A belated Happy New Year to you all and I do hope you are all keeping safe and well in these unusual times. It was a great joy to be able to stay open as churches and celebrate Christmas together and I would like to say a huge “thank you” to Churchwardens and their teams at both St Gluvias and Mylor whose tireless work has mean that we were able to keep our churches Covid-safe and open during the Christmas period.
Having journeyed through Christmas together, we now find ourselves in the season of Epiphany and sadly, for the meanwhile at least, as a country back in an unwelcome but very necessary Lockdown! You may have heard that under the new regulations Churches are allowed to remain open for public worship but as Bishops Philip and Hugh have reminded us on several occasions “can does not mean must” so after careful consultation with the Standing Committees of our partnership churches both together and individually, the Churchwardens of each parish and I have decided that it would be in the best interests of our congregations to suspend worship immediately, with a review at the beginning of February.
However, even if our church buildings are closed, as worshiping communities we are still very much open! So, we will be continuing to offer a simplified regular Sunday worship through Zoom with the chance to catch up over a virtual cup of tea or coffee and cake afterwards as well as regular Morning Prayer on Tuesdays on Facebook and Celtic Morning Prayer on Thursday mornings with coffee and chat afterwards.
We appreciate, too, that not everyone has access to a computer so we have been thinking hard about how to make sure we include everyone in our worship and keeping in touch. Firstly, it is really straightforward to join in with Zoom worship just by phoning in using a standard landline or mobile phone – we already have a couple of members of our congregations who do so and it works really well so please do contact Rev’d Amanda or one of the Churchwardens if you would like to ‘give it a go’! Secondly, we are going to keep in touch regularly with weekly phone calls so please do let us know if you would especially like a chat or prayer by phone or know of anyone who would. And we are going to continue to keep in touch via email or letterbox with weekly newsletters and Reflections.
And finally, we would love to hear your suggestions about what you would like us to offer from the safety of our own homes over the next few weeks – perhaps a regular coffee morning on Zoom to which people can ‘phone in too? Or a quiz? Or a get-together to hear about someone’s hobbies or interests? Or Evening Prayer or Compline together? Please do let us know.
This Sunday we remember the Baptism of Christ by a rather strange and unusual character, John the Baptist, in the river Jordan – a moment when God declared that through his son Jesus Christ that he was doing a “new thing” in the world. It must have seemed a rather strange and unusual time to those who were present! Everything at the moment, too, can feel like that and yet we can be reassured that God is with us through all of this present time and, in the words of Julian of Norwich the early 15th century Christian mystic and anchoress, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” Please do get in touch if we can help in any way, God bless, Rev’d Amanda.