Dear friends, please see below text in English and Farsi of Revd Richard Young's latest communication to the congregation and parish regarding the situation going forwards in the light of the suspension of public worship by the Church of England.
Yesterday the Archbishops of Canterbury and York announced that all public worship in our churches would be suspended until further notice. We then received a letter to the same effect from the Bishop of Manchester.
This follows the government’s decision on Monday to advise against all social gatherings, as a way of slowing the spread of Coronavirus.
I am deeply sad at this decision, but the logic is clear. The experts are saying that, had we stuck with last week’s policy of isolating the ill and the vulnerable, then the spread in the general population would have been such that the need for critical care beds would have been eight times the enhanced NHS capacity - risking many more deaths and also endangering those who will need critical care for other reasons. So to avoid this all of us are now asked to limit social contact wherever possible, for the sake of our brothers and sisters.
So we face a strange time when we will no longer be meeting together on a Sunday or during the week.
I will, however continue to celebrate the Eucharist on a Sunday morning at 10am, with Alan and Hilary, in a simple, said service, where we will pray for you all and especially for those having to remain in their homes. Please, if you are able, take a moment to pray wherever you are at 10am, so that we are together in spirit, though not in body. You may also wish to put a lighted candle in your window, as some in other churches are doing.
The church will also be open on a Thursday evening between 7:30 and 8:30 for silent prayer. If you choose to come, please be careful to maintain the suggested distance from others of 2 metres.
During this suspension we will be trying in various ways to support those who are staying at home. We will also be looking for ways we can express our common life without physically meeting. I know that many people are already supporting and keeping in touch with each other. If you are worried that anyone may have been overlooked, please let me or one of the wardens know. If you or anyone you know might like to receive communion at home, please let me know.
We don’t know how long this suspension will run for, but 12 weeks is the current estimate. This means it will carry on through Easter. We will be in touch again about plans to celebrate Easter together whilst not meeting in person.
The PCC meeting on 24th March will take place via a group phone call. Andy will be in touch with PCC members about this.
Finally, please pass on this email to anyone not on the circulation list above - and if you do so, copy me in so I can then include them in any future emails. Andy is also setting up a Google Groups email, which will make it easier to share messages.
This is an anxious time, and one in which the loss of our fellowship in the Eucharist will be hard to bear. I will be praying for you all, and hoping that somehow we can still find good ways to be church together.
Yours in Christ,
You can download a copy of the above text (in both languages) here:
During this time of self-isolation and distancing you may also find the below document helpful:
USUAL SERVICE TIMES
Sunday: 10.00 Sung Eucharist
Monday: 19.30 Said Eucharist
Thursday: 19.30 Said Eucharist
Friday: 08.30 Morning Prayer
Church Office: 0161 224 0535
Rector’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need to contact us regarding the reading of banns, for funerals, for the use of the church or for other information please contact us by phone or email as shown above and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Safeguarding details can be found here.
(Click links for more information)
Wednesday 26th February, 7.30pm Ash Wednesday Eucharist
Thursday 5th March, 4.30-7pm A Quiet Place in the Eye of the Storm
Saturday 14th March, 10am-3pm Quiet Day
LOCAL & USEFUL LINKS