Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
So ends the daily bulletin from the diocesan Task Group responding to the ways that Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is impacting so much of church life. Please be assured that, whilst the building is now closed to the public, I am maintaining a daily pattern of worship on behalf of and for the parish. This comprises of the saying of Morning and Evening Prayer (0900 & 1700) and a daily celebration of the Eucharist.
Some, and I would hope all, might be asking, what can I do? Well, two main ways of showing trust and solidarity. First, pray and offer worship. I sent out a form of daily prayer last week (attached) which can be used at home. I will revise this each week to reflect the change of seasons, as we move to Holy Week and Easter. Secondly, all those idle minutes of free cell phone time can be put to good use: ring each other, especially those who live alone. Just make sure that our people feel less isolated by contact with the church family.
We will all have seen too much of the news to be told anything new. These are truly terrible times, and many fear will get worse before it is over. Do please do EVERYTHING that the medical services and government are advising, without exception. If you have any practical need that your families, friends and neighbours cannot provide PLEASE RING ME, and within the bounds of the curtailment of liberty I will endeavour to perform and provide for you.
Set a time each day away from the news and be with God in quietness. Learn to trust more and seek God's goodness, for all mankind, in this global problem. Pray with an atlas in front of you? Bring the news to your Bibles. If you have a concordance (or Google!) look up current problem areas of the world and see if they are referenced in the Bible : maybe there is a Word for that place. Read something new, an unfamiliar part of the Scriptures.
Whatever, keep faith, with God and your fellow Christian brothers and sisters in these long days and nights. Pray for our school, still open for children of keyworkers and those from vulnerable families, and the staff. And you might pray for your Vicar, for whom there is still much to do, within frustrating limits.
With every blessing and good wishes,