Covid-19

18th March 2020

Rector: Reverend Dr Catherine Garner

To my Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

With a heavy heart, today's guidance from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York leaves me with no alternative but to announce that all social gatherings - including public worship on weekdays and Sundays - at all our churches is suspended until further notice.

Regretfully, this suspension means that all weekly activities of any kind that happen in church, church rooms or homes must cease. We have also been notified by Backwell school that they have cancelled all external bookings.

We do not know as yet whether this suspension will still be in place over the Easter period, but I hope that you will remember that we are a resurrection people and we will have a fabulous celebration when we are able.

The church will, however, remain open for private prayer. The parish office will be manned by the administrator Justine, but NOT be open for visits. Please use the telephone numbers or emails provided should you wish to contact the administrator. This does not mean that we are uncontactable. We have various ways of communicating together through Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp and telephone. I am very aware that some of you live alone with no relatives nearby and want to assure you that this church family is here for you. Please do not be afraid of making contact, whether just for a chat or to get advice or help about other things.

As the Archbishops have wisely said, these precautions are taken because of our responsibility to love our neighbours (not to contribute in any way to the spreading of the COVID-19 corona virus). It does not mean, however, that we stop being ‘The Church'. Rather, we are invited to experiment - and be creative - with praying, worshipping and serving differently. Some excellent online resources for daily prayer can be found on the Church of England's website, and from a worship pack that I have put together, which we will happily post/deliver to you and your neighbours and friends.

I anticipate that the church building will remain open as normal, for private prayers throughout the period, but (to discourage any social gathering) it will be closed at the main Sunday service time of 10.15. During this time, I will celebrate the Eucharist in the church for the community and will use the prayers and readings that can be found in the worship pack that is available through the administrator, either by email or post.

So, in this challenging time, let's remember to 'love our neighbour'.  It's so easy to think how this virus might affect us – but what about other people in our community?  Some may be very anxious for a whole lot of reasons. 

Let's not be tempted to panic and start hoarding supplies.  There's plenty to go around, and it's more appropriate for us to practise the Christian attitude of sharing. 

Let's not worry about the future but live the day that Jesus has given us.  The apostle Paul reminds us that instead of worrying we should pray (Philippians 4v6), so can I encourage you to spend time praying for our church, local community, nation and world at this time.

Please do contact me, or the ministry team using the relevant contact details below.

With love and every blessing in this unprecedented time,

Rev Katy and the church family

Ministry Team

Rev Katy: 01275 880463 or email: revdrkatygarner@gmail.com

Canon Peter: 01275 790611 or email: peterandheather@blueyonder.co.uk

Rev Joan Rowe: 01275 463214 or email: j.rowe91@BTinternet.com

Martin Canning: 01275790309 or email: mscanning@btinternet.com

Administrator Justine Jones or email: standback@btconnect.com