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 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/live:bbc_radio_fourfm)

9 AM – Church of England Service (God welcomes us all): YouTube (https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/join-us-church-online/weekly-online-services/god-welcomes-us-all)

10:30 AM – Dudley Benefice Service (Holy Communion): Zoom (rectorofdudley@gmail.com) or telephone (0203 481 5240)

11:30 AM – Live-streamed Solemn Mass of SS Peter and Paul (Bishop of Fulham): Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BishopOfFulham)

3PM – Choral Evensong (Birth of St. John the Baptist): BBC Radio 3 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/live:bbc_radio_three)

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

Sunday 21st June 2020 (2nd Sunday after Trinity)

This Sunday is also Father’s Day.  This celebration would seem to be a secular one, the Catholic celebrations usually taking place on the Feast of St. Joseph (19th March).  However it would be good to pray for fathers in our local community, and for our priests, our spiritual fathers, this Sunday.  It is also good to remember that Jesus called God “My Father”.  And when Jesus taught us how to pray, he said to say, “Our Father in Heaven”.  Even if we have not had a good relationship with, or never known, our fathers in this life, we can be assured that we have a Father in Heaven who loves us unconditionally, and wants us to spend time with him today and always. 

Church Open for Private Prayer

Following further relaxation of the Covid-19 lock-down, St. Edmunds will be open for private prayer two days a week: Mondays and Thursdays 11 AM to 12 PM.  Please remember that the church will be open for private prayer only.  If you want someone to pray for you and your family, or want to ask further questions about Christianity, then please ask one of the stewards.  But please do not go to the church to socialise, as this is still not allowed under HM Government guidelines.

The Lone Worker Risk Assessment can be found here:

The Private Prayer Risk Assessment can be found here:

Information on Private Prayer can be found here:

Further information on Private Prayer can be found here:

A booklet has been published to take into church with you for private prayer.  If you are printing the booklet off and taking it to church with you, please take it home with you also, or dispose of in a bin.  You can access the document here: https://www.churchunion.co.uk/uploads/Praying_in_Church_FINAL.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3xLTma98Z9u0saS1kVWCI10PCdoYs2JU4G1Fay52GS87Y06hUqvGRgKDc

Further information about private prayer can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic

Even with churches being open again for private prayer, it is still important for us to be engaging in worship on a Sunday, listening to the Bible reading for each Sunday, and listening to a sermon.  And if possible, to celebrate a Spiritual Communion.

I’m sure by now that everyone has got into a regular pattern of worship on a Sunday.  Whether this by listening to Morning Worship at 8:10 AM on Radio 4, Watching Morning Worship at 11:45 AM on BBC 1, or listing to Choral Evensong at 3PM on BBC Radio 3.  We may be listing to a service via Daily Hope (0800 804 8044), or listing to the Dudley Benefice Service at 10:30 AM (0203 481 5240).  We may be watching the Church of England service at 9 AM on YouTube (https://youtu.be/Se6kWuytDrE), joining in with the Dudley Benefice Service at 10:30 AM via Zoom (rectorofdudley@gmail.com)), watching the service at Shrewsbury Cathedral via their webcam at 10:45AM (http://www.shrewsburycathedral.org/webcam), or taking part in a Spiritual Communion via Facebook (the official service is conducted by The Bishop of Fullham at 11:30 AM (https://www.facebook.com/BishopOfFulham)).  You may also be listening to the Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s sermon for this Sunday which you can listen to here: https://soundcloud.com/user-790208948/200621-trinity-2-12th-of-otwav.  You can also download the Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s sermon here:

However we celebrate our Sunday worship, please ensure that you do join in with something, and have a blessed Sunday. 

Opening for private prayer

St Edmunds will be open for private prayer and reflection from Monday 22nd June.

Following an assessment suggested by the Church of England, a team of volunteers have worked hard cleaning and sanitising all hard surface, pews and the floor in preparation for the opening. See below for photographs by Phil Griffiths of the team at work (click on individual images for a larger view).

With social distancing and safety in mind, visitors can sit individually in alternate dedicated pews within the nave of the church.

Sanitising will take place again at the end of each session. Unfortunately neither books, bibles or refreshment will be available, but we still look forward to seeing you!


Mondays from 11am to 12 noon.
Thursdays from 11am to 12 noon.

Sunday 14th June 2020

This Sunday we may all be celebrating something different.  We may be celebrating the First Sunday after Trinity (Common Worship), or Corpus Christi (Roman Rite).  If you haven’t watched The Society’s video for Corpus Christi yet, then please watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXCRQ5cQ4sE

Thinking about Corpus Christi brings me onto the subject of churches now being able to open for private prayer.  We have not been able to receive The Lord’s Body and Blood during this lock-down, which I am sure has been painful for all of us.  The Society hopes that in the future (it is not legal yet) the Blessed Sacrament will be on display in our churches, so we can at least pray before the Blessed Sacrament.  Please continue to pray for a return to regular church worship.

Please remember that if you are going to a church for private prayer, it is for prayer only.  HM Government does not allow members of different households to meet in a sheltered building for social purposes.  If you have been advised to self-isolate, then please stay at home. 

The Society has published this booklet to assist us to pray privately in church: https://www.churchunion.co.uk/uploads/Praying_in_Church_FINAL.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3xLTma98Z9u0saS1kVWCI10PCdoYs2JU4G1Fay52GS87Y06hUqvGRgKDc

Please can we also pray for the following this week:

  • For Black Lives Matter, and a right response to God’s call for justice and respect for all
  • For Churches, as we respond to possible reopening of buildings as lockdown eases
  • Schools, as they gradually have more pupils returning.
  • Families at home and at breaking point, and those living isolated and alone

Services resources that do not require a computer

This telephone line is open 24 hours per day for music, prayer, and reflections, as well as full services.

8:10 AM – Sunday Worship (Cardinal Vincent Nichols): BBC Radio 4

10:30 AM – Dudley Benefice service (Rev Hugh Burton): Telephone (0203 481 5240)

10:45 AM – Sunday Worship (Sarah Bradley): BBC 1

3 PM – Choral Evensong (York Minster): BBC Radio 3

Worship resources that require a computer

9 AM – Church of England Service (How Jesus meets us in our darkest hour): YouTube (https://youtu.be/sMn44SloEkI)

10:30 AM – Parish Worship Service (Dudley Benefice): Zoom (to get access to this service, you will need to e-mail Rev Hugh Burton (rectorofdudley@gmail.com))

10:45 AM – Mass (Shrewsbury Cathedral): via the cathedral webcam (http://www.shrewsburycathedral.org/webcam)

11:30 AM – Mass (Bishop of Fulham): Live on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BishopOfFulham)

Other resources

June is traditionally the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the feast day of the Sacred Heart this year is Friday 19th June. With The Society we have produced this resource of prayers, hymns and poems focused on the Sacred Heart that can be used throughout the year. You can find this and other resources that have been produced at www.churchunion.co.uk/coronavirusresources

Corpus Christi Sermon

You can watch the Bishop of Ebbsfleet’s Corpus Christi sermon  here.

Sad news

From Jon Harcourt:

We are sad to report the passing this last week of Fr Martin Iball, Curate at St Edmunds 1969-1973.

Also Moira Tongue, whose husband Fr Paul Tongue was curate at St Edmunds from 1964-69.

Please pray for them as they enter a new rest within the loving care of our dear Lord. For the friends and families they leave behind.

Rest eternal grant unto them O Lord,
And let Light Perpetual shine upon them.
May they rest in Peace
And Rise in Glory.


Churches reopening for Private Prayer

An update on the current situation from Jon Harcourt:


This is the letter I received today (Sunday 7th June) from the Bishop of Worcester, and I ask you to read it carefully.

Any responses you may have, please send to me and Mark Wisbey, not the Bishop.

As most of you will be aware from the news, churches are being given permission to open for private prayer (not services) from June 15th.

During this week we shall be formulating a risk assessment for cleaning/sanitizing/opening/days/times/security/areas of church open/social distancing etc.

Although welcome, the actual date of opening must be thought about very carefully and logically.

Churchwarden Mark is experienced in Health and Safety, and we have already put in place a ‘Lone worker’ in church policy.

We will be in touch as soon as we have any news or decisions.

God bless,


You can see the email from the Bishop of Worcester HERE.

On a lighter note, you may like to look at a perception of what a post lockdown church may look like – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIfItkvCVfA&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1DP0DI0PX8Mv1_TFR1ioWuMy7ogNeaUtLrgFk5GcIG-WNsFvAr6DpdGts

Sunday 7th June 2020 (Trinity Sunday)

On 25th March we took a step back from our Lenten journey towards Easter and back to Christmas, when we celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation.  Through Holy Week we walked with Jesus to the cross.  On Easter Sunday we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection.  40 days after Easter Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension, and 50 days after Easter Sunday we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost.  This Sunday we shall be looking at how the three persons we have been celebrating, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, dwell together as one in the Holy Trinity.

The Rev Hugh Burton and his wife Alison are planning a 100 miles sponsored ride for Yeldall Manor Christian rehab centre in July.  You can sponsor them here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Alison-Burton11

Service resources that do not require a computer

This telephone line is open 24 hours per day for music, prayer, and reflections, as well as full services.

8:10 AM – Sunday Worship (Jonathan Rea): BBC Radio 4

10:30 AM – Dudley Benefice service (Rev Hugh Burton): Telephone (0203 481 5240)

10:45 AM – Sunday Worship (Rev Canon Leigh Richardson): BBC 1

11:15 AM – Sunday Morning Stories (Rev Kate Bottley): BBC 1

1:15 PM – Songs of Praise (Sean Fletcher): BBC 1

3PM – Choral Evensong (St. Mary’s Collegiate Church, Warwick): BBC Radio 3

Service resources requiring a computer

9 AM – Church of England Trinity Sunday Service: YouTube (https://youtu.be/r1BjdzR1I1k)

10:30 AM – Parish Worship Service (Dudley Benefice): Zoom (to get access to this service, you will need to e-mail Rev Hugh Burton (rectorofdudley@gmail.com))

10:45 AM – Mass (Shrewsbury Cathedral): via the cathedral webcam (http://www.shrewsburycathedral.org/webcam)

11:30 AM – Solemn Mass (Bishop of Fulham): Live on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/BishopOfFulham)