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Dear Friends

As many of you will by now know, the Archbishops have now taken the decision that worship in our churches is to be suspended until further notice. So there will be no Sunday or midweek services for the time being. 

The current advice from the Church of England is that funerals and weddings may still be held, but they will be subject to the current advice about social distancing and hygiene precautions. 

At its meeting last night, the PCC also decided to recommend to Homegroups that they should stop meeting for the time being in order to comply with government advice about social distancing. 

As we are unable to worship together face-to-face, I am working with the ministry team to find ways of keeping us connected with each other and with God by other means. I hope this will include our being able to share worship resources, including sermons, through social media, and through signposting us to other resources offered by the wider church which we can all access for worship. I will send out a further notice about this in the next few days, so that there is something for us to share this Sunday!

Homegroups might like to continue to stay in touch with each other through the use of WhatsApp and I know that many of you have already begun to support each through telephone calls and social media. 

On Radio 4’s Thought for the Day yesterday, the speaker was talking about how Jesus described himself as the Vine and how we are the branches. (John 15: 1-11). I think that is a wonderful and encouraging metaphor for our interdependence on each other rooted in and fed by our love in Jesus. That seems to me to be an image from which we can all draw comfort and inspiration at present.

I am encouraged and heartened by the ways that people are already seeking ways to be loving and neighbourly in our church and the wider community. So thank you for all that you are doing on your own “frontlines” to share the love of God with your families friend and neighbours. Do get in touch with me or any member of the ministry if you become aware of pastoral or other needs which are going unmet.

With blessings and best wishes

Steve

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