Tag Archives: closure

16 January. Going Viral LXIII: Second (or is it third) lockdown in Canterbury.

St Peter’s keys on the weather vane of his church in Canterbury.

How St Mildred’s, St Dunstan’s and St Peter’s in Canterbury are facing the new restrictions. Some day we’ll be glad of the record!

Good morning to you all, and I do hope this finds you well in these difficult times. A lot has been going on behind the scenes – hence today.
Temporary closure of our church buildings

The PCC’s of both of our Parishes, and our ministry team, have agreed that we temporarily suspend corporate worship in our buildings  with immediate effect, and move onto on-line provision, live streaming our services from St Dunstan’s with a 10.00 Sunday Eucharist. This will be the pattern of worship until Sunday February 21st 2021, when the situation will be reviewed, and hopefully more of our folk will have been vaccinated, and the virus less prevalent.  

We are legally permitted to keep our church buildings open for corporate worship, if we feel it is wise and safe to do so. Bishop Rose has advised in a letter to clergy, that this is a may, and not a must. She reminds us that we have a duty of care for everyone particularly those who are vulnerable or who may be most at risk from this virus. 

With the demographics of our congregations being predominantly elderly and vulnerable (over 70),  the safest option for all, in this current climate, is to temporarily close our buildings for corporate worship; particularly in light of the CofE guidance that states, “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.”

The safety of our vulnerable congregations is absolutely paramount, and with this in mind, we are temporarily closing our buildings and moving our worship online, which folk can watch from the safety of their homes. I assure you that this has not been an easy decision  for myself and the PCC’s, but it is in the interests of keeping everyone safe, and we have hope. 

I appreciate that for some this will be a  huge disappointment; and for others you may feel comforted by this decision. Either way may you be reassured by The Bishop of London’s words – who chairs the Church of England Covid recovery group:  “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.”  
 

May I remind you that although buildings will be temporarily closed, the church is not shut – we are the Body of Christ, the church, and we can love and support one another with phone calls, and prayers, and keeping connected to one another. For those who are in touch with are offline folk, please can you let them know of this decision.


God Bless you all, and please do keep safe, keep connected and keep praying.
Jo
Rev Jo Richards Rector of the Benefice of St Dunstan, St Mildred and St Peter, Canterbury

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Filed under corona virus, Interruptions, Justice and Peace

Going Viral LIII: Good morning to you all

Saint Dunstan’s Church

Good morning to you all, on another beautiful autumnal morning – and the skies over Canterbury this morning were quite stunning at 6.40am!.
Updates: Our church buildings are now closed for the duration of this lockdown, as instructed by the government, but we are able to broadcast services from them (behind closed doors). 
Sunday Service for Remembrance Sunday: 8th November 2020  
On Sunday we will be broadcasting a Benefice Remembrance Sunday Service from St Dunstan’s (as we have 4G cover), during which the names of the war dead of the Benefice will be read out. This service will be live streamed at 10.00 on FaceBook Live, and then uploaded to youTube (all accessed through our website: www.dunstanmildredpeter.org.uk 

We are still awaiting CofE guidance as to whether or not this can be a team of us, or me on my own and a camera! (I am assuming a team, unless we hear to the contrary)

Immediately after the service, we will have a short Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial, where we will be laying a wreath, and observing the two-minute silence at 11.00 – more details to follow relating to this.

Call for Prayer: Archbishop Justin has asked that we all pray at 6.00 every evening for the nation at this time (this coincides with our night prayer, in which we will be incorporating the prayers). Please do use this resource (attached) – this will also be available on our website.

Today’s prayer: Friday National and Local government We pray for those who are in positions of authority with responsibility for decision making at national and local level at this difficult time. We ask that God would give great wisdom, deep commitment to all and right judgment.    

Words from today’s second reading: Revelation 3: 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.   God Bless, and please do keep safe, keep connected and keep praying – and do join us on-line…Jo
Rev Jo Richards
Rector of the Benefice of St Dunstan, St Mildred and St Peter, Canterbury

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Filed under Autumn, corona virus, Mission

Going Viral LII: A hidden gem.

Another briefing from Revd Jo Richards, who welcomed Bishop Rose to Saint Mildred’s Canterbury for All Saints. Bishop Rose looks after Canterbury diocese on behalf of Archbishop Justin Welby. Photo by Tim. More change to worship is coming.

Good Morning to you all on this All Soul’s Day, another damp autumnal morning.
It was a delight however yesterday to welcome Bishop Rose to St Mildred’s for our All Saints’ Day Eucharist, which you can watch here. It was a lovely service and thank you to all those who worked so hard behind the scenes to make it all happen so smoothly, a very memorable day, a hidden gem as Bishop Rose called it – and literally as it took her a while to find it!

From what we understand, following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday night, places of worship will once again close on Thursday 5th November, with the exemption of funerals, individual prayers and to broadcast acts of worship. Further details will be coming out this week from CofE, as to what exactly this means, but our initial thinking is that we will live-stream a Sunday Eucharist from St Dunstan’s at 10.00. As before this will be on Facebook Live, and uploaded to YouTube. If we go down this route it would be really good to have pre-recorded readings and intercessions, and may well have pre-recorded hymns ie – what we did from the Rectory, but in St Dunstan’s – please watch this space!


Meanwhile, today being All Souls Day, thoughts for all those who remember loved ones today. From Exciting Holiness: “Since its foundation, Christians have recognised that the church, the assembled people of God, is at its most perfect when it recognises its unity in God’s redeeming love with all who have said, who say now,  and who will say in the fullness of time ‘Jesus is Lord'”.

God Bless you all, and do keep safe, keep praying and keep connected

Rev Jo Richards Rector of the Benefice of St Dunstan, St Mildred and St Peter, Canterbury

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Filed under Christian Unity, corona virus, Mission, PLaces

Going viral LIV: And next …

I thought we might look at what St Thomas’s Catholic church was saying about the virus. I’d just copied the paragraphs below when my wife said, ‘He’s making is announcement now’, and my daughter, part of our household, called us to dinner. We could do something about dinner, but not about the Prime Minister.


As the Prime Minister considers a potential National lockdown across England next week, bear in mind that this could mean that our Church may be closed within a week so please keep informed by the various news outlets or phone the Parish Office before making your way to our Church. We are fortunate to be able to continue with our live-stream Masses if Churches across England do close.

Hopefully we will know more next week and will keep you informed on the implications of this potential lockdown on St Thomas’ and what we can do to help those who may need a little help. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been affected by Covid-19.

Please keep safe.

So it looks like another month without being physically present at Mass, for all the cleaning regimes that have been introduced, the social distancing within and outside the building.

As well to remind ourselves that Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter happened once and for all; and to join St John Paul II in Christ’s offering ‘on the altar of the world’, before and ever after he suffered under Pontius Pilate and rose on the third day.

Every meal, we should remember, is a part of the Eucharist, especially when it is shared, and when the Lord is thanked for his bounty as we sit down. We are never far from the Mass, and the live stream will remind us of that.

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Filed under Autumn, corona virus, Daily Reflections, Mission, PLaces