25/26 December 2020, 10/11 Tevet 5781

Christmas coincides with Shabbat; We look forward to seeing you for a Shabbat service on Friday 25th December.

I’m very aware that the new restrictions under Tier 4 mean some of you will be unexpectedly alone this weekend, please let us know if you need anything. I’m around this week and over Christmas.

If you were part of a post code group, you’ll receive a message offering support. Change of expectation is is always hard to negotiate, this year has been full of uncertainty.

I attended the community briefing this morning with the Chief Nurse of the NHS (intriguing title), explaining the processes of vaccinations and who will receive when. Vaccination in earnest is likely to begin fully in February. He said he, his family and colleagues breathed a sigh of relief at the new restrictions put in place over Christmas.

Following Saturday’s announcement, we have decided the best course of action is to return to exclusive streaming of services. Although places of prayer are technically allowed to be open we believe this decision is the safest and most prudent for our congregation at this time. Join us as you have been doing.

We manifestly coped well as a Jewish community through all our festival restrictions and the new congregation we built online, I’m hoping our Christian colleagues manage similarly over Christmas.

This is our penultimate message of 2020 so I wanted to thank those in particular who have reached out and supported during the year.

Thank you so much to Jacqui Fawcett and Corinne Oppenheimer for the dedicated phone calls they make to many FPS folk, reinforcing their connections to our congregation.

Thank you to those who led in our postcode groups and reached out when you could.
Thank you for the meals and cakes delivered by the Laikin family.
Thank you to our Chanukah deliverers who brought homemade treats to so many.
Thank you to those who have enabled online services, learning and events and made us grow into that phrase “more than a building”.
Thank you to Dean and Franklyn for our phenomenal music.
Thank you to our wonderful and flexible teachers who took Ivriah online so thoughtfully .
Thank you to Zoe and Pauline for all they do to enable FPS to function well and with warmth.
Thank you to our Council who guide and keep FPS going.
And thank you to our Exec who have steered us through so much this year with such dedication.

I’m so grateful.
Wishing you Shabbat Shalom and a safe end of the year.