Corona Virus Information - 17th March 2020

March 17 2020

 

Benefice of Farleigh, Candover and Wield

Arrangements for the immediate time during the

Corona virus pandemic March 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We are living in difficult days with a pandemic of a new virus with the potential to cause many with underlying health issues to have a premature end to their lives.

The situation has been so fast moving that we all are finding it difficult to keep up with the latest decisions concerning all sorts of things. We have prepared an interim list of things that you all need to know, to prepare for the next few weeks in our villages and Christian faith. The archbishops have issued letters as has our own diocesan team today, and we are having to think on our feet about the many issues facing us.

We do not need to fear, nor be anxious: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble, therefore we will not fear” (from psalm 46). Keep calm, stand firm in our living faith in the Living God revealed in Jesus Christ. He is the resurrection and the life, the One in whom we trust whatever happens, knowing that for those in Him, we are safe because we have been born anew into a living hope.

 

This is a brief summary of the actions over these next days:

 

1.       Day of National Prayer this Sunday 22 March 2020

The archbishops have called us to pray, so:-

(a)    We pray for deliverance from fear- there’s a lot of fear around.

(b)    For looking out for our neighbours in need and to offer help.

(c)     To keep in perspective that suffering comes to us all so let’s recognise this situation is difficult but it is not impossible.

(d)    To pray for the disease to be stopped: e.g., BCP prayer”in the time of any common plague or sickness”

“O Almighty God, who in thy wrath didst send a plague upon thine own people in the wilderness, for their obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron; and also, in the time of king David, didst slay with the plague of pestilence three score and ten thousand, and yet remembering thy mercy didst save the rest: have pity upon us, miserable sinners, who now are visited with great sickness and mortality; that like as thou didst then accept of an atonement didst command the destroying angel to cease from punishing, so it may now please thee to withdraw from us this plague and grievous sickness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.”BCP p 40

(e)    To ask for the Holy Spirit to refresh and heal us in order that we may be able to minister with confidence to those in need.

(f)      To prepare the dying for their death and help those who fear death to find hope in Jesus Christ.

WE will issue some prayer guidelines later in the week.

 

2.       Sunday Worship: Mothering Sunday, Passion Sunday, Palm Sunday, Easter. We have been informed to suspend Sunday public worship for the time being. Whether we can live-stream a service is possible but can only be done without music owing to law regarding broadcasting copyright music. David and I may circulate our sermon notes by e-mail or via the website.  More to follow.

 

3.       APCMs: information will be sent round church members in each parish with accounts, agendas, candidates for wardens/PCCs, any other resolutions, and we will ask folk to respond via email.

 

4.       Pastoral support: in most villages there are moves afoot to make sure the most vulnerable will be cared for and shopping done( there will be issues over how this could be paid for if individuals have no access to cash but that is not insurmountable). Also lonely folk need one another – calling at the door and keeping our distance is one way to be present; phone calls too. Each one help another.  We are both available for visiting – with full hygiene precautions but very conscious of not wanting to either bring or take any germs – , as well as ringing folk up, emailing, and even Skyping where available.

 

5.       Weddings: these are to go ahead as at 17 March according to the Archbishops – there are five in next 8 weeks –one postponed so far to August and a second also to sort out. Stephen has four of them and is already in touch with some of them about postponing – those who need to know will be informed.

 

6.       Funerals: these will still happen with limited congregations and there is limited capacity for storage – some crematoria have online access where families can watch from a distance.

 

7.       Baptisms – these may have to be re-organised for later in the year.

 

8.       Teaching and encouragement and group meetings online. There are various ways of meeting online – Microsoft App called “Microsoft teams” can mean invited people can see one another and talk in a group online so fellowship, prayer for one another and Bible encouragement can help.

 

Please join us in prayer for God’s divine power and grace to sustain us in these difficult days, to be patient with others, to support others, to think of others rather than ourselves, and to pray that those who have been far from Christian faith may be awakened in their spirits to seek after the One True God revealed in Jesus Christ in order to find peace with Him.

 

More to follow

 

Rev’d David Chattell and Rev’d Stephen Mourant

Rector                                   Associate Rector