Coronavirus update

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters at St Augustine's & St Clements,

 

As you will probably have heard by now, the Archbishops have issued guidance that public worship in churches should be suspended until further notice in the context of the coronavirus pandemic to try to delay and manage its spread.

 

We are of course following that guidance. St Augustine's will be open for prayer at these times:

 

Fridays 6-7pm

Sundays 10-11am

Wednesdays 10.30-11.30am

 

We are not opening St Clements as the heating has broken and it is just too cold, so St Clements people who want to pray in church please go to St Augustines. 

 

The Anchor Project have suspended groups but will be doing food distribution on Tuesday mornings as usual and focussing their energies on making sure that people who are vulnerable or isolated are getting the support they need. Sandra Brian is co-ordinating a phone chain to make sure that people are contacted regularly so we know who to feed in to Anchor Project's food run next week.

 

We will make sure that we know who needs help and support at St Augustines as well and do our best to give it. The pastoral network led by Janet Clayton is very effective. We would be glad to know of anyone who could help with any food runs for St Augustines as well as anyone who needs support. I know you will all support each other. 

 

Homegroups are suspended. It may be possible to meet at church and maintain enough physical distance for the healthy. All training events and meetings are postponed. Bishop Nick has just sent advice that there is now an extension on when APCMS (Annual Parish Church Meetings) have to happen by. 

 

I am looking into what online meetings and gatherings we may be able to have - eg via Whatsapp, Zoom, video, livestreaming, with Sarah Ranji's help. Offers of skilled help  gratefully received.

 

Meanwhile, this Sunday there will be a live streamed service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and we are all being encouraged to make this Sunday, Mothering Sunday, a day of prayer and action to support the most anxious and vulnerable and to pray for the medical services and all those in key roles at this times, as well as to ask for God's mercy and protection. We are all invited to light a candle and put it in our windows at 7pm on Sunday. 

 

We are both churches with fragile finances. It would help us enormously if those who can continue their giving remotely so that we have the cash flow to keep going. Ian Fletcher will be glad to help you with how if you want to do this but don't know how.

 

I'm now into my 8th day of self isolation because of the virus I've had. Today I feel quite a lot better but still have symptoms. In any case guidance has changed so I have to stay in self isolation until next Wednesday, but I'm now able to work for more of the day. I'm grateful for some time to think and pray at this critical time. You're very welcome to contact me by phone or email. Thanks to everyone who has offered to help or sent messages of support. 

 

Please pray especially for all those we know who are more vulnerable because their immune systems are compromised or through pregnancy. And for those who run businesses eg Paul Bartle, or whose work is threatened.

 

I'm sure that we will learn a great deal about being church, and God's faithfulness during this time. There is a great opportunity for us to reflect and listen to what God is saying to us and to reach out to our friends and neighbours with God's practical love.

 

Once I'm out of quarantine I'll let you know when I'll be in church as far as possible. I'll aim to go in to pray and celebrate communion and will try to get that streamed or video'd.

 

With love and prayer for all of you, and thanks for all the lay leaders in our churches who are working so hard at this time - as well as the leadership of the wider church which is supporting us. 

 

God is good - ALL the time.

The Rev'd Rose Fairhurst

Vicar, St Augustines & St Clements Bradford 


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