The United Benefice of Withington, Sevenhampton with Charlton Abbots, Hawling, Whittington, Dowdeswell and Andoversford, Shipton and Cold Salperton
Because of the Coronavirus situation there is no rota to download as the situation is changing daily.
A message from Colin
All Church of England Sunday Worship Services have been suspended, including this coming Sunday. We are being encouraged to keep Church buildings open, which is, of course, our regular practice. I am expecting that all ‘gatherings’ will be suspended and so have cancelled the Lent Groups, but I await confirmation about other church meetings.
I will still be at the Community Church in Andoversford on Tuesday mornings at 9:30am for the usual prayers for the Benefice. If anyone wants to join in me (and sit two metres away from me!) then feel free. But I shall continue with this even if no-one comes. If you have specific people or situations that you would like me to pray for then please let me know. Our Prayer Chain, or course, will also still function. I shall also stay in the Office on a Tuesday morning until 12:30.
Lindsey Crane will work from home.
I have been told that Funerals at the Crematorium will continue, but from 7th April, will be limited to 30 minutes (instead of 45 minutes). A church service followed by cremation or burial would therefore give time for a longer service. At both Church and Crematorium people will clean their hands before and after services.
Over the last few days much work has gone at a Church/community interface to ensure that those who are isolated are cared for, and at the moment four of our parishes have a contact person for both those needing help with shopping, prescriptions, post, etc and for those volunteering. The contacts are as follows:
Andoversford & Dowdeswell
Clare Webb - 07758 217906
Anne Wood - 07973 620279
Sevenhampton and Brockhampton
Lynne Jackson - 01242-820408
Nicola Smith - 07751 220824
Whilst there are no Church services being held, there are opportunities for spiritual nurture on TV, Radio and online. I plan to point people to these as time goes by. For now I copy below some prayers from the Church of England web site that you may like to use.
With love and prayers
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.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
For those who are ill
we entrust to your tender care
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold them safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For hospital staff and medical researchers
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
From one who is ill or isolated
help me to trust you,
help me to know that you are with me,
help me to believe that nothing can separate me
from your love
revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord.
For the Christian community
We are not people of fear:
we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed:
we are people of generosity.
We are your people God,
giving and loving,
wherever we are,
whatever it costs
For as long as it takes
wherever you call us.