My dear friends
Much has happened since I wrote to you a week ago. Our activities and the pattern of our lives has changed very quickly although the phased shut down of public life happened in stages over seven days.
I want to bring you up to date with what we have been doing to assure you of our prayers at this difficult time, to allow you the opportunity to add to the prayers, and to keep you informed about access to church and worship on a daily basis.
I will try to keep this as brief as possible because I am sure that, like me, you receive at least 25 emails each day from companies explaining their Covid-19 plans. What we have put in place in the parish is:shown as a summary:
1. a new landing page on the parish website is available with all the resources you will require during the next few weeks of restricted activity. Click here to access the page.
2. a new scrolling banner has been added to the home page of the parish website from which you can directly go to our live stream of service and recorded videos. Click here to access the Home page
3...Up until Tuesday 23 March, church was open from 09:00 to 17:00 daily (every day of the week last week) for private prayer. My daily office was said twice each day and the eucharist celebrated on two days, including Sunday. The Archbishops have required me to close the church to prevent infection spreading as surfaces may carry the virus. Therefore, I am saying prayers in the Rectory and the eucharist will be live streamed from my study.at the usual times. You can access it through this webpage
4. we have received direction that in addition to no services to take place in church during the lock down period, weddings and baptisms are to be postponed . Funerals that take place must have very few people in attendance and will be held either in a crematorium or at the graveside
5. the church yard can not be maintained at the moment as the Bishops require Christians to be models of a responsible and moral society by protecting and saving our lives and the lives of others by staying at home
6. the parish Magazine, New Horizons, is now due for circulation. I have copies available at The Rectory for purchase. If you would like to receive you subscription or wish to purchase one please email me firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition a new service is available for you. It is possible to purchase an online copy of the New Horizons by selecting this form and filling in the payment details. As soon as the transaction is accepted you will receive a link to open the online version which you can download. It's great value as this version is in full colour.
7. I have started a programme of ringing around to check on your well being. It is taking some time as the daily round of calls require close attention. If you have not heard from me and want anything or wish to raise a concern please don't hesitate to make contact by email or phone.
8. the parish Facebook page and Twitter feed will be kept up to date. I am trying to post on Facebook to maintain contact with you.
Finally, please look at the section below which highlights the upcoming activities such as continuing worship on line each Wednesday and Sunday and how you access the live stream. There's suggestions for prayers to keep the flame of your spiritual life ignited and a link to make suggestions for prayers. Please do use these resources. You can continue to request lighting up the tower as our prayer intentions and memories are all the more poignant during this period of reduced social activity.
Again I apologies for such a long letter. As you can see, despite not being able to visit, travel or even go to church, there is still much happening and you are continually in my prayers. Please keep in contact with me with a simple Facebook 'like' or 'comment' an email or phone call. It assures me I'm not talking to myself! If you have any concern, please do contact me.
Yours in Christ