On Tuesday 17th March the 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. They 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. If you would like to read the full Church of England press release, you can find that here. Following this advice, we are immediately suspending all public worship, and all other church events, including choir and Sunday Stars.
First and foremost, we would like to stress that this is not the church 'closing down'. The church has always been a movement of people, it just happens to have for a period used certain buildings at certain times. We are still those people, the people of God, and we are still called to witness to him in how we live, how speak, and how we act. We are still a people of faith, hope, and love, and each of us is still very much open, to the Spirit, and to his activity in the world.
But whilst we continue to 'be' church, we do need to change how we 'do' church for the time being. It may even be that the things we discover forced upon us serve us so well that we continue in them when the crisis has passed.
We have spent a lot of time thinking about what we might be able to provide over the coming days - to support ourselves as a faith community, and also to support those around us.
- Be livestreaming Morning Prayer Mon-Thu on our Facebook page (fb.com/ourfivechurches)
- On Sunday mornings at 8am we will post to our new 'Engage!' page on the website (www.theunitedbenefice.org/
engage or www.allsaintsripley.org/engage ) a reflection on the readings for the week. There is the possibility on this page for people to post comments, and engage in discussion around the theme. On a Sunday morning, this page will be monitored by a member of the leadership team so they can join in with any discussion.
- On Sunday mornings the eucharist will be celebrated by a priest in our Benefice, on behalf of our benefice. This Communion service will be livestreamed to our facebook page at 10am, and shortly afterwards be available on the Engage page of this site, and on our telephone catch up line.
- We are holding a 10am Wednesday morning communion using the platform Zoom - if you would like to join us please be in touch for details.
- We have a local phone number that can be called to listen to recordings of morning prayer, and communion services. If this would be of interest to you or anyone you know, then please do be in touch for the number.
- Our church buildings are now closed to help prevent the spread of infection and keep people safe.
- BBC Radio 4's Sunday Morning Worship, at 8.10am on Sundays;
- BBC's Songs of Praise
- BBC Choral Evensong (BBC Radio 3, 3.30pm on Wednesday and again 3pm Sunday)
- Using the Church of England's Daily Prayer, either from the website (https://www.churchofengland.
org/prayer-and-worship/join- us-service-daily-prayer), or through the app: Android Apple
- Subscribing to daily bible study notes - there are many out there. I personally quite like Our Daily Bread www.odb.org, 01539 564149, Android Apple
- There are number of national resources now available on https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online
- You can also access resources from the Church of England through your smart speaker ("Alexa, open the Church of England" or "Hey Google, talk to the Church of England" to get started)