Church of England Diocese of Leicester Barkby


Dear Parishioner,


Last week I wrote:

Church is of course the people of God wherever they are even distanced from each other BUT we are the Body of Christ and the time is now upon us when we need to come together as a united body. TO BE TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE.

Following the announcement that Public Worship could resume in churches from 4th July, The House of Bishops made this statement and followed this up with detailed instructions on how worship should be conducted to be COVID safe. Please be assured that we will be discussing all of the implications for our churches at the PCC meeting on Wednesday evening. But our plans are to have:

ONE service of Holy Communion at 10am on Sundays at SYSTON Church for both Syston & Barkby Parishes

A celebration of Holy Communion at 9.30am on Wednesdays commencing Wed 15th July at SYSTON Church

We have decided to trial in this way to best accommodate the new restrictions before rolling out a more extensive worship pattern. At each service there will be strict hand hygiene in place alongside social distancing which for church remains at 2m. There will be clear instructions in church.

I reiterate what I said last week that here may be understandable anxiety about emerging into a church environment. especially for Parishioners who were formerly in strict shielding. Parishioners are encouraged to be cautious and sensible about any social interaction which may adversely affect their health. At the same time I would strongly urge each of us to commit to resuming our pattern of worship in our church buildings.


Some have expressed concern about whether we should modify our plans in light of the extension of lockdown introduced in Leicester on Monday 29th June. Syston and Barkby are NOT included in the areas where these restrictions apply, so it is our intention to continue with our plans to resume worship as outlined above. We will discuss all these matters in detail at our forthcoming PCC meeting. There is very helpful advice on all aspects of the Leicester lockdown HERE


(a) The Church of England online service will be the first online prison church service broadcast by the Church of England. Led by Rev Helen Dearnley, who is based in our Diocese, the service comes from HMPs Stocken, Low Newton and Pentonville.An Order of Service is available HERE

(b) Radio 4 Sunday Worship In this service The Revd Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James’s Church, Piccadilly, and composer Bob Chilcott explore the power of music to speak into troubled times.

(c) Each Sunday by 10.30am I will upload the Leicester Cathedral Sunday Service to our website along with an order of service

(d) Syston Eleven30 This Fresh Expression of church is particularly suitable for children and families and will meet for the last time this year this Sunday. You can get all the information by sending a request to join their Facebook group.


This week we will continue our pattern of praying Compline on Thursday at 6pm. We will send invitations to those who have asked for them previously. If you have not joined us why not give it a go. We will be giving some thought as to how we should continue online worship resources over the coming months


Please recommend widely the Church of England Daily Hope free phone line 0800 804 8044. It has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services and has been greatly appreciated.


Biddy was licensed as a lay minister on Thursday 2nd July and is beginning her pastoral work as and when conditions allow. We will all look forward with great joy to her ordination as a Deacon at the end of September. Please continue to hold Biddy in your prayers along with all those whose ordinations have been delayed. Meanwhile you can view a video of the Zoom licensing including the oaths, declarations and licensing of all 10 ordinands lasting 8 mins in total. The link to the meeting is below and the Access Password is deacondesignate2020!

BARKBY PCC will meet on Tuesday 7th July. After consulting the Church wardens I propose to have this as an outdoor socially distanced meeting for those who feel able to come . At this meeting we will be planning for future worship at Barkby and also the current discussions about the reorganisations of the Parishes that formerly made up the Fosse Team. After the meeting there will be a joint meeting of Wardens and we will send you a report of the meeting.


This weekly e-mail has been sent to nearly 60 people at Syston and I will be sending a letter on Thursday 8th to a further 25 not on e-mail. But you will know others who need to be updated about our plans. PLEASE PHONE THEM and personally invite them back to worship assuring them of our attention to their health and well being. If there are some who would like to speak with me personally please assure them they can call me on 07827 668169 or let me know and I will phone them.

Again I say Are you coming back? I am anxious that you may have got out of the habit. Prove me wrong! See you at Syston Church 12th July 10am.


At Syston we rarely hear the Prayer Book Collects but the one set for this Sunday is so very beautiful. We have been through a deep and unprecedented crisis in our national life and the Prayer asks for God's mercy to guide us through the troubles of this life so that we fully experience his peace which alone is eternal.

O God, the protector of all that trust in thee,

without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy;

Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy;

that, thou being our ruler and guide,

we may so pass through things temporal,

that we finally lose not the things eternal.

Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake our Lord. AMEN

Please remember me in your prayers as I have been remembering each of you

With my prayers

Canon Lee Francis-Dehqani

Priest in Charge

Syston and Barkby Parishes

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