Church of England Diocese of Exeter Newton Abbot and Ogwell

Pastoral letter

18 Mar 2020, 4:30 p.m.
Church_news From_the_Vicar

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I’m writing to you at an unprecedented time in the life of the Church and of the nation, and it is at moments

like this that our faith and fellowship become even more important and relevant to us. Therefore, on behalf of

the Ministry Team, I want to assure you of our continued prayer and presence at this difficult period of our

corporate life. As you will be aware by now, all public worship within our church buildings has been suspended

until further notice on the advice of both our Archbishops and in line with government guidelines.

Obviously physical contact will need to be kept to the absolute minimum to ensure the safety of everyone, but

we are working on ways to enable us to remain in touch and to serve the needs of one another during what

might well be a very stressful and challenging time for all. The office will remain manned between the hours of

9am to 1pm Monday to Friday but I ask you not to visit, as it will remain closed to the public. You can contact

the office on 01626 334357 or by emailing them on [email protected]

He National Church is working with Dioceses and Parishes to offer support and their website has a wide range

of resources that you might want to tap in to. Alongside these we will be endeavoring to produce some of our

own bespoke resources that are specifically targeted towards our congregations and local community.

We are also exploring whether we might be able to live stream services on Sundays so that we can maintain a

sense of fellowship between all those who have access to the internet. I appreciate that this is not available to

everyone and we will be looking to keep in contact with those who do not have access to this by other means.

Obviously, there will not be a ‘live’ congregation present, but we will seek to ensure that you experience a

worship service that approximates as closely as possible to what you would be familiar with on any given


Other large meetings of congregation members including gatherings of the PCC, the Deanery and Diocesan

Synods and the scheduled APCM will no longer take place. I will however be in regular contact with PCC

members via email, so that any critical decisions regarding our financial and legal obligations and our

responsibilities as employers can be made.

As clergy we will be continuing our daily offices of Morning and Evening Prayer and, whilst St Mary’s

Wolborough, St Mary’s Abbotsbury and All Saints Highweek will be closed, St Paul’s Devon Square, St

Bartholomew’s Ogwell and St Luke’s Milber will be open for private prayer between the hours of 9am to 1pm.

Please feel free to come to these churches to pray for yourself and others.

I ask that you follow the government guidelines at this time, maintaining an appropriate distance from others

who might be in the building and following relevant personal hygiene advice.

Here is a prayer that you might wish to join others in saying at this time.

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.


Every blessing,

Patrick, Nick & Gareth.