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:
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.
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:
The Rt Revd JONATHAN GOODALL │
Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Provincial Episcopal Visitor, and Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Envoy to the Orthodox Church
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:
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 (email@example.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:
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.
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.
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.
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 Bishop of Ebbsfleet has written his monthly pastoral letter for June. The letter is written for all regular worshippers in the See of Ebbsfleet. Please take time to read this letter today. The letter can be downloaded from this website.