As I am sure everyone is already aware, the Covid-19 Tier system has now ended, and we are back into a full lock-down across England. What we can and can’t do in this current lock-down can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home. Places of worship are allowed to stay open; however, along with many other churches in the Dudley area, St. Edmund’s has made the decision to close. There are a number of resources available in order for us to keep up-to-date with the Bible readings and prayers every day.
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s calendar has the gospel readings for every day of the year. The document can be downloaded here:
Bishop Jonathan’s calendar can be used in conjunction with the Praying at Home Booklet published by the Church Union; this document can be downloaded here:
There are also a number of ways of watching services on-line. The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham (Anglican) live streams the Mass every Sunday at 9 AM; the Mass can be watched at this link:
The Benefice Zoom service can also be access at 11 AM.
The up-to-date guidance from the Church of England can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/COVID%2019%20Permitted%20Activities%20v3.1.pdf
Bishop Philip North has released a new video, it can be watched here:
Please stay safe, and keep tuned to this website for further updates.
Latest update from Jon Harcourt:
With the horrific rise of Covid infections and so many dying each day from the Virus, we have decided that following the service at St Edmunds this Sunday 10th January, the church will be closed until it is considered safe to reopen.
Our celebrant on this day will be Canon Darren Smith.
The strict rules we have had in place at St Edmunds still apply:
Masks/face coverings worn at all times; Sanitise your hands on entering/leaving church;
Into church and straight to your pew – no engagement with others;
At Communion please only leave your pew when there is space behind the black/yellow distance lines;
Back to your pew safely;
After the service please do not mingle or hang around – leave the church immediately.
A message from Jon Harcourt:
Following the guidelines issued by the government and further clarification, churches are being allowed to open for communal worship.
We at St Edmunds will be open as usual this Wednesday 6th January for Celebrate the Epiphany at 12.15pm, with Fr John Oakes presiding.
Sundays as usual 11a.m, with Fr Darren Smith this week.
HOWEVER, to do this we must follow the strict guidelines on social distancing we announced last Sunday:
Masks/face coverings worn at all times; sanitise your hands entering/leaving church;
Into church and straight to your pew – no engagement with others;
For Communion please only leave the pew when there is a space behind the black/yellow distance lines;
Back to your pew safely;
After the service please do not mingle or hang around, but leave the church immediately.
These measures are necessary, and we all must be aware that the care for ourselves and others makes these restrictions necessary, and we will review the situation at all times.
We fully understand if you feel that for the moment you will not be able to travel on buses or join with us for our services: take care – stay safe
God be with you till we meet again.
Merry Christmas everybody, and a Happy New Year.
The other churches in the Benefice will be closed this Sunday due to snow. At the time of writing St. Edmund’s will still be open on Sunday for the 11 AM service, but please keep checking this website for further updates. Services for this week are as follows:
11 AM Sunday – Morning Service
12:15 PM Wednesday – Mass (Epiphany). Epiphany is a Principal Feast, and it is important that we attend Mass on Wednesday if we can.
Dudley (along with the rest of the Black Country) has now moved into Tier 4. We are only allowed to leave our homes if we have a reasonable excuse. We cannot mix with anyone indoors who are outside of our homes or support bubble. We can only mix with one other person outside. When coming into church please remember to wear a mask, and to sanitize your hands before you enter. For more information on what we can and cannot do in Tier 4 please look here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home. The Church of England guidance can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-12/COVID%2019%20Permitted%20Activities%20under%20Tier%20System%2021.12.20%20v3.pdf
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet has released his liturgical calendar for 2021. For more information, and the prayer written by Pope Francis which the bishop is asking us to pray, please click here:
Many of The Society Bishops have made Christmas messages. It is still the season of Christmas, so it is not too late to watch them. There are too many to post on this website, to watch them all you would need to visit The Society’s Facebook page. Bishop Philip North’s message is on YouTube, and can be watched at this link:
Please keep safe this week, especially with the snow and being in a Tier 4 area.
Please note that the church will NOT be open on Wednesday 30th.
I hope that everyone is having a Merry Christmas. Christmas Day is barely over, and we are already looking forward to the First Sunday of Christmas! We are now back in a Tier 3 lock-down, and are back to the same rules as before Christmas Day.
Services for this week are as follows:
11 AM: Sunday 27th December 2020: Mass
Wednesday 30th December 2020: No Service
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s homily for the First Sunday of Christmas can be read here:
Please stay safe this Christmas season.
The Society video for the Fourth Sunday of Advent will be available at 5:30 PM this evening. You can watch the video here:
The services for this week are:
10:50 AM Sunday 20th December: Mass (with carols in the churchyard before the service)
1215 PM Wednesday 23rd December: Mass
7 PM Thursday 24th December: 1st Mass of Christmas
10 PM Friday 25th December: 2nd Mass of Christmas
11AM Sunday 27th December: Mass (First Sunday of Christmas)
If you are coming to one of our Christmas services, please remember to book in advance by either signing the sheet at the back of church, or sending us an e-mail (email@example.com).
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent can either be watched here:
or can be read here:
Bishop Jonathan’s pastoral letter, which we should try to pray with him at 12 PM every day in Advent, can be read here:
This year, working with others, The Society are delighted to make available two resources for Christmas: O come let us adore Him and The Wondrous Gift. Please also see the letter from the Council of Bishops.
The simple words “O come let us adore Him” from the well known Christmas carol “O come all ye faithful” speak so powerfully to us at this time, particularly as we think of the crib sitting, as it does, at the centre of the Christmas narrative. The Church Union and The Society, which is supported by Forward in Faith, are delighted to release on Sunday at 4pm two resources designed to enrich our crib devotions. One is a video of a crib service aimed at worshippers of all ages which was filmed at St Thomas of Canterbury, Brentwood and features local children singing carols as well as prayers and readings from the Bishop of Richborough, the parish priest Fr Mark North and the curate Fr Matt Austen. The second resource is a prayer booklet of the same name which can equally well be used for our crib devotions at home as it can be in church. It too has prayers to be used by children and we are indebted to Clare Williams for her assistance with this aspect of the booklet. As we meditate on the words ‘O come let us adore Him’ we think not only of the infant Jesus in the crib but also of the Incarnation, the light of the world. When we next receive Jesus present in the Eucharist, we pray that we can say “O come let us adore him” with renewed zeal and love for Him. Amen.
It can be download it here.
The parish of St Thomas of Canterbury, Brentwood has also allowed us to share its Christingle video:
At 7pm on Christmas Eve, the Church Union and The Society, which is supported by Forward in Faith, will release its Christmas video ‘The Wondrous Gift.’ As part of a brief Christmas reflection, Bishop Will Hazlewood lights the fifth and final candle on the Advent wreath, while Fr Philip Barnes explores the profound theological themes of the season in his accessible talk. The video concludes with yet more wonderful music from the choir of St Stephen’s Gloucester, Road. We are grateful to all those who contributed to the set of Advent and Christmas videos and we pray that this Christmas season brings you joy and peace.
It can be download here.
For more information please visit sswsh.com
To mark the first of the Great O Antiphon days in the final week of Advent leading up to the celebration of Christmas, the Church Union and The Society, which is supported by Forward in Faith, are delighted to issue this wonderful recording of the Advent hymn ‘O Come, O Come. Emmanuel’ by the choir of Saint Stephen’s, Gloucester Road. The hymn picks up on the messages of the O Antiphons, which address Our Lord by one of His messianic titles from the Old Testament. This linking of the Old and New Testaments is a striking and profound dimension of Advent from which we can learn much as we prepare for Christmas.
Please stay safe this Christmas, and take time to reflect on the mystery of the incarnation.
I wanted to start this post by speaking about our Christmas services. Due to Covid-19, churches can now only accommodate a certain number of worshipers. This means that everyone will have to pre-book for the Christmas Services. The 1st Mass of Christmas will be at 7PM on Thursday 24th December 2020, and the 2nd Mass of Christmas will be at 10 AM on Friday 25th December 2020. If you wish to come to either of these services, can you please either sign the list at the back of church, or send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Society Video for the Third Sunday of Advent can be watched at 5:30 PM on Saturday. You can watch the video here:
Our services this week remain at the same times:
11 AM Sunday – Mass
12:15 PM Wednesday – Mass
The Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s message for the Third Sunday of Advent can either be watched here:
or it can be read here:
Bishop Jonathan would also like to draw our attention to the Orlando Gibbons anthem, which you can watch here:
Bishop Jonathan’s Advent reflections for week 3 can be downloaded here:
Hopefully, we will be singing carols in St. Edmund’s church year next Saturday morning. Please stay tuned to this website for further information.
Have a blessed week, and stay safe.
The Society Video for the Second Sunday of Advent is available to watch at 5:30 PM Saturday evening. You can watch the video here:
St. Edmund’s is back open for public worship (we had our first Mass last Wednesday). Private Prayer at 11AM on Wednesdays has now finished. Due to Covid-19 we are not able to open on Thursday mornings. Our services look like this:
11 AM every Sunday: Mass
12:15 PM every Wednesday: Mass
When coming to church please remember that Dudley is currently a Tier 3 Very High Risk area. Remember to wear your mask, sanitise your hands when you come into church, and do not mix with anyone outside of your household. The full details of what we can and cannot do in church can be found here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-12/COVID%2019%20Permitted%20Activities%20under%203%20Tier%20System%20v2.0.pdf
The Bishops Of Ebbsfleet’s Advent Video had not arrived when I wrote this post, however week two’s reflections can be found here:
The Easter Pilgrim app, which has been on my mobile for a long time, updated at the start of the week into the Comfort and Joy app. Reflections on this app will run until 2nd January 2021. If you want the reflections e-mailed to you, you can visit this site: cofe.io/ComfortAndJoy to receive them.
If you do have to stay at home this Sunday, remember that you can still watch the official Church of England service online:
Have a blessed Sunday and week, and stay safe.
This just in. You can download the Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s Reflection and Prayer for the second Sunday in Advent here (there is no video this week):