Vicar's Blog ~ Coronavirus Special
16 March 2020
Dear beloved friends,
This is a time of anxiety and uncertainty, we all know.
I am writing, firstly to assure you of support and prayer and love.
Some people are self-isolating, or are simply a bit worried, or indeed are not worried! In any event and wherever you stand in the field of opinion, I want to ask you all a favour. Which is, please keep in touch. Please tell us if you are staying at home for precaution or because you are ill. Tell us how you are, what your worries are, and if there is anything that anyone can help with. Email, ring, send a postcard! Feel free to do this daily.
It is my intention, with the help of the Care and Prayer Group, to set up a network of communication, mutual support and information, so that not only can we be a hub of support for one another, but also so that no-one should feel isolated emotionally or spiritually even if we have to be physically. We are social beings, and Twitter and Facebook notwithstanding, we need to create new, 'old-style' social networks which probably hinge around geographical proximity and telephones. We seek your permission to put and keep folk in touch with one another for mutual pastoral support, however low key. Do also let us know if there is anyone you are worried about at this time. If isolationism is to prevail for a long period we need and intend to put in place something simple and sustainable.
Notwithstanding what the PM has said today, it is not currently our intention to close the Church for worship, yet we understand perfectly if folk feel they should stay away. Join with us in spirit as it were (see below). For want of a better word, please do ‘send apologies’ by whatever means, so we can know you are OK. Everyone is always welcome, and we shall continue to follow advice and exercise caution and attention when it comes to sharing the Peace and receiving the sacrament. Obviously if we are forced or advised to close for public worship we shall take this very seriously indeed.
The Church Website, so excellently managed by Ken will be a source of information and of course sermons and recordings going back a long way. You can stock up on spiritual as well as physical food.
If you would like to join us in prayer for the Church and the world, the Church of England Website has some excellent resources, and this will keep you in fellowship with us all if you read this through prayerfully, alone or with a few others (there is also an app you can get for free). It might not be your usual custom to do this kind of thing, but you might find it helpful and comforting to do so. It may be time to form some new habits of life and prayer.
Church of England Daily Prayer
In any event, please understand that we are here for you, be assured of our prayers and our love to you and yours at this most trying of times.
Events coming up:
Tonight’s Lent Group is going ahead for all who wish to attend.
Fellowship on Wednesday is cancelled (the speaker cancelled, in fact)
Choir Practice is suspended on Thursdays until further notice.
There is no Holy Communion this Thursday morning.
As I understand it Drama Group and Bellringing are continuing.
Music Exams continue this week.
The Playgroup are continuing.
The Youth Opera production is cancelled.
The Southgate Orchestra Concert (at St Stephen’s) is cancelled.
Matins next Monday will likely happen, but I expect to write again with an update.
The Care and Prayer Group will meet after the Thursday Communion NEXT Thursday, which we sincerely hope can go ahead.