Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Paul Blackheath

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

At present (24/03/2020) the national advice from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, reflecting government policy, is that our church buildings are closed for public worship and for private prayer.  This means that our usual pattern of mid-week and Sunday services  are suspended for the time being.  It also means that very sadly at the moment, no baptisms, funerals or marriages can take place in church.  When normal services return we will do all we can to celebrate and mark any of life's moments that have been truncated in these exceptional days, like for example offering memorial services where attendance at funerals has been restricted.

Our prayers and concern for the world, our communities and the vulnerable people amongst them remains unchanged.  We will be looking to become a "different sort of church" using the internet, social media, texting and telephone contact to provide the support, hope and re-assurance that is so badly needed at this time.  If you would value accessing this support please do not hesitate to contact us.  We will continue to  support our local foodbanks as they continue to provide help to the most vulnerable in our society.

In our practice we shall continue to act upon government, NHS and National Church of England recommendations.

A prayer about the Coronavirus outbreak

Keep us, good Lord,

under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,

and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Amen.

For those in isolation

God of compassion,

be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.

In their loneliness, be their consolation;

in their anxiety, be their hope;

in their darkness, be their light;

through him who suffered alone on the cross,

but reigns with you in glory,

Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

For those who are worried/social cohesion

Loving Jesus, you are compassionate to those in need

and heal the sick in body and mind.

Look kindly on those who are fearful at this time.

Help us all to put away all thoughts and actions

that separate us from you and from one another.

Give us grace to live our lives

confident in your promise that you are with us always.

Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ,

you taught us to love our neighbour,

and to care for those in need

as if we were caring for you.

In this time of anxiety, give us strength

to comfort the fearful, to care for the sick,

and to assure the isolated

of our love, and your love,

for your name’s sake.

Amen.

For those who are ill

Merciful God,

we entrust to your unfailing and tender care,

those who are ill or in pain,

knowing that whenever danger threatens

your everlasting arms are there to hold us safe.

Comfort and heal them,

and restore them to health and strength;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

For hospital staff and medical researchers

Gracious God,

give skill, sympathy and resilience

to all who are caring for the sick,

and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.

Strengthen them with your Spirit,

that through their work many will be restored to health;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

From one who is ill or isolated

O God,

help me to trust you,

help me to know that you are with me,

help me to believe that nothing can separate me

from your love

revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Prayers for when you can't get to church

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples, ‘I am with you always’.

Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.

Hear my prayers for others and for myself,

and keep me in your care.

Amen.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,

Christ behind me, Christ before me,

Christ beside me, Christ to win me,

Christ to comfort and restore me.

Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love me,

Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

From St Patrick’s Breastplate

I am giving you worship with all my life,

I am giving you obedience with all my power,

I am giving you praise with all my strength,

I am giving you honour with all my speech.

I am giving you love with all my heart,

I am giving you affection with all my sense,

I am giving you my being with all my mind,

I am giving you my soul, O most high and holy God.

Praise to the Father,

Praise to the Son,

Praise to the Spirit,

The Three in One.

adapted from Alexander Carmichael,

Carmina Gadelica (1900)

The 'Jesus Prayer'

Lord Jesus Christ,

son of the living God,

have mercy on me, a sinner.

After a time of prayer:

Be with us, Lord, in all our prayers,

and direct our way toward the attainment of salvation,

that among the changes and chances of this mortal life,

we may always be defended by your gracious help,

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

Endings for Intercession

O gracious and holy Father,

give us wisdom to perceive you,

diligence to seek you,

patience to wait for you,

eyes to behold you,

a heart to meditate upon you,

and a life to proclaim you,

through the power of the spirit

of Jesus Christ our Lord.

St Benedict

Soul of Christ, sanctify me,

body of Christ, save me,

blood of Christ, inebriate me,

water from the side of Christ, wash me.

Passion of Christ, strengthen me.

O good Jesus, hear me:

hide me within your wounds

and never let me be separated from you.

From the wicked enemy defend me,

in the hour of my death, call me

and bid me come to you,

so that with your saints I may praise you

for ever and ever.

Anima Christi