Church Notices

Cessation of Public Worship effective immediately

 

Following my earlier communication to you today, the Archbishops have issued this guidance Tuesday 17th March at 1.30pm.

 

In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice. 

The churches of the benefice will be open but no public worship services will take place. I shall continue to say Morning Prayer every day at the Abbey Church, and toll the bell, a sign to the community and to all of us that the Church's rhythm of prayer continues.

As John Ellerton puts it in his beautiful and well-known hymn,  "As over each continent and island the dawn leads on another day, the voice of prayer is never silent, nor dies the strain of praise away." If you wanted to me to include anything specific in my prayers during this time, do please let me know.

In the meantime, I commend these prayers to you from the Church of England website:

Prayers about the 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.

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 tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
Amen.

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 ill

Merciful God,
we entrust to your tender care
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold them 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.

With my love and blessing, FJohn