This is the text of an email sent round to members of the congregation this afternoon:
I am writing this on the eve of the first Sunday following the suspension of congregational public worship for several hundred years, an unprecedented action introduced to halt the spread of the corona virus. This is uncharted territory for everyone, including church leaders and congregations, and while this might be a difficult time for us, we should do all we can to adhere to the guidelines and restrictions coming from the government.
So there are no public services of worship for the foreseeable future, but the importance of us still praying and worshiping means we need to look for different ways of doing church. This will probably evolve and adapt over coming weeks, but in these early days here is what you can do to access a Sunday service.
- The Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) will this Sunday (22 March) begin broadcasting video coverage of Eucharistic services via its website, social media channels and YouTube channel. The web page for the broadcast is located at www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship. The first service, led by the Most Rev Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, will be broadcast at 11am on Sunday, to coincide with when many people would normally be worshipping, if church services had not been suspended earlier this week.
- The Archbishop of Canterbury is due to lead the Church of England’s first virtual Sunday service for worshippers staying at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. The service has been recorded in the crypt chapel at Lambeth Palace in London and includes prayers, hymns and a short sermon, the Church of England said. It will be broadcast across 39 local BBC radio stations at 8am this weekend.
- I will be holding a Service of the Word via video conferencing at 10.30 am this Sunday, 22nd March, and will broadcast the service on Facebook at the same time (hopefully, technology permitting). I hope to do this each Sunday – if you would like to take part, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org. This can be accessed by phone as well, where you will be able to hear the service.
I will let you know of further ways to access worship as they are rolled out.
These are very difficult times, and I suspect they will get worse before they get better. And while we might recognise the need for isolation, we should also recognise that it needs to be spatial isolation, not social isolation. We can, and should, still keep in touch with each other as much as possible, even from the separate spaces we find ourselves in. If we don’t, I fear there will be long term psychological implications, particularly for people who are vulnerable,.
So please, if you are feeling isolated give me a call – or one of the wardens. We will be setting up a phone tree to ensure that everyone is telephoned regularly throughout this period – but let me say again – please do call someone if you are in need, physically or emotionally. Let us be with each other in spirit, let us work together to get through this.
And just a final thought – borrowed from an article called ‘How to thrive – not just survive – during the corona virus outbreak’ – “Covid-19 may have turned our world upside down, but maybe it was the wrong way up in the first place. Maybe we all have the chance, by the grace of God, to reorient it right again.”
Read the full article here – https://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/How-to-thrive-not-just-survive-during-the-corona-virus-outbreak?fbclid=IwAR2Yg7Ygpfy1L4WP_duIcc0oYI2_QoqZ9_22XYl4ySjsDplzksMXZWX0Lbc