Latest Newsletter from Revd. Michelle
Since the Government's announcement on Monday evening of another Lockdown in England, but this time, not ordering public worship to be suspended, I have been conferring with the Ministry Team, churchwardens and both PCCs as to what we feel is safe and sensible to do in our particular context. As you know, I have also been inviting comments and views for the last couple of weeks via our weekly mailing and What's App groups. Many thanks for all your responses, thoughts and considerations.
It is now clear that things have moved on considerably and we are all aware of the very concerning situation we are currently facing and the mounting pressures on the NHS. The comments I have been receiving this week along with our own personal experiences and the events of this week so far are now making it very clear that we should move to suspend services in church until it is safe to resume. This is not a decision I would have wished to make, but it is necessary.
Both PCCS are in agreement and Bishop Donald has indicated his support for these necessary suspensions. We can review where things are at by the end of January, and as soon as it is safe to do so, will look to resume Sunday Services. In the meantime, both St John's and St Mary's will continue to remain open for private prayer whilst we are sure we can do so safely, and our Online Sunday Service will continue as well as Morning Prayer by Zoom and Celtic Online. We are considering what else we can offer and how best to do that during this Lockdown period. Please feel free to contact me at any time by any of the usual means - and each week I will be on site most Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. If you can help spread the word about Sunday Services that would be good especially where you know people don't receive the weekly mailing. As part of our ongoing care for one another, can we all keep in touch with anyone who is alone or in isolation, or in need of help with shopping or other practical things, and of course do pass onto myself or other members of the Pastoral Team or Ministry Team when needed too.
There is so much that is encouraging as we look forward and as the vaccination programme steps up in the coming weeks - hold onto all that and the light of hope revealed among us most especially in this Epiphany Season:
Lord God of the nations,
we have seen the star of your glory rising in splendour.
The radiance of your incarnate Word pierces the darkness that covers the earth and shines like the dawn of peace and justice.
Make radiant the lives of your people with that same brightness and bring all the nations to walk as one in your light.
We ask this through Jesus Christ your Word made flesh, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
in the splendour of eternal light, God for ever and ever. Amen.
Thanks again everyone, and please take great care and keep safe.
My love and prayers for you all xx
Revd Michelle Dalliston
St Mary the Virgin, Higham Ferrers
with St John the Baptist, Chelveston-cum-Caldecott
14 Minster Precincts