Throughout history humanity has be subject from time to time to various plagues and pestilences; they are doubtless worrying times especially when they concern illnesses about which relatively little is known. As the current situation unfolds the first and best advice to us all is not to panic. In uncertain times it may be our natural inclination to be selfish, to hoard, to think of no-one but ourselves; this is unChristian, unnecessary, and unhelpful and will do nothing to protect us. There are however certain things we can do to help one another.
On Monday 23rd March the Prime Minister introduced sweeping restrictions in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19. As a consequence of this the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued a statement followed by new guidelines on Tuesday 24th March. With immediate effect the churches of the Church of England are temporarily closed for both public and private prayer; this includes baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Baptisms and weddings may be rearranged for later in the year.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND FUNERALS WILL STILL TAKE PLACE (FREE OF CHARGE) but directly at the crematorium or graveside, and then maintaining physical distancing with a limit placed on the number of mourners. This is far from what any of us would like and it is not a decision which has been taken lightly. Clergy will work with families to offer the best possible services under the circumstances. Please remember that the clergy are designated key workers and will become increasingly vulnerable as the pandemic spreads, although it may be hard emotionally please co-operate as much as possible in order to preserve their health that they may be able to give dignified burial for others.
To help keep yourselves and others safe continue to wash your hands using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or better yet, the time it takes to recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be!
Mass will continue to be offered throughout the outbreak, unless Fr Andrew is hospitalised. Mass will now be live-streamed through Fr Andrew's facebook page to follow the Mass please use the order below:
Please also feel free to use the following litany which has been devised by a member of another congregation. Fr Andrew will be using it regularly and he encourages us to do the same.
Fr Andrew is also live-streaming morning and evening prayer usually at 9am and 6pm but do check the facebook page for details of each week's services - you don't need a facebook account to access the videos just click the link above.
If you would like to follow along with morning and evening prayer the services can be found on the Church of England Daily Prayer App or their website here
Although some of these things may seem drastic it is good for us to be looking out for those in greatest need, we may be in this for much of the year. The church is here, as always, for all, regardless of creed or conviction. If you are self-isolating and in need of pastoral support please call, likewise if you are in need of assistance with shopping please get in touch and we can help with that too. S. Saviour's is going to be used as a kind of warehouse or distribution hub for getting practical help to those who need it. We will be working together with local partners and others to provide groceries, toiletries, and deliveries where needed.
In order to help us continue to support our community please do think about donating to church either through our JustGiving page, or through online banking (please get in touch with me for details)
Stay safe, continue to praise God, and pray that this outbreak may swiftly come to an end.
God bless you all,
S. Saviour's is committed to safeguarding and has adopted the National and Diocesan Policies.
If you have a safeguarding concern regarding our parish, or for more information please click here.
If a child or adult is at immediate risk of significant harm, contact the police on 999.