A parish update from Fr Andrew
Published by Fr Andrew Brown on Wednesday, 20 May 2020 09:29
I hope you are all safe and well. As the lockdown continues, the recent statement by the Prime Minister and discussion in the press means that many people are asking about how and when church will reopen. Therefore, today I am writing to give you an update on the current information that I have on the day our first online streamed service since early March took place in church rather than the makeshift chapel at the Rectory.
On the eve of Ascension Day, when Our Lord ascended to be with the Father forever, we are given the hope assurance that the troubles of this world are temporary as God offers us a share in his life. However, Ascension Day this year was to be the day when candidates from Charnock Richard were to be confirmed. The cancellation of this service is a reminder that things are far from what we would wish.
Since 15 March we have streamed 35 services including 11 during Holy Week, three reflections and a VE Day commemoration and All Age Worship. Therefore, we are not closed, but rather relocated and finding new ways to worship and serve the community. Most of the planned weddings for 2020 have been rearranged because there is no clear message about when public worship can resume and when it does, how many people will be allowed to attend. These are things which concern wedding couples. Our funeral ministry has continued with graveside funerals, although thankfully not in the numbers we might have expected, and again we wait for information about when and how these important events for grieving families can return to church.
Now some news about as new initiative as the Archbishops have launched Thy Kingdom Come, which now in its third year is a global prayer for the Holy Spirit to infect and transform our lives between Ascension Day and Pentecost, 21 to 31 May. We are providing a dial up bible reading, prayer and hymn each day during these 10 days. The number is a local number, 01257 447380: all you pay is the local call charge and there is no other cost to you. If you know of someone who would use this service but does not receiving these messages, please let them have the number so they can dial-a-prayer.
I must also mention that as plate giving has almost disappeared since public worship is no longer taking place, our church wardens and treasurers from both parishes are concerned about cash flow as utility bills and maintenance costs are still a reality. Whilst I know many of you will be furloughed or worried about the financial future if you can keep up your regular giving, ideally by Standing Order and using Gift Aid, this would help us significantly.
This is a difficult time for us all but I’m heartened by the creativity and flexibility everyone has demonstrated in keeping the life of our parishes at the forefront of community life. If you would like to know detail about any of the information in this letter please click on the link here to play a my video message or see a short summary of the video below.
As we pray for an end to cornonavirus, may God bless you and keep you.
Yours in Christ