See the following letter from Rev Timothy below.
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Dear Parish friends
As the situation with Covid-19 pandemic changes daily, difficult decisions have had to be made in order that we may keep each other safe. Whilst gathering together for worship can be a great source of comfort in these troubled times, our Diocese recognises that a large proportion of our faithful congregations are in the groups identified as high risk, and we would be failing in our vocation of care and compassion by encouraging them to attend public worship.
Archbishop Phillip has therefore directed that all public worship will be placed on hold from Monday 23rd March, until further notice. At St Luke’s this means that we will meet for our normal Sunday service at 7am, 9am and 5pm this Sunday, 22nd March at which we will especially pray for each other and our neighbours at this time, but then all services (including Morning Prayer and Regis) will be cancelled from next week. The parish picnic on Sunday will also be cancelled.
Going forward, small group meetings (such as bible studies) can continue, with the advised ‘social distancing’ and hygiene provisions. In emergencies, pastoral visits from the clergy may be possible, and funeral services can be held, again with appropriate precautions.
It is important at this time that we continue to pray for and support one another. Regular communications will be sent out by email, as well as via our website and Facebook page. Those who do not have internet access will be contacted by telephone. In particular I will send a weekly reflection on the gospel passage and links to other resources to enable us to continue to be fed by the Word of God and sustained by continual prayer.
Communication is a two-way process. Maybe you have a word of encouragement, or a reflection on a favourite hymn, that you would like to share with the parish? Send it to me and I will pass it on. Please also be encouraged to contact myself or one of the Wardens if there is something we can help you with.
Bishop Jeremy Greaves (Northern Regional Bishop) has offered the following prayer (modified from the New Zealand Prayerbook) that may be helpful:
God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.
As we move towards the great season of Easter, may we be reminded of the words of St Paul:
“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 6-7)
Yours in Christ
Contact details for us are as follows:
Timothy Nicholson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 3848 2123