I write this with a heavy heart. Following the advice of the Archbishops all public services are suspended in our churches until further notice. This means no Eucharist on Thursdays or Sundays. We are in a strange new world that we will all have to adjust to. We are feeling disoriented, unsettled and yes, I think it’s worth saying, somewhat fearful of what is to come. Perhaps this is something akin to what the Hebrews felt when they were in exile in Babylon and they wrote the words of Psalm 137:
“How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?”
Just because we are not meeting in person, however, does not stop us being the Church. We do have an opportunity to think creatively about what it means to be the church when we are not physically together.
For those who do not access the internet, I have produced a booklet with daily prayers in to say at home. If you know of someone that would like a copy, please let me know and I will hand-deliver it. The BBC are to broadcast a church service on local radio on Sundays and are looking into doing the same on BBC One.
For those of you that can access the internet we are doing the following:
- Every day I am publishing a podcast (voice recording) of prayer and worship for you to join in, access it either on Facebook or our website:
- In the evenings you may wish to pray through Compline (Night Prayer) using this video: https://youtu.be/ai15F_69mJc
- On Sundays I will be broadcasting some ‘notices’ live on Facebook at 10.00am. Then please visit our website to follow a pre-prepared service, sit round your computer with your family and join in together. Find Sunday services here: http://bcjj.org.uk/category/sunday-service-online/
There will be an element of trial and error initially, please do comment and give me feedback as to what is working, what isn’t and any ideas you’ve had.
Since the schools are going to be closed I would also be happy to share ideas for children’s activities as the weeks go by and I would like to encourage all of you to contribute to Sunday services – I will send out a form which will enable you to sign up to do a reading or lead the prayers – you can make a video or voice recording with your phone, send it to me and I can incorporate it. Children can draw pictures and send them in (if you don’t know how to do it, they will!!)
Please keep ringing each other. Please ring me if you want a chat or to tell me about someone in need (I’m happy to be rung literally just for a natter, we all need some company at the moment!)
Please keep buying food for the foodbank (use the baskets provided for the Freedom Project at local supermarkets).
Please pray for me as I navigate ministry in this brave new world and for each other in our parishes.
Our ancient churches have stood all through the Black Death, plagues, small pox, Civil War, Spanish Flu, WWII, Aids and HIV and now coronavirus and we are still here! We are built on rock and the gates of hell will not prevail against it!
Let us pray:
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.
Every blessing, and keep in touch!
Baptisms are currently postponed.
Weddings and Funerals can still take place but with severely restricted numbers in attendance (less than 10 persons).
Get more information about the Church of England and Coronavirus here: