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, 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.
Rev Carol has also provided two booklets. The first, A Prayer Experiment invites us to explore new ways of prayer during lockdown, either alone or as a family. The second is a booklet of Stations of the Resurrection, with some beautiful images on which to reflect.
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 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.
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