com to let them know to expect a payment. • There is also a donate button on the Church Website at thevillagemcc.org if bank transfer is not possible. If you do not have access to the internet, you can still make a donation with your debit card. Please email the Treasurer at; firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a phone call to make this payment.