Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,


The news has come from the Archbishops today that in light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, public worship is to be suspended until further notice.


I know this will come as sad news for many of you (albeit not entirely unexpected): I share your sorrow and lament deeply that we will not be able to meet together for a while. 


However we are continuing to look at ways we can 'still exist' as a church. There are a few things I would draw your attention to:


1. For as long as we cannot meet, a Sunday service will be 'live-streamed' at 10am via the church Facebook page (you do not need to have signed up to Facebook to see this):


2. A weekly pewsheet will still be made and available for download from the church website. We recognise that there are people in our congregation who are not online: it would be good to identify who they are so we can ensure a physical copy is popped through their doors.


3. There are various resources on the 'virtual church' section of the website:


4. I would like to have a regular church e-mailing list. Please do say if you would not like to be on that.


5. We have some physical prayer resources for those who are not online. Please let  Susi, Denis or David know if you would like them.


6. Pastoral care is now essential - and we all have a role to play in it. A simple phone call can do wonders, but please do not put yourself at risk. Speak to Susi or Cynthia  as the care group network leaders if you feel someone is particularly struggling.


7. We have some plans for Holy Week. Click here for more information. 


Finally: please pray. Myself and the rest of the ministry team will be praying for you daily and we would likewise welcome your prayers as we seek to guide the church through this time. Pray also for the wider community and particularly those combating this virus.


Do of course get in touch if we can be of support. This is a bizarre time and oddly enough, pandemics were not a module they covered at Vicar school! 


Yet even amidst the confusion there are some beautiful stories of hope and of humanity coming together.  I leave you, for now, with this poem written by an Irish Franciscan which speaks of the hope beyond. Remember always: Isaiah 43.1


God bless you all,


Ministry Team


Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.


They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighbourhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,