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:

The Rt Revd JONATHAN GOODALL  │  

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