From the Rector - Coronavirus

Update - 23rd March 2020

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you all following this evening's announcement from the Prime Minister (see above). Amongst the other restrictions that have now been imposed, our churches are closed completely. This is an incredibly distressing time for us all, however you will doubtless understand the necessity of this in the effort to stop the spread of Covid19.

I will continue to pray the offices each day, along with the Eucharist, privately at home, where I will hold you all in my prayers.

Please contact me by phone or email if you are feeling lonely, anxious or become unwell. I will try to provide as much support as I can.

Please be assured of my love and support.

Yours in Christ,

Richard


21st March 2020

Dear Friends,

I wanted to write to you at the end of a challenging week. During this current crisis, it is vital that we remain in touch, not just by email and phone calls – but in prayer. Please do send me any prayer intentions and I will ensure they are remembered personally in prayer during the week and also when I celebrate the Eucharist privately.

Here are some further updates for you:

Daily Prayer

Although public worship must stop for now, the life of prayer continues.

The Church Bell

You may hear a bell tolling in one of our Churches throughout the coming weeks; this is not to call you to prayer, however to let you know that prayers are being said for the Parish and Benefice. The bell reminds us that the prayerful and sacramental life of the Church continues and that the whole community is being prayed for.

Our Churches will remain open for private prayer.

Day of Prayer

Our Archbishops have called for a National Day of Prayer and Action – Sunday 22nd March.

At 8.10 am, the Archbishop of Canterbury will be taking a service in Lambeth Palace chapel, which will be broadcast across the country on radio (including Radio 4). Do join him. If you missed the broadcast, you can listen to the recording on 'BBC Sounds' by clicking here.

At 7.00 pm, please join us in lighting a candle in the window of your home as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.

This call to prayer and action comes on Mothering Sunday: a time of thankfulness, remembering especially mothers who have served us, often in very costly ways. It is also a very mixed day for many. For some the remembrance is painful, and for others Mothering Sunday is a reminder of disappointment or loss. In many ways, this period under the shadow of the coronavirus will be prompting similarly diverse reactions and so it seems especially appropriate that the call to prayer is made this Sunday. At this time of uncertainty join in with the National Day of Prayer and Action, lighting a candle of hope.

Some prayers which may be useful

In peace, let us pray to Jesus our Lord, who lives to make intercession for us.

Saviour of the world,
be present in all places of suffering, violence and pain,
and bring hope even in the darkest night.
Inspire us to continue your work of reconciliation today.
We especially pray for all people’s around the world,
and most especially in our own community who are in fear of sickness,
and those who have fallen ill.
We pray for the rapid resolution of the coronavirus pandemic,
for all who suffer, for all who have died and for the dying.
Strengthen the weak and comfort the afflicted O Lord.

Lord, in Your Mercy
Hear Our Prayer

Shepherd and Guardian of our souls,
guide and enable all who lead and serve this community
and those on whom we depend for our daily needs.
We pray for those who are guiding our nation at this time,
and shaping national policies,
that they may make wise decisions
and that we may be quietly and Godly governed.

Lord, in Your Mercy
Hear Our Prayer

Great Physician,
stretch out your hand to bring comfort, wholeness and peace
to all who suffer in body, mind, or spirit.
Fill us with compassion, that we may be channels of your healing love.

Lord, in Your Mercy
Hear Our Prayer

Conqueror of death, remember for good those whom we love but see no longer.
Help us to live this day in the sure and certain hope of your eternal victory.
We pray today for the souls of those taken in the current pandemic,
and we also pray for the repose of the souls of Barbara Waterman and Michael Hobbs, Priest.
Grant them a place in glory O Lord.

Lord, in Your Mercy
Hear Our Prayer

Loving God,
Thank you for mothers and children
and for all the joy of family life.
Be with those who are grieving because they have no mother;
Be close to those who are struggling because they have no children;
Be near to those who are sad because they are far apart from those they love.
Let your love be present in every home,
And help your church to have eyes to see and ears to hear the needs of all who come.

Lord, in Your Mercy
Hear Our Prayer

We commend ourselves, and all for whom we pray,
to the mercy and protection of God.
Amen.

May the Lord bless us and watch over us;
The Lord make his face to shine upon us and be gracious to us;
The Lord look kindly upon us and give us peace.
Amen.

 

Praying During The Pandemic

pdf logo sI have put together a booklet of prayers which you may find a comfort to use during the coming weeks. I have left copies in all the Churches – however it is also available here to download and/or print.

Yours in Christ,

Richard