Church of England Diocese of Chelmsford Lexden

Suspension of Public Worship

Dear friends,

It is in both sorrow and great hope that I write to you.

Sorrow, because a much-loved part of our lives is required to change for the good of our community, nation and the world; and hope, because we already know that nothing ‘will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’ and are about to learn more about the great depth of those words!

The change is that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have suspended all public worship in the Church of England until further notice. This means that all public services, events and groups at St Leonard’s and St Leonard’s Church Hall, and all gatherings associated with St Leonard’s are suspended until further notice. Clergy will continue to pray at church.

This is not a suspension of Church, however, but rather a moment at which we will explore different and creative ways of being the Body of Christ. We are already planning to ensure that pastoral contact is kept up by telephone and other means, and for the broadcast of our worship. Further details will be issued in the coming days. We will keep in touch. We will keep worshipping and praying, though in new ways. We will keep supporting those in need. We will keep being the Body of Christ in and for Lexden. Church is continuing, but in a different way.

Can I ask that you redouble your efforts to:

pray for each other, for our leaders, and for the world;

encourage those who can to keep an eye on our Facebook feed, social media, and website;

make sure you are able to keep in touch with your friends by telephone, email, Skype, etc;

ensure you let me or our Pastoral Coordinator know if you are isolating;

contact me or our Pastoral Coordinator if you know of church members who are isolated.

A prayer for St Patrick’s Day:

May the Strength of God pilot us.

May the Power of God preserve us.

May the Wisdom of God instruct us.

May the Hand of God protect us.

May the Way of God direct us.

May the Shield of God defend us.

May the Host of God guard us.

May Christ be with us!

May Christ be before us!

May Christ be in us,

Christ be over all!

May Thy Salvation, Lord,

Always be ours,

This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.

With love and prayers,


The Rev’d Matthew Simpkins

Priest in Charge, St Leonard’s, Lexden