Tuesday, 24 March 2020
Dear Friends in Christ,
Just a few days ago I had to write and tell you that public worship in our churches was being suspended. Since then we have set up a new Benefice Website and resources have been provided for us all to be able to join together in prayer through both the written and the recorded word.
Today I am having to write to inform you that the situation has changed in a quite dramatic way. Following the Prime Minister’s broadcast to the nation yesterday evening, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued a statement which has placed further limitations on the way we can interact with our mother churches. From yesterday evening all churches and churchyards are closed; all baptisms and weddings have been cancelled for the foreseeable future; funerals can only take place at the graveside, and with the minimum number of people in attendance.
Reverend Aron and I are talking this morning to work out a way of continuing to hold the whole community in some act of prayer. We will also be talking about how we can record and post recordings of some of our services on the website.
The whole country is in a very serious situation, and it is the responsibility of the Church to help lead the way through these difficult times. St John’s, Corby Glen, has been instrumental in helping set up a neighbourhood support scheme in Corby Glen, and I know that similar schemes have evolved in our other villages. I thank everyone from our church communities for the part they are playing in supporting the more vulnerable and fragile.
I would like to conclude this brief letter by urging you all to stay safe and to do the very best you can to support others in prayer and in practice, if it safe to do so. Please follow the instructions of our church leaders and keep away from our churches and churchyards for the time being. The Prime Minister promised that these stringent measures would be reviewed in three weeks time. Let us pray that, through determined cooperation, the nation might have weathered the worst of the storm by then and that we can once again fling wide the gates of our churches and move towards a time of rejoicing in the light of Christ’s joyous and triumphant resurrection.
Keep safe and keep well.
With all good wishes and every blessing to you all,