Rev Chris update for 17th Jan

Dear all,

I am sure that we all give time to spare a thought for those working in the health care sector, especially in the hospitals as they deal with the pressures of the influx of those suffering from Covid19 whilst trying to balance that with all the other needs that come their way.

We must include in that the outstanding work of Care Home staff, GP surgeries, pharmacies and so on. Perhaps I can add to the list Funeral Directors because they are alongside families at difficult times seeking to guide them through a specific moment. They are businesses, yet they are also an important part of the fabric of society.

I have never known myself to be so busy, at any given moment, conducting funerals. In conversation with the local Funeral Directors, it is clear that they are experiencing a significant surge in funerals in a way that is far beyond what you might call ‘to be expected at this time of year’. So, please do spare a thought, and a prayer, for them and for so many families who will be grieving the loss of a loved one, made all the worse because of the difficult circumstances we are currently experiencing.

From figures on the news, it seems that the local infection rate is dropping, which, hopefully, means that the death rate will also fall, however as there is something of a lag between these figures, I would expect things to carry on being challenging for a few weeks yet. In the meantime, we need to ensure that we do our best to keep ourselves, and others, as safe as possible.

The bible gives many messages of hope for trying times and one of the best known, and often used at funerals, is Psalm 23 (the most poetic is the King James Version);

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

On Sunday Fiona will be presenting the morning service on Facebook.

Next Wednesday, 20th, at 10am I am going to trial a ‘phone in’ Communion Service – this is primarily aimed at those who have no internet access and have missed connecting with church, although others are welcome to join. To access the service just telephone the following number and then enter the room code and PIN, as directed;

Phone: 0333 0164 757

Room Code: 81318745#

PIN: 5007#

Accompanying this update is the service order that I will be using. Please keep for future use.

Next Sunday, 24th, I will be broadcasting the morning service in two different ways at 10am. There will be the usual Facebook presentation but at the same time there will be a service over Zoom to enable some degree of fellowship. The Zoom code has been provided on the Services & Events page.

It is difficult to say at what stage we will be able to return to some form of physical worship but, hopefully, if national trends go in the right direction then maybe sooner than later. In the meantime, please do make the most of all that we are doing online – please also keep dropping off donations to the foodbank at the Rectory porch.


Rev Chris