With the City of London largely empty the ministry of St. Michael’s will look very different over the coming weeks, but our reason to exist has not changed. For centuries Christians have held out the comfort and challenge of Christian faith as the City experienced great prosperity and also great hardship. The Fire of London in 1666 followed the Great Plague of 1665 and left only the tower of the church standing, but St. Michael’s people continued to trust their God, and St. Michael’s was one of the first churches in the City to rebuild and reopen.
The faith expressed in the Book of Psalms is not only for days of prosperity, but for the full sweep of human experience. Psalm 121 asks, ‘I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help?’ and then answers, ‘My help cometh even from the Lord who hath made heaven and earth.’
Many of the modern replacements for God are showing their limitations in the current crisis, but the God who made all things has not changed, is not far from us, and, Psalm 121 says, ‘shall neither slumber nor sleep.’ We can cast all our cares on him, and be confident of his love for us in Jesus Christ.
Some of those connected to St. Michael’s have key roles in responding to the situation, not least those at the Bank of England; others will be in sectors of the economy facing uncertainty; others will be at significant personal risk from the virus, and all of us will be deeply affected by the isolation.
I am sorry to say that we have been instructed to cancel all public services and events for the time being. In March and April that will include Tuesday Mattins, the Organ Recitals, and our service for Palm Sunday. The Annual Church Meeting (APCM) will be delayed, under an instrument from the Bishop of London issued today, and all of our officers elected at last year’s meeting remain in office until we are able to hold this year’s APCM.
We have now extended this to cover services in May. We have now cancelled the Ascension day service on 21st May and all evensong services that were to take place in May.
The Scriptural commands to pray for one another, encourage one another, and help each other are not voided by Government legislation, nor is the command of our Lord to make disciples of all nations. We may find that St. Michael’s people are busier in the next few months than in normal times when we can all meet together conveniently. With regret, we have been instructed to close the buildings for the foreseeable future.
Please be in touch if you need help, or would like someone to speak to, or if you are able to offer help to others. We will be praying and it would be good to hear how we can pray specifically for you. We will be in touch shortly with suggestions of how we can use the next weeks to grow in our faith, and to point others to our Good Lord.
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