Dear sisters and brothers in Christ
I imagine that like me you are waiting to see what changes may be made to our current lockdown arrangements and wondering how this might well end up meaning different things for different groups of people. As you can imagine, our diocese is also having continuing conversations about how we can best respond in terms of worship, buildings and opportunities to serve others in these challenging times. Next week the Bishops and Archdeacons of our diocese will be meeting via videoconference with clergy from across the county to explore all of this further. I will, of course keep you posted. What seems clear, however, is that it will be a long time before we are able to gather in large numbers in our Church buildings and that we will need to continue to stream services online for some considerable time to come.
So, if you know of people who are yet to get online- do give them a ring and encourage them in! If you know of others who can’t get online do refer them to the national Church of England phoneline for daily prayers 0800 804 8044. If you know of people who are at particular risk, please do give them a ring yourself and do alert clergy and churchwardens to those who might need particular support.
I would also encourage people to continue with virtual home groups, study groups, council meetings and other groups, so that we stay in touch, pray together, encourage one another continue to discern God’s calling together and consider what we are learning and how we might want to change things in the future!
This comes with my prayers and admiration for the way in which people have responded to these challenges. It was been a joy and a delight to me to join with others in prayer each day and to see how we are continuing to be fed by our Easter hope- that the love of God has conquered death and hell!
So do not let your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Jesus!
In the meantime, here are some highlights of what is coming up:
Faith on the Frontline
Tonight Nick will be interviewing Maggie Grady about her work with Mindsong, a Gloucestershire charity working with people living with dementia. Nick will be hearing about how Maggie’s faith led her into this work and how things have had to change during this COVID-19 outbreak. Tune in here to hear what she had to say.
As we mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the return of peace to Europe, the Church of England has published this prayer. Do try to find a moment this weekend to give thanks for the peace we enjoy.
Lord God our Father,
we pledge ourselves to serve you and all humankind, in the cause of peace,
for the relief of want and suffering,
and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit;
give us wisdom;
give us courage;
give us hope;
and keep us faithful now and always.
You can find further information here:
You may also be interested to see the order of service for the first VE Day service in Westminster Abbey in 1945
This Sunday 10 May: Eastertide Eucharist
This Sunday we will be gathering for a Eucharist online on our Facebook page Nick will be presiding and Peter Quinnell will be preaching. The order of service is attached.
Calling young families: ‘Teatime church’
Next Sunday 17 May there will be a half hour service for families with toddlers and key stage one children via Zoom. Our teatime church service will be at 4.30pm and will last around 30 minutes. Please email Nick for details, let him know the names and ages of those who will be coming and we will shape it around you! Email Nick directly.