Due to the Coronavirus, we are currently unable to open the church building for worship and prayer however we will continue our mission in over ways. In light of this we will be hosting here a weekly update every Wednesday from the vicar on what has been going on in the church community and how you can continue to worship from home.
Welcome to this week’s Wednesday update from St. Paul’s
As you will have heard, yesterday the government announced that churches can open for public worship from 4th July. More about that below.
I’ve been keeping a CV-19 journal/folder. Right at the front is a page of ‘Coronavirus guidance for parishes’ from February that says, ‘The risk to the public in the UK is currently set at moderate. (-) The number of cases in the UK is very small and good preparation is in place.’ I sent the first of these ‘keeping in touch’ e-mails on March 17th, when the second day of Easter Experience had been cancelled and we were waiting for advice from the Church of England. The following day I sent an update because the Archbishops of Canterbury and York had suspended public worship ‘until further notice’.
A week later, March 25th, when I sent ‘CV-19#3’, we had no idea that three months on the UK death toll would be 42,927, that we’d all know someone who’d been affected and that we’d still be keeping in touch by phone, e-mail and social media, but we’re now in what’s being called the ‘emerging’ phase – taking the first steps towards a ‘new normal’.
My hope is that we will initially be able to open the church for private prayer early in July – and, depending on the guidance that we continue to receive, to have our first service of public worship at the end of July. Watch this space for updates.
Our (very appropriate) prayer this week comes from the Evangelical Alliance:
Lord, as we tentatively approach a new season, we thank you for your faithfulness. We thank you for your Spirit, helping us to share your love in countless words of grace and acts of kindness. As we move forward grant us wisdom, grace, mercy and love. Strengthen and renew your church and heal our land. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Until next Wednesday:
Keep safe, keep well, keep faith, keep praying and God bless,
Vicar of St Paul’s East Ham