COVID vicars message archive
I am contacting you about a number of important matters in relation to the current coronavirus epidemic.
First and most importantly, please know that I am concerned for everyone within the parishes and continue to pray for all of you. I will do my best to keep you up to date as and when appropriate, and I know that you will do all you can to support each other at this difficult and challenging time. Advice has been flowing faster than it is possible to keep up with recently, and I need to digest all the information and work out how to apply it. For now:
1. It is with regret that St Mary’s Acton is closed for the foreseeable future. It will re-open in due course when Government advice suggests that it is safe to do so.
2. The Archbishops announced that all public worship is suspended until further notice. You can read more about this at: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/archbishops-call-church-england-become-radically-different-public-worship
3. On Thursday 7th May Bishop Keith and Archdeacons Ian and Mike wrote to clergy giving permission for clergy to return to the church buildings for private prayer. The advice doesn't consider the implications of clergy having more than one church, and so for now, until restrictions on non-essential travel are lifted, I will be based in Acton, but will be able to go into church to celebrate Communion on your behalf at 9.30 am on Sunday on behalf of everyone, (private prayer WILL NOT be possible in the church at the same time) and to say Morning Prayer Monday - Thursday and Saturday mornings at 8.45 am. The churches remain closed to the public except for the designated person in each parish checking the buildings periodically for insurance purposes. Please continue to respect this. If anyone does need to enter a building for emergencies only, please put your name, the date and time you entered the building on the sheet immediately inside the church building. This is essential for contact tracing.
Another way of keeping in touch is to pray at the same time as others are praying. John Malbon has provided some daily prayers (see Worship Resources page) which he and those in the Thursday Bible Study Group, are using at 10.00 each day. Please feel free to join in at any of these times.
4. I am working hard to ensure that appropriate worship resources appear on the websites as soon as possible.
• there is a prayer for the coronavirus epidemic at: https://www.churchofengland.org/
• A prayer for the day at: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-daily-prayer/todays-prayer
• There are also various apps to download to help us to worship at: https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/apps
5. Supporting those who are self-isolating is crucial. A neighbourhood contact card is available on request which you may wish to use in your own localities.
6. I would like to set up telephone circles so that we can keep in touch.
7. There are various community Facebook pages being set up to support people through this difficult time. At the moment I'm aware of a Community Facebook Page in Worleston and there is also a Facebook page which covers all the parishes at: COVID-10 Rural Support Group-South Cheshire.
8. Finally, but still important if you've managed to read this far, please respect the fact that I am in the vulnerable category. It is important that I stay as well as possible in order to be available when I am really needed. I am therefore restricting contact with people as much as is reasonable, but not entirely self-isolating. I will continue to work, but it will be in different ways. I continue to be available to you on the phone (01270 628864) and by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. I will continue to enable appropriate forms of worship and appropriate forms of pastoral care. If I cannot meet your need because I am keeping myself to myself wherever possible, I can contact those who can. I would be grateful of your understanding in this. Please do not interpret it as an unwillingness to engage with the situation or as laziness on my part
Please do all you can to keep yourselves safe and to care for each other in new and different ways, and above all, please stay in touch.
In Christian love and with my prayers,
Revd S Anne Lawson
Vicar of the Cross Country Parishes of
St Mary's Acton, St Bartholomew's Church Minshull, St David's Wettenhall, St Oswald's Worleston