WThe Archbishops of Canterbury and York are calling for Church of England churches to put public worship on hold and become a “different sort of church” in the coming months to face the challenge of coronavirus.
In a joint letter, Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu said it was now necessary to put public services on hold until further notice. However they said that far from having to “shut up shop”, the Church of England must face the challenge by becoming a radically different kind of church rooted in prayer and serving others. The following is our response to that challenge here at Christ Church.
Our church building
Unfortunately, following the advice of the diocesan Coronavirus Task Group and new Government restrictions, we have had to close the church buildings until further notice. The garden, with its beautiful views over Morecambe Bay to the Lake District hills, is open to use as part of your daily walk should you wish, provided you follow the social distancing rules and do not use it as a place to gather.
In line with the Archbishops’ letter, Christ Church will not be holding public services until further notice. The Vicar is saying Morning and Evening Prayer from the vicarage every day at 8.30am and 6.00pm. Wherever you find yourself, please take a moment to join in the prayers for the parish. You can find the orders of service for Morning and Evening Prayer here. The easiest way to join in, however, is to download the Daily Prayer app, available for iOS and Android.
Rev’d Carol is also saying the Eucharist from home at 10.30am on Sundays, so again, if people would like that as a time of prayer and worship at home, it will help us come together in time if not in space!
The Church of England is providing a range of resources to enable people to continue to walk with God at this difficult time. These include #LiveLent daily reflections and prayer for the day audio and text.
Since we are unable to share the Eucharist in church, some people may find an act of Spiritual Communion helpful.
For the Fifth Sunday of Lent (29th March), Bishop Philip has recorded a short service for viewing this Sunday on the Diocesan YouTube channel. You can watch it from 9am and it will remain on the site thereafter for later viewing. There will also be a Thought for the Day broadcast from the Cathedral. Please go to https://blackburncathedral.com/church-is-changing/ and follow the links to Facebook or Youtube.
Anyone in our local community who needs help, for example shopping or medicine delivered to those who are sick or vulnerable, or a friendly phone call to people who feel isolated, can email us on email@example.com, call/text 07539 583638 and leave a message, or contact us via our Facebook page.
Offers of help are also very welcome. If you can lend a hand, let us know via any of the ways listed above.
The Christ Church Night Shelter for homeless people is now closed, with alternative accommodation having been found for all our guests by the City Council.
We will be praying daily for all who are suffering in the current crisis. If you would like us to pray for you, or for someone you know, for any reason, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org or text 07980 351855.
We will continue to post the weekly Bible readings, as well as other updates, on our news page, so keep checking in.
Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort, knowing that nothing can separate us from your love, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen