We have had to make some changes to the way we run St Mary’s so we can do our best to keep people safe. It will be necessary for Face Coverings to be worn.
As we enter another period of lockdown, I thought I would just update you on what is happening in our benefice. We are not currently allowed to worship in church buildings, but that doesn’t stop us worshipping God, who longs to welcome us into his presence anytime and anywhere, to find grace and strength to help us in our times of need.
It’s not easy for any of us, just at the moment. I guess we were all missing spending time with our friends and family before the new restrictions came in, and now it is all so much harder. But this virus is merciless, and we must do all we can to keep ourselves and everyone else safe.
It’s also a time of immense instability in the world, especially difficult as we come to this season of Remembrance for those who have died in the service of our nation. As I write there is no definitive outcome of the US election and the news coming from there is not good, with threats of legal proceedings if the election result is disputed. Please join me in praying for a peaceful outcome that will be for the benefit, not just of the whole population of the USA, but also for the rest of the world. And please do pray for our Government and their advisors; this is a very strange and difficult time, and the well-being of the whole nation must be a heavy burden to bear.
During the next few weeks, we hope to post online services on the St Mary’s website. There is one for this Sunday, an Act of Remembrance based on the service we would have had in Church. Next Sunday there will be a Family Service produced by Janys Cliff.
Also on the website, you will find an outline for Daily Prayer for the season between All Saints and the start of Advent. If you would like to try a daily act of worship then this might help! There is also a selection of prayers published by the Church of England to help us all pray for our nation and each other, during this difficult period. I hope they are helpful. If you can think of anyone else who would value a copy of either of these, please do print one off and pass it on.
No-one knows just at the moment how Churches will be able to celebrate Christmas, but if you have any positive suggestions, please do pass them on! Pandemic or not, we must still celebrate the amazing truth that God sent his only Son into the world to be with us, to show us the true self-giving nature of God, and to save us from ourselves and all the messes we get ourselves into! That is worth celebrating!
Hope you are well,
Wishing you God’s richest blessing and encouragement,