Two Messages from the Bishop of Ebbsfleet

  1. 8 August: Face masks in church

St Edmund’s, Dudley

Face coverings and hygiene at Mass

  • Please sanitize your hands thoroughly before coming to church, on entry to the church (and when moving into the hall).
  • From 8 August the wearing of face coverings in places of worship becomes a legal requirement (as it is in shops and supermarkets)
  • There is no health risk in receiving Holy Communion as the priest will have followed current advice on safe celebration of the Eucharist.  In order to receive Holy Communion, the correct way to put a face mask on or take it off (so as to avoid touching the inside or outside of the mask) is to handle only the straps.  (If you wish to follow official advice to sanitize your hands again at that point, please bring your own sanitizer.)

2. Bishop’s Pastoral Letter for August

August 2020

St. Edmunds is now open for public worship.  Service times are as follows:

  • 11 AM Every Sunday – Mass

Shielding has ended, so everyone should now be returning to church to receive Holy Communion.  However, if you are displaying symptoms of Covid-19, are self-isolating, or have been advised by a medical professional to do so, you should remain at home.

From 8th August, face coverings will be compulsory in places of worship.  For HM Government guidelines on how to use a face covering, please look here:

For anyone who is self-isolating, the resource below is available:

Saints for the Month

The Society and the Church Union have published the August edition of Saints of the Month.  You can download your copy here:

God bless everyone, and please stay safe.

Re-opening during Covid 19

An important notice from Jon:

At last we will be able to receive the Body of our Lord during Holy Service at St Edmunds!

For good practice, common sense and safety for us all, the service will not be as we are used to.

Information on ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’ can be found HERE  so that when you come to church you will aware of happenings before, during and after the service.

Fr John Oakes will be the celebrant.

If you hope to be with us on Sunday, please let me know! 07931 512671

God be with you till we meet again.


Sunday 12th July 2020 (5th Sunday after Trinity)

Last Sunday I travelled to Walsall for my first Mass in nearly four months.  It felt so good being back in church again, worshipping with other Christians, and receiving the blessed sacrament.  We are taking the first steps towards life returning to normal.

St. Edmund’s will remain closed for public worship this Sunday, but will be open for private prayer on the following two days:

  • 11 AM – 12 PM Monday
  • 11 AM – 12 PM Thursday

If you are looking for a church to attend whilst you are waiting for St. Edmund’s to re-open, you can find your local Society church here:

If you are currently shielding, or you want to wait to attend Mass at St. Edmund’s, the following worship resources are available:

8:10 AM – Sunday Worship (Rev Dr Craig Gardiner): BBC Radio 4

9 AM – Mass (The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham): Shrine website (

10:30 AM – Dudley Benefice Service (Parish Worship); Zoom ( or telephone (0203 481 5240)

3 PM – Choral Evensong (King’s and St John’s Choirs in King’s College, Cambridge): BBC Radio 3

6 PM – Daily Prayers from The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham (

Glastonbury Pilgrimage

Ahead of what would have been the weekend of the 2020 pilgrimage, here is a link to a Spirtitual Pilgrimage to Glastonbury Abbey:

Please pray

For other countries affected by coronavirus who don’t have the facilities to deal with the crisis.  Christian Aid, Tear Fund and many others continue to work in many places despite a lack of resources. St James’ have just sponsored a tap in Ethiopia, so people can wash hands, as we here are constantly being reminded to do. (

Please take time to attend a service this Sunday, either physically or virtually.

Sunday 5th July 2020 (4th Sunday after Trinity (Godparent’s Sunday))

St. Edmund’s will not be open for public worship this Sunday.  Shielding does not end until Saturday 1st August 2020, so St. Edmund’s will be taking a cautious approach to re-opening.  Please keep checking this website for further updates.  St. Edmund’s will, however, remain open for private prayer on the following days:

  • 11 AM Mondays & Thursdays

In light of many Christians who are still shielding, The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham will be live streaming Masses at 9 AM from Sunday 12th July 2020.  More information is available here:

With many Forward in Faith churches opening this Sunday, many of the churches we may have been tuning into for a live streamed Mass will no longer be providing this service.  St. Francis Friar Park is one of the churches opening this Sunday, however Fr. Ron Farrell is still offering a live streamed Mass via Facebook at 9:15 AM; you can access the Mass here:

The following worship resources are still available:

8:10 AM – Sunday Worship (Rev Lucy Winkett); BBC Radio 4

9 AM – Official Church of England Service; Church of England website (

10:30 AM – Dudley Benefice Service (Parish Worship); Zoom ( or telephone (0203 481 5240)

3PM – Choral Evensong (Sheffield Cathedral): BBC Radio 3

6 PM – Daily Prayers from The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham (

Please pray for the following this Sunday:

  • For all godparents, on this Godparents’ Sunday, in their task of prayerfully supporting their god-children into faith and life
  • For the NHS and Carers, as we celebrate the NHS 72nd Anniversary today
  • For Churches and businesses, as they plan for reopening of buildings and assess what is and is not safe to do
  • Families at home and at breaking point, and those living isolated and alone

Have a blessed Sunday and Stay Safe

Further Updates

Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s Pastoral Letter for July

Please read the Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s Pastoral Letter for July.  The Bishop has also sent us guidelines in regards to churches being able to open this Sunday.  Keep checking this website for further news about St. Edmund’s opening again for public worship.  You can read the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter here:

Saints for the Month

The Society and The Church Union have published the July edition of Saints for the Month.  You can download the booklet here:

Opening times

St Edmund’s Church is open for private prayer on Mondays from 11am to 12 noon and Thursdays from 11am to 12 noon.

These dates and times are an opportunity for you to silently “worship the Lord in the beauty of Holiness”.

We follow the guidelines re sanitising at the end of each session.

Look forward to seeing you!

Sunday 28th June 2020 (Third Sunday after Trinity)

Will this be our last Sunday worshipping at home?  As you are no doubt already aware, from Saturday 4th July 2020, buildings for public worship will be able to re-open.  So in theory, next Sunday, 5th July 2020, we should be able to resume public worship again.  At the time of writing I have seen no guidance about this, or what our church services will now look like, except for the fact that we will not be allowed to have music.  The Diocese of Worcester has a cautious approach to the return to public worship, and it is stressed that there is no rush to get our churches open again.  So at the moment, we’ll have to “watch this space”.  Please keep tuned into the St. Edmund’s web-site for further updates. 

Worship resources available for this Sunday

8:10 AM – Sunday Worship (John Bell from the Iona Community): BBC Radio 4 (

9 AM – Church of England Service (God welcomes us all): YouTube (

10:30 AM – Dudley Benefice Service (Holy Communion): Zoom ( or telephone (0203 481 5240)

11:30 AM – Live-streamed Solemn Mass of SS Peter and Paul (Bishop of Fulham): Facebook (

3PM – Choral Evensong (Birth of St. John the Baptist): BBC Radio 3 (

Please remember the following in your prayers this Sunday:

  • For all who face financial hardship, loss of income and jobs, as the economic impact of coronavirus becomes clearer
  • For all who continue to suffer from the virus, either becoming very ill, sometimes having a very slow recovery; the bereaved, even as the death rate comes down
  • For Churches and businesses, as they plan for reopening of buildings and assess what is and is not safe to do
  • Schools, as they gradually have more pupils returning.
  • Families at home and at breaking point, and those living isolated and alone
  • For hospitals and care homes, for the elderly and those with dementia, that patients, residents and staff are kept safe from the virus

Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s 30th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

30th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood

I began 2020 thinking to gather a congregation in London, where those under my oversight, and friends and colleagues, both Anglican and not, might join me in giving thanks for the 30th anniversary of my ordination as a priest by Bishop Richard Harries at Christ Church Oxford on 1 July 1990.  Some of you were there that day, or were being ordained that same Petertide.  I barely noticed the 25th anniversary, of course, being at the time only 18 months a bishop.  This anniversary however felt like the right moment to celebrate not only my own part in the priesthood (particularly with those who I as bishop had by now ordained) but also to thank God for the ministries of my contemporaries also.

How wrong I was to be!  That I have had to ditch all those thoughts is disappointing, though it has given me a little insight into the feelings of other bishops and clergy who are moving to new appointments or entering retirement robbed of any opportunity, as the psalmist says, to ‘give thanks in the great congregation’.

Instead then, I want to invite you to share in that day much more simply – by asking you to remember me in your prayers on 1 July (if possible at the altar should the priests among be celebrating that day), and with me to remember Sarah.

If you want to add your own celebratory drink, please go ahead!  But I hope that celebrating in a fellowship of prayer like this, rather than simply letting it pass by,

·            may give me the opportunity to share the moment with you all, and to express my gratitude for all those, in this world and the next, who have fed and nurtured me;

·            may give you, at a moment of some stress for all of us in the Church, an opportunity to give thanks for the grace of Christ’s priesthood in and through those he has called to serve in this way;

·            and may give us all a moment to pray for one another as we look to the unknown challenges that God’s good will is preparing for our future.

To all those of you who may be celebrating any anniversary of your own ordination (and various records tell me who most of you are!) I send my own prayers and thanksgiving for your ministry.

With gratitude and every blessing:


Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Provincial Episcopal Visitor, and Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Envoy to the Orthodox Church