[Updated – 24th March 2020 – Closure of Church Buildings]
This afternoon (17th March 2020), the Archbishops of York and Canterbury announced that all acts of public worship across the Church of England are to be suspended until further notice.
Whilst this is an unprecedented action, it is rooted with the love and compassion for our neighbours at its heart , at a time when the whole world is coming to terms with how to live differently in the face of the Coronavirus, the Church have made the difficult choice to protect some of the most vulnerable in our communities by setting aside our need to worship together – remembering that whatever we do, we already know that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39)
Whilst this decision will mean that all public services in the 5 churches in our benefice are suspended until further notice,
our churches will continue to remain open during the day for anyone to come in and pray. (as of 24th March 2020 – we are following updated government guidelines, therefore all churches will be closed).
On behalf of the whole community, Revd Mark, together with our retired priests, Revd Val and Revd John, will continue to meet and prayer and celebrate the Eucharist together. If you want to join with us in prayer from your own homes then we will be beginning this coming Sunday at 10am.
It is important to remind ourselves that this is not a suspension of Church, but rather a moment at which we will explore different and creative ways of being the Body of Christ. As a benefice and a community we will continue to offer pray and pastoral support to everyone who would benefit from it by telephone and email, and if you are feeling lonely, or isolated, or just a little down, then please do not hesitate to contact Revd Mark who will be happy to talk or pray with you, or to arrange for another member of our Pastoral Team to speak with you.
Over the weeks and months ahead, we will be experimenting with different ways of keeping our communication with one another ongoing; different ways we can pray together; different ways in which we can care for each other. We will provide details of services and resources online and will provide prayer and other materials for you to keep. Please do also listen to services which are available on the national radio stations, as well as from the Church of England on Alexa and Google Aps.
For now we will continue to be the Body of Christ, and to be Christ to those whom we live alongside.
We will continue to pray, for our leaders and health care workers, for our families and neighbours, for our local businesses and employers. Please do also pray for your priests and ministers. For prayer ideas click here
Please do what you can for your neighbours, check in on the elderly or housebound (but remember to keep your distance if people are isolating). Do shop local if you can and support our village shops and butchers.
Finally please do contact Revd Mark if you are ill, so that we can pray specifically for you, and offer practical help if we can.
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 tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.