At the beginning of lockdown, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York called 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 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
With restrictions beginning to be lifted, we are slowly reopening our church building, with social distancing measures in place. We plan to open the Lady Chapel for private prayer from Sunday 5th July. Thereafter the church will be open on Sundays 1-4 pm and Wednesdays 10-12 am. The garden, with its beautiful views over Morecambe Bay to the Lake District hills, is open to all to use in line with Government guidelines on social distancing and outdoor gatherings.
Christ Church will not be holding public services until further notice. The Vicar, Rev Carol, is live-streaming the Eucharist from home at 10.30am on Sundays on our YouTube channel, so if people would like to join in at home it will help us come together in time if not in space! An order of service can be found here, and the Bible readings, prayers and a reflection for each Sunday are published each week in our newsletter. An audio recording of the reflection can be found on our sermons page.
During the week, Morning Prayer is live-streamed on Friday at 0830, with Evening Prayer at 6pm on Wednesday and Sunday. Compline is at 9pm on Saturday. Each day, prayers are offered at 8.30am and 6pm – do join in from home. These can be followed using the Daily Prayer app (available for Android and iOS), and paper copies are available from Rev Carol.
Since we are unable to share the Eucharist in church, some people may find an act of Spiritual Communion helpful.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com or text 07980 351855.
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