The church is now closed for formal services until further notice
The Vicar writes:
As I write I am in self isolation, my lodger Diana has a temperature and a cough. I am therefore following government advice and putting the words I shared in my sermon on Sunday into practice and will be trying to use my time in isolation creatively.
It seems odd that only three weeks ago, I invited us to observe a Holy Lent, to prepare for our Lord’s passion and resurrection by a season of penitence and fasting.
Lent also came this year with growing concern about the spread of COVID-19 and how best to care for ourselves and one another during this time. We began with responding to guidance on how to reduce the spread of infection. But that focus has proved insufficient in explaining the concern the whole population must have for one another. Discussing our immediate plans with wardens, and PCC’s across the benefice. There are pastoral issues which we are looking at how to address and we will have to consider financial implications given both churches are dependent on hall letting revenue as are the groups and businesses who use our premises. Being a part of the Church of England is going to look very different in the days ahead,
The archbishops write. ‘Our life is going to be less characterised by attendance at church on Sunday, and more characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day.’
We may not be able to pray with people in the ways that we are used to, but we can certainly pray for people. My personal Lenten meditation theme’ through the cracks and brokenness of life that the light can shine’, when we are being told to reduce as much as possible human contact and to self-isolate, we need to think creatively and courageously
We can certainly offer practical care and support to that end we will be putting together a contact tree so that we can telephone, email of use social media to keep in touch.
I continue to pray for us all and or neighbours. When we all able to worship again we will come together again to worship in our beautiful church and to give thanks in celebration.
Let us be of good courage, sensible and cautious, but not anxious and fearful, and may the light of Christ, that he has given, burn in us and shine brightly through the cracks of these days.
Stay well and stay safe.
Please use these prayers:
A prayer during the Coronavirus outbreak
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For those in isolation
God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
For those who are worried/social cohesion
Loving Jesus, you are compassionate to those in need
and heal the sick in body and mind.
Look kindly on those who are fearful at this time.
Help us all to put away all thoughts and actions
that separate us from you and from one another.
Give us grace to live our lives
confident in your promise that you are with us always.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to care for the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
For those who are ill
we entrust to your unfailing and tender care,
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold us safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For hospital staff and medical researchers
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.