Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the ordinations which would usually have taken place at Petertide have been moved to the season around Michaelmas (29th September). Please do pray for all those who are preparing for ordination to the Diaconate and Priesthood, details of The Society ordinations can be found here: https://www.sswsh.com/fullposts.php?id=296
It is really important that we all pray for our Deacons, Priests and Bishops, that God will sustain them in their ministry, that he will guide those preparing for ordination and that there will be an increase in vocations to the Deaconate and Priesthood. To help us pray for our clergy we have produced this resource with The Society, which can be downloaded here: https://www.churchunion.co.uk/uploads/Ordination_Resource_FINAL.pdf
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.)
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.
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: https://sswsh.com/map.php
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
Ahead of what would have been the weekend of the 2020 pilgrimage, here is a link to a Spirtitual Pilgrimage to Glastonbury Abbey:
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. (ToiletTwinning.org)
Please take time to attend a service this Sunday, either physically or virtually.
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:
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: https://www.facebook.com/frron.farrell.1
The following worship resources are still available:
8:10 AM – Sunday Worship (Rev Lucy Winkett); BBC Radio 4
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)), 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:
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.