Information And Support During COVID-19
Please check this post regularly for information about support and care of our church family and community.
Worship From St. Mary’s
Week by week we will be posting resources for Sunday Worship. We will also keep the link to the Church of England Services and Daily Prayer.
“Where are we?”
Over the past few weeks, there have been innumerable examples of acts of kindness, neighbourliness, volunteering and generosity, as well as empty supermarket shelves, fights for loo rolls and hoarding. Hardly surprising. Uncertainty, fear and stress all bring out both the best and the worst in us, or maybe reveal the best and the worst that is in us. In the main it seems that the best is more in evidence, which is what we should expect as love is stronger and overcomes fear.
We have been called on to practise ‘social distancing’. I find that an unfortunate and unhelpful phrase. Thankfully, what we are discovering and witnessing is that as people keep a physical distance they are finding a new social closeness.
Some years ago, Mother Mary Clare of the Sisters of the Love of God (the Fairacres Community in Oxford) wrote a booklet ‘Aloneness not Loneliness’. That theme has always been vital but now it takes on a heightened significance for our times. We are witnessing many people discover the truth about which Mother Mary Clare wrote, which is helped by all the opportunities that social media provide, but it needs the disposition of the heart to want to reach out to others, to know that we are made for relationship, not for being isolated and ‘lonely’. The perspective of being alone, of ‘physical distancing’, heightens our awareness of the need for relating, for caring as well as being cared for, and this, it seems to me, is what we are seeing across our nation at the moment.
We are seeing a shift back from ‘I’ to ‘We’. Wouldn’t it be marvellous if that shift proved vastly stronger than Covid-19 and so shaped the next years of our society?
The shift is evident not only in local acts of kindliness and reaching out but also, even, between nations. Over against reports of President Trump wanting to buy up and keep for his country vaccine research laboratories, there is the increasing recognition that if the wealthier and better resourced nations of the world do not assist the poorer, then Covid-19 will not only spread even faster in Africa and Syria with terrible consequences but re-infect other nations in the future. Helping other nations is, therefore, in the richer nations self-interest as well as humanitarian interest. Inter-nationalism may yet prove stronger than the more recent growing strength of nationalism. The ‘We’, over against the ‘I’, applies corporately and nationally as well as individually.
The question, ‘Where are we?’, is the same question that God asked of Adam in the Garden of Eden. ‘Where are you?’ was not just a question about where he was hiding in the garden but about how things were going with him, how he was in himself. So of us and our society. This crisis gives us the opportunity to reshape and work for good in a new way. If there is an enduring shift back to ‘we’, then we shall be witnessing again the ongoing power of redemption.
Anthony Priddis 28th March 2020
Link to a new song composed by Jon Pocock from Lee Abbey Devon Community (please play before Audio Post)
Audio Post including Reading Reflection and Prayers – Sadly this will not appear as planned due to email issues
Bob Hartman wrote the Lion Story Teller Bible used by Open the Book Teams. This session inspires us with the power of the Christian message through bible stories.
Online Services Available on the Church of England Website
Please see the Link below for a selection of services now available online. This includes the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Mothering Sunday Service, with prayers, hymns and a short sermon.
Daily Prayer Resources
Useful Information Compiled by St. Mary’s:
Mothers’ Union Coffee Morning – our last event before Coronavirus – raised £189.75. Thank you to all involved.
Galleries up to date – while we are now in isolation, why not take a moment to look at happy times and events in the 2019 Galleries. We now have new software in place to speed up the loading of future events.
Buttery Tea Rooms (Deliveries): 01531 820896
Co-op (Deliveries): 01531 828137
Crusty Loaf Bakery: 8.00-1.00
Andy Creese Butchers (Deliveries): 01531 820209
Gorsley Village Shop: 01989 721233
Kings Arms (Deliveries): 01531 820035
Newent Tandoori: 01531 822748/828264
Sizzling Wok (Deliveries): 01531 822333
Tudor Fish and Chip Shop: 01531 828432
Seymours: Monday-Saturday 7.00-12.00 Sunday 7.30-12.00
Monday – Friday 10.00-12.00, 14.00-16.00
Watch this space for info on Talking Books.
Please let us have suggestions for what to add here on 01531 821641 email@example.com.
We are aiming to speak with all members of the church family within the next week to check how people are and whether there are any particular needs.
We are also arranging a Communications Grid via email with telephone contacts for those without internet facilities.
Office Answer Machine will be checked regularly to respond to enquiries 01531 821641.
Support for those with particular needs
The Lord’s Larder will continue to open. A huge thank you to Roger, Carol and Graham who have worked tirelessly over recent days to ensure our operation. Our new co-ordinator Ben Draper can be reached on 07944 590520.
A big thank you too, to our volunteers who serve faithfully on a regular basis, and a welcome to our latest recruits.
St. Mary’s along with other churches and community organisations are supporting “We Will Help Newent” based on Facebook linking volunteers with those who need specific help (for example shopping, collecting prescriptions).
For up to date official information, please consult the following:
CAB can be reached on 01452 527202
A Prayer for all those affected by Coronavirus
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.