Dear Church Family
I’ve just learnt from the Church of England that we are no longer allowed to gather together to pray in church. But, the church remains firmly open for individual prayer. The C of E writes:
‘While Church buildings remain open for individual private prayer – they are not for group gatherings, corporate worship or corporate prayer of any kind. We may not be able to pray with people in the ways that we are used to, but we can certainly pray FOR people.’
In the coming days, I will point you towards various resources to help you pray during the week.

Pat was given this verse very strongly by the Lord:

2 Chronicles 7:12-15

‘Some time later, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said:
I heard your prayer, and I have chosen this temple as the place where sacrifices will be offered to me.
Suppose I hold back the rain or send locusts to eat the crops or make my people suffer with deadly diseases.  If my own people will humbly pray and turn back to me and stop sinning, then I will answer them from heaven. I will forgive them and make their land fertile once again.  I will hear the prayers made in this temple.’

Let us humbly pray. (In my previous email, I referred to Paul who wrote in Ephesians 6:18, ‘Never stop praying.’) Let’s use this opportunity to examine ourselves and seek forgiveness in our lives where it’s needed. Then, with clean hands and pure hearts, let’s stand in the gap. Let’s love each other, and everyone we meet, radically. 
On Sunday, we can pray together, and be together, online! At 10.30am on Sunday, I will be live streaming a service from church on Facebook. Simply, log-on and join in. I very much hope that you can join me from the comfort of your armchair.
Every blessing
Chris

Dear church family
Following the guidance issued by the Church of England this afternoon, in the interests of your safety, we now need to suspend public worship until further notice.
So, does this mean that we ‘shut up shop?’
No way! The church will remain open as a place of prayer for the Old Dean community. You are welcome to join me, during Morning Prayer with appropriate social distancing in the main body of the church, to pray earnestly for the world, our nation, our community and our church.
We will also provide digital resources, alongside hard copies for those who cannot access the internet, to facilitate worship at home.
Furthermore, we will continue to love our community by offering practical support to those who need it.
We stand strong together, fuelled by hope, and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
God is good … all of the time.
All of the time … God is good.
Every blessing
Chris

Tuesday Tots

Friends, I am sorry for the very short notice, but following on from this evening’s advice from the Government, we are going to need to postpone Tuesday tots until further notice. Our priority is to keep you and your children safe, as well as our volunteers. If you need us in the coming days or weeks, or find yourself needing to self-isolate and need help, please do phone or email us at church – we’re here for you, always. Every blessing, Chris (Vicar)

Messy Church

Dear Friends, I’m really sorry but we are going to need to cancel Messy Church this week. We absolutely love having you with us, but at the moment our priority has to be keeping you and your children safe, as well as keeping our volunteers safe, and we think the best thing to do is to cancel. If you need us in the coming days or weeks, or find yourself needing to self-isolate and need help, please do phone or email us at church – we’re here for you, always. Every blessing, Chris (Vicar)

A letter from the Vicar for during the Coronavirus epidemic

Dear church family

We hope to see you on Sunday because it’s good to get together as our church family. As we pray together, we will place the people of the Old Dean, our nation and our world in to our Father’s hands.

This week, we are continuing to put in to place the safeguards that are recommended nationally (please check www.churchofengland.org) to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Here are the details:

  • We will wash our hands as we come into church
  • Until the outbreak is over, we will only be sharing bread at Communion, not wine
  • We will be sharing the Peace without handshakes
  • Refreshments will be served to us from someone wearing disposable gloves.
  • Disposable cups will also be used and biscuits will be individually wrapped.

We would love to see you on Sunday, however, please don’t attend any service or event if you or someone you care for is feeling ill. If in doubt, please stay away from church and contact us by phone or email so that we can ensure your pastoral care continues. Please don’t attend if, in the last 2 weeks, you have returned from any foreign country where there have been confirmed cases of Coronavirus – please don’t attend Sunday services until 2 weeks have passed with no sign of symptoms.

A very warm welcome and hospitality will of course be continued!

If you have any questions, please contact the office. Thank you for helping us to help you. As Government advice changes, we will keep you updated.

Every blessing

Chris (Vicar)