Urgent News

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am writing to give a further update you on how we are as a church working to support our faith community and the wider community during this time.

Our Archbishops have announced further measures regarding COVID-19 and how we as a church engage during these times.

We will not be able to hold public worship at the moment, but we will be endeavouring to record and/or stream services such as morning prayer, Holy Communion and evening prayer so that people can engage from their own homes via the internet. We have also had to cancel our normal events and community events but are looking at creative ways to keep in touch and support people. 

We will be looking to open church at set times for people to come and pray, while ensuring social distancing for everyone’s safety.

We are also working hard to ensure pastoral care for all our members, and the wider community at large, through our network of pastoral care people and additional volunteers that are stepping forward at this time. A lot of this will be about keeping in touch, phone calls, emails getting essential shopping for people etc. and the more people that get involved, the better for everyone.

There will be more updates to follow, but do please read the following press release, the content of which we will be following:

“Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu said it was now necessary to put public services on hold until further notice.

But they said that far from having to “shut up shop”, the Church of England must face the challenge by becoming a radically different kind of church rooted in prayer and serving others.

It comes after the Government announced unprecedented peacetime measures to try to control the spread of the virus, with restrictions on public gatherings, transport and working.

The Archbishops expressed the desire that church buildings may, where practical, remain open as places of prayer for the community, observing social distancing recommendations.."

They also invited clergy to maintain the ancient pattern of daily prayer and, where possible, the eucharist – live streaming their worship if they have the resources to do so.

And they urged congregations to be in the forefront of providing practical care and support for the most poor and the most vulnerable during the crisis.

“Being a part of the Church of England is going to look very different in the days ahead,” they wrote.

“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. And we can certainly offer practical care and support. 

“Please do carry on supporting the local foodbank and buy extra provisions for it.  Ensure the night shelters wherever possible are kept open.  There are many very encouraging schemes happening right across our country in communities to focus on caring for the most vulnerable and do continue to play your part in those.

“Then by our service, and by our love, Jesus Christ will be made known, and the hope of the gospel – a hope that can counter fear and isolation - will spread across our land.”

They added: “This is a defining moment for the Church of England. Are we truly are a church for all, or just the church for ourselves.

“We urge you sisters and brothers to become a different sort of church in these coming months: hopeful and rooted in the offering of prayer and praise and overflowing in service to the world.”

The archbishops have joined other church leaders in calling for a day of prayer and action this Sunday (Mothering Sunday) particularly remembering those who are sick or anxious and all involved in health and emergency services.”

With love in Christ, thoughts and prayers

Revd Nigel

A further update was issued on 18 March and may be viewed here

Charity Number 1131904

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