Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ. Rest your weary ones. Bless your dying ones. Soothe your suffering ones. Pity your afflicted ones. Shield your joyous ones. And for all your love’s sake. Amen.
Updating the statement we put out on social media only a few days ago
At the parish churches in Cross Roads, Haworth and Stanbury:
We will all continue to pray for the sick and for carers.
Yes, and for the stir crazy at home and those placed in really difficult financial positions by all this.
We will minimize possibilities of infection at services.
No, we have had to cancel all services altogether, although we are in touch with those exploring whether anything is possible beyond keeping St Michael’s open through the day as usual.
We will seek to be aware of those who usually attend worship and begin to build a system to be in touch by phone.
Working at this: we’ve identified 135 households and a number of people who will keep the contacts, but an initial problem on which we are working is that we have fewer phone numbers than we realised.
Will try to make some prayer and reflection resources available.
Yes, we’ve set up brontevirtualchurch.blogspot.com website, and some YouTube possibilities are now being explored.
We would welcome any information about church members or neighbours who find themselves stuck on their own or upset so that we can try to offer the right practical or spiritual support to anybody.
Yes, and we are grateful to know just how much of this is going on in the three villages already.
We will continue to organise regular and special events.
No, we have had to cancel all events, although we are in touch with those planning possible safe walking possibilities.
We are just digesting the news that the Archbishops have this afternoon written to ask that all Church of England public worship be suspended for the immediate future.
The central part of their letter reads:
As the challenge of the coronavirus grips the world, and as the Government asks every individual and every organisation to rethink its life, we are now asking the Church of England in all its parishes, chaplaincies and ministries to serve all people in a new way. Public worship will have to stop for a season. Our usual pattern of Sunday services and other mid-week gatherings must be put on hold. But this does not mean that the Church of England has shut up shop. Far from it. We need to look at new ways of serving everyone.
We have already been doing some reflecting about being a creative Christian community if unable to meet for worship, and we are due to receive guidance on a range of issues from our own Bishop in the next day or two, so hope to say some positive things in the next few days.