In line with the gradual easing of restrictions on communal life, we are able to begin to recover our activities in the church building. This brings us great joy – and a few headaches. We have worked hard to ensure that everyone who joins us is as safe as can be. We try to keep people updated weekly via our mail list, do join up here.
Please pray for all who are still affected or anxious, with these or other words:
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.
Worship in Church
[UPDATE Jan 1st: we are going to worship at home while infection rates are high – please see below]
As we reopen our public worship, we are holding two services, at 9.30am and at 11.15am to enable everyone to come. We can fit people at either service, do come along if you would like. You can join in worship at home with some of our resources here. Our weekly worship is accessible online and by phone (call 0191 814 1230).
Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals
Baptisms will be rescheduled when we have more information – probably not until the Spring as we currently can’t hold them.
Weddings are now being booked again for 2021 onwards – hopefully with fewer restrictions, but of course we will only know all about that as time goes on. if you would like to book or revise an existing booking, please do call the vicarage, 455 4682.
Funerals are able to be held in church (max 30 people) as well as at the crematorium (max 15 people). For those who have had to say goodbye to loved ones during these last few months we are very happy to discuss a Celebration of Life service for you at a later date – either now the churches are open again, with a small number of guests, or later after restrictions are lifted, for a larger number.
Regrettably, many of our small groups, events and activities can’t take place under lockdowns or tier restrictions. This includes most of our church groups. Private groups using the hall will be informed by their leaders whether they can take place. Many other church hall bookings like parties will need to be cancelled – to keep each other safe we all need to work together with the distancing requested. As soon as we know when we can reschedule things, we will let you know. Church leadership is working hard to create and support community online, and to ensure those without internet access are kept engaged.
Worship from home
We join together with St Peter’s for worship ‘virtually’ on Sunday evenings at 6pm, which you can follow on the web page or on Facebook or YouTube. You can join in singing the hymns as loud as you like, since no one will hear you 😉
Prayer will continue, by all the ministry team, for the parish. Please do use your copy of a Brief Daily Prayer – and now would be a great time to pray for the parishes with the parish prayer list. You can also pray at home in the same way that the ministry team do, using the Church of England’s prayer app.
You can find all previous worship and other resources on TV and Radio on the worship page we maintain on St Peter’s website.
All those in the church community will be regularly receiving a phone call from one of the ministry team or one of a number of team leaders that the ministry team have divided the community into. This is to ensure that we can keep in touch with all of you, especially those not online. In the immediate instance, this is partly to be sure of everyone’s support network, but then to check in – on health, any needs, to share information and news, to chat generally to keep spirits up, and to collect any prayer requests. Prayer will continue around the parish, so please don’t hesitate to request it.
If you do know of people who are unwell (especially if they live alone without family nearby), or if any of your pew-mates are missing, please do let one of the wardens or vicar know to follow up concerns.
Please spare a thought for those who may struggle, either from isolation or from loss of earnings over the coming weeks/months. Do try to help where you can, keeping our foodbank stocked and checking on needs of elderly or vulnerable neighbours.