Church of England Diocese of Newcastle Holy Island

Holy island Support Group: Coronavirus response

31 Mar 2020, midnight
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Dear friends,

In response to the Coronavirus crisis, representatives of the island community have formed the Holy Island Support Group.

Our aim is to help support each other, to help in practical ways, and to provide comfort and avenues for advice in these trying times. The group is open to all who would like to help.

We are coordinating our response for:

1. Those who feel they need help and support (e.g. self-isolating or unable to go out) and

2. Those who are able to offer help and support in various ways

Letters have been delivered to the community’s residents offering support with the details of people who can help. If you are on the island and need practical help or other support, please get in touch.

Update: 31 March:

Things have changed rapidly this last week. We are now on ‘lock down’. Worrying times for all of us but our community is pulling together as it does so well. Thanks to everyone for the many offers of help – both practical and supportive.

Churches

• All the churches have sadly had to close their doors due to the government instructions. But we are still praying… if you would like prayer for anyone or a particular situation, please let Sarah Hills (St Mary’s), Rachel Poolman (St Cuthbert’s) or Steven Purnell (St Aidan’s) know. We know that there are needs beyond coronavirus, so please do let us know if you would like prayer for anything at all. These prayer requests will be held in confidence. We are praying for everyone on the island regularly.

• A number of us are praying morning and evening prayer (individually in our own homes of course!) at 9.30am and at 5.30pm <span style="font-size: 1rem;">every day. Feel free to join in or to light a candle - or just to take a moment to stop and think and be quiet.

• Since no services can be conducted in church, I will be attempting to ‘live stream’ the communion service at 10.45am every Sunday morning (starting next week, April 5th Palm Sunday) from the Vicarage, that would be normally have been held at St Mary’s. This will be on the St Mary’s Facebook page and hopefully the St Mary’s website. Do please join me ‘virtually’ if you can.

• Alison Murray, Director of Music at St Mary’s is playing hymn requests on here (can be a form of prayer if you like). She may also be able to put your request on a CD and post it through your door if you don’t have computer access. Please leave a message on our Facebook page if you have any requests for Alison.

Revd Dr Canon Sarah Hills

Chair of the Holy Island Support Group