Church of England Diocese of Chelmsford St. John, Walthamstow

Vicar's Letter about Coronavirus (18th March 2020)

25 Mar 2020, 6 a.m.
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To the church family at Saint John's

Dear Friends,

I am writing to encourage you to keep trusting Jesus in these difficult days and to update you about plans to enable us to keep stay in contact in the days and weeks ahead.

Events are moving quickly. So many things that we thought that we could rely on now feel very fragile and ineffective in the face of Coronavirus. It is natural that many of us feel afraid and fearful like never before in our lifetimes.

But “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13v8).

As followers of Jesus, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in time of trouble.” (Psalm 46v1).

And “Nothing (not even coronavirus, nor even death) can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8v35-39).

The latest Government / Church of England guidance means that we can no longer meet together physically on Sundays at St John’s nor in our regular groups during the week. This will make it much harder to encourage one another and spur one another on in Christ, and will leave many of us feeling sad, fearful and distressed.

But, the good news of Jesus remains true! Jesus has died for our sins, He is risen, and this gives all believers the assurance of God’s Fatherly care now (whatever the circumstances) and the certain hope of eternal life with Him in the future!

St John’s core team met last night. We agreed that we must keep praying for, and actively seeking to live out our Church vision.

Plans are underway to enable many of us to keep meeting together online, and to enable everyone to be in contact with others in the church family on the phone and to receive ongoing pastoral care. We will seek to confirm the exact details as soon as possible. We are also considering how we can best seek to serve everyone in our parish going forwards.

Jesus’ great commission to His disciples remains in force:

“Jesus came and said to His disciples and said ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” (Matthew 28v18-20).

Brothers and sisters, even in these troubled days, Jesus still has all authority. He is with us always. We can rely on no-one else. And our task is clear.

So, let me encourage you doubly in this time of trouble to keep on praying to God for those in authority, and also for our Church vision to be fulfilled:

We long to see North Walthamstow transformed by Jesus, one life at a time.

Brothers and sisters, let us remain committed to hearing God speak to us in the Bible and depending on Him in prayer – prayer for our Government and nation, for each other, for everyone in North Walthamstow and for those seeking to care for the sick and needy, and for those seeking a cure for the virus.

And let us keep on…

learning to follow our Lord Jesus together

loving Jesus, one another and everyone in North Walthamstow and beyond,

serving Jesus and people wholeheartedly

and sharing the good news of Jesus with everyone everywhere.

With love and prayers for you all in Christ,


Wednesday 18th March