Dear Friends,

In light of the recent Government guidance about non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have advised that public worship is suspended until further notice.

Although this may seem like a very drastic decision, restrictions on public gatherings are necessary in order to try to control the spread of the virus.

You will no doubt be disappointed that our services have been suspended but, I want to reassure you - St John's hasn't gone away! I will be saying daily prayers morning and evening, and I invite you to email, or phone me with any prayer requests. In the coming days, I will be looking to share prayers and reflections with you, along with providing links to other creative ways that can help us to feel connected as church during this difficult time.

As usual, we remain committed to caring for our elderly and most vulnerable members. Please let me know if you become aware of anyone who is in need of support., and either myself, or one of our pastoral care team will make contact. We are hoping to identify some more volunteers who would be prepared to help respond to the needs of the most vulnerable people in our community in practical ways. Please contact me if you would like to help.

The Archbishops and other church leaders have called for a day of prayer and action this Sunday (Mothering Sunday), to pray in particular for all who are sick or anxious, and for all heath workers and emergency services. Please do join in if you are able to.

The Archbishops send this message, "We urge you sisters and brothers to become a different sort of church in these coming months: hopeful and rooted in the offering of prayer and praise and overflowing in service to the world".

These are difficult times, the like of which we have never known, but we can trust that, through God's grace, they will pass. Meanwhile, let's do our best to shine the light of Christ in this place.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13