Even with public worship suspended and all churches closed, there is much that we can still do to sustain ourselves and each other. If you would like to read Father Phil’s recent Pastoral Letter, you can find it here. We will use our weekly e-mail bulletin to stay in touch with as many people as possible. If you do not yet receive it, but would like to be included, please contact Matthew at email@example.com
Until further notice, both of our churches, St Mary & and St John and St Alban’s, are now closed. But there are many on-line resources which you may wish to explore and use during the period of the Coronavirus crisis.
The Church of England website has very full liturgical texts and information for daily prayer and for the Eucharist. If you would like to say Morning or Evening Prayer you can do so by clicking here: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer
If you want to find materials and sections for the daily or Sunday celebration of the Eucharist you will find what you need here: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/common-worship
For those of you who would like to pray during the week but don’t usually use the standard Church of England services there are various possibilities. The Franciscan, Richard Rohr, offers daily mediations from his Centre for Action and Contemplation. See here: https://cac.org/sign-up/
If you want daily prayer with a more Celtic flavour, then try The Northumbria Community website: https://www.northumbriacommunity.org/offices/morning-prayer/
Our chief local pastor is the Bishop of our Diocese, and the liturgies of the Bishop in his cathedral church are the basis of all our individual celebrations. Looking ahead, it is likely that the cathedral will be able to broadcast the liturgies of Holy Week and Easter. A Eucharist will be said at St Mary and St John on Easter Day, but sadly the doors will be locked. I hope nevertheless that you will pray with us in your homes at that time.
The Church of England has published a very full series of FAQs about our response to the current situation which you can find by clicking here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches As you will see, specific prayers and liturgies have also been produced.
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.