News from the Parish Church
Hello to you all,
It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Stephen , Bishop of Chelmsford, has asked that we close our Church doors to those coming in for private prayer. His letter is forwarded with this notice.
Therefore from Monday, 23rd March, our Church Building will be closed. However because we feel that we should continue to support the Food Bank, the outer door will remain open, but the inner door will be locked. All items for the Food Bank may be left in the porch.
The magazines are ready for collection in the porch.
If you are dropping off food or collecting magazines and another person/s is there PLEASE ENSURE that you maintain the 2metre distance and wait until they leave.
Letter from the Bishops 23.2.20.
The Church continues to be alive and active but our buildings must close in London
As we gather to pray for our nation at 7pm this evening, we have been aware how the Church of England in London has responded to the suspension of public worship, and for a season to finding a new way of living, worshipping and serving our communities. Sadly, London is ahead of the rest of the country in seeing a steep rise in the number of those falling sick with COVID-19. We have all heard the strong calls from the Mayor and the Prime Minister not to leave home unless it is essential, and not to use public transport unless we have to. If our attempts to distance ourselves physically from one another and prevent the spread of infection are not effective, more people will die.
In light of this, the time has come, in London, not only for us to suspend public worship, but for us to close our church buildings entirely. In doing this we demonstrate how important physical distancing is in saving lives. Do place notices on the doors and also on your website explaining how people can join with the church in worship and prayer with an emergency telephone number so that contact can be made if required. We are aware that, although we make the decision in London first, it may be required across the country.
Clergy who live adjacent to their churches may still go into the building and pray and even celebrate the Eucharist. You might ring the bell to tell the faithful that prayer is happening and do live stream as much as possible; but the doors should now be left closed even for private prayers. Others should continue their pattern of prayer in their homes. Current guidance remains for baptism, weddings and funeral although this may change in coming days.
Our most profound desire is to come together with our neighbours. Christ taught us to come together as His Body to celebrate the sacraments. In all the history of Christendom in these islands, we have not before taken such a step. Partly, this is our modern understanding of how disease is communicated, which in the times of former plagues had not developed. But it is also born of the teaching of Our Lord that the two great commandments are love of God and love of neighbour. The very love of neighbour that leads us to want to come together requires us to sacrifice congregating for a season.
Even though our buildings will be closed, the Church continues to be alive and active. Please continue to commend tools for worship, bible study and devotion at home which have been put online, continue to live stream the worship you are able to within the guidance, enable people with biblical reflection, spiritual communion, and personal devotion. Where you can meet virtually for prayer and Bible study, do so. Finally, pray for us, as we do for you, in these difficult days.
The action is being replicated for London Boroughs in the Dioceses of London, Southwark, Chelmsford and Rochester and with support from the Archbishop of Canterbury
+ Sarah Bishop of London
+ Christopher Bishop of Southwark
+James Bishop of Rochester
+Stephen Bishop of Chelmsford
Following on from the news about the way that the coronavirus is spreading, I, along with all Church leaders, have received a letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, that informed us that ‘Public worship will have to stop for a season. Our usual pattern of Sunday services and other mid-week gatherings must be put on hold.’
The Archbishops also said ‘We have called, along with our fellow church leaders, for a day of prayer and action this coming Sunday – Mothering Sunday (22nd March). Mothering Sunday has always been both a day of celebration for many and a sensitive and emotional day for some. Wherever you are this Sunday please do join in this day of prayer and action and remember especially those who are sick or anxious, and all involved in our Health Service. As one action, we are calling on everyone to place a lighted candle in their window at 7.00 p.m. as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished.’ Please do join in.
We are being encouraged to be people of prayer; and pray for our Government and nation, for each other, and especially for those who work in our health and emergency services. I will be saying morning and evening prayer and will be putting together a booklet so that if you can join me from your own home if you would like to. The booklet will be on the table by Sunday morning, so please do collect one if it would help. If you are self-isolating, then please do email me and I will pop one through your door and please do keep a look out on this website as I’ll be sharing them on this platform too. The Church will be open daily between 8am and 4pm if you want to come in and say prayers or light a candle, or just sit in the presence of God then please do. I would however ask that if there are other people present then please do keep to the recommended distance apart.
St Osyth Parish Church, Coronavirus and notice of cancellations.
Update 18th March 2020
In light of the announcement by the Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu that it is necessary to put public services on hold until further notice we want to share with you some immediate information:
- St Osyth Parish Church will not be holding any public Church Services until further notice
- The APCM, due to be held on Monday 23rd March is postponed until further notice
- There will be no Saturday morning Pop-Ins until further notice.
- The Mothering Sunday service will not take place, however, the little plants donated by the Smith Family, and handed out each year to mothers at this service, will be available for collection in the Church from Saturday 21st March in the afternoon. Please do come in and take ONE for your family. This has long been a tradition in our Church which we wish to continue.
- Please remember to observe ‘social distancing’ of 2metres if you meet anyone else in the Church.
- If because you are self-isolating you cannot do thins please ring Sharon or Sonia who will try to organise a delivery. Rev Sharon: 822055 Sonia Grantham: 820648
- Tracey Cooke from the Salvation Army Food Bank has told us she is asking that people continue to donate food because they are anticipating that demand will rise significantly over the coming weeks/months
- Rev Sharon and Sonia will be meeting again on Thursday 19th March and following that will be able to offer more information of how our Church can move forward as we face the challenge of Coronavirus.
- Please do remember however, that at all times, St Osyth Parish Church is OPEN – every day from 8am – 4pm
Sharon and Sonia