Visit this place, O Lord, we pray and drive far from it the snares of the enemy;
May your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace, and may your blessing be always upon us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
After much last minute consultation including with the Bishop’s office, even though worship is ‘permitted’ in Tier 4, it has been decided for everybody’s safety at least for January to SUSPEND SUNDAY WORSHIP in the Purton, Sharpness and Slimbridge Benefice.
Bill Boon wrote:
Following the move into Tier 4 I have decided to follow the latest advice from Bishops Rachel and Robert and suspend Sunday services until the condition improves.
Although Government guidance allows for services to take place in all Tiers I think that it would be safer at this time to suspend Sunday morning worship, especially as our congregation is older and falls into a higher risk category.
The church can remain open for private prayer and funerals.
I will keep you updated should we received further information.
I wish you all a Happy New Year – let’s pray that it’s better than the one we leave behind.
From the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group
Following Monday’s statement by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, detailing new restrictions in England to control the spread of Covid-19, The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who chairs the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group, said:
“The Prime Minister’s words tonight underline the severity of the situation for the country, as the virus continues to spread rapidly. At a time like this, the Church is here to offer comfort and spiritual support to everyone. We have a duty to care for each other, but particularly those who are vulnerable or who may be most at risk.
“The Government has chosen not to suspend public worship in England at this time and we will continue to follow the guidance and ensure that churches remain as safe as possible. The Government guidance on the safe use of places of worship makes clear that those attending a place of worship must not mingle with anyone outside their household or support bubble.
“However, some may feel that it is currently better not to attend in person, and there will be parishes which decide to offer only digital services for the time-being. Clergy who have concerns, and others who are shielding, should take particular care and stay at home.
“I would urge everyone in our churches to pray for those on the front line in our public services – the NHS and those working in social care, for schools and many others on whom we depend; and for parents and carers of children at this anxious and stressful time.
“There is hope. The vaccination programme is underway and, as Christians, we have a deeper hope in God that comforts us beyond fear itself. As we have been remembering this Christmas Season, even in the midst of our darkest fears, that hope brings light
Here are the links to private worship.
A simpler possibility is on the Church of England website. On their page there is a link to a sound file for daily prayer. If you would like to have a local input, please look at this page to see what the ministry team in the benefice has offered.
To understand the current rules about the tier system, there is an article on the bbc site. On that page you can find out the status of the district in the tier system.
Sermons on the Diocese website
A sermon from a senior member of clergy, to be used in parishes to support clergy in their parish and benefice worship. Click here to see the listing on the website.
The Local Covid 19 Support Group has produced a new information leaflet. See it here.