Church Information - 24th March

March 24th 2020

Benefice of Farleigh, Candover and Wield

Click here to read a letter from the Arch Bishops on the closure of church buildings

Dear friends,

We write this a few hours after the sweeping measures were announced by the Prime Minister on Monday night. We know in the end the virus will be beaten, but at the moment we are having to work hard together to fight it. God’s perspective sees how we will rise in faith to bring the best out of our Christian faith in ministry to others; in centuries past it was Christians who stayed and cared for the sick and dying, when all others fled – for with the eternal grasp we have of our frailty and finality, heaven and what lies beyond our present experience comes close. God’s Word gives us direction and hope: Philippians 4:4-7:

 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. “

Praise in the midst of suffering and trial lifts our spirits and minds; we are moved into the throne-room of heaven, where “things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace” as the lovely chorus “turn your eyes upon Jesus” puts it.

Turning troubles into prayers, finding good things to focus on rather than doom and gloom, seeing the acts of kindness being carried out by individuals and groups to support and bless others brings out the best in most people.

So some things to note:

1. Worship will be again available this coming Sunday from the website – choice possibly of two services – or even both!, and we are trying to be creative within our limited abilities – although David and I both have children with huge expertise in editing videos, so we hope this week’s offerings will bless you much.

2. We will endeavour to send out letters like this a couple of times a week to keep in touch with you –and any comments we’d be pleased to receive.

3. Do pray for the wedding couples – especially those planning to get married between 24 April and 9 May – 5 of them-; should the restrictions be lifted slightly by then we do not know, so we are planning contingencies and postponements.

4. Pray for all those involved in the NHS, whose selfless courage shows people who truly care.

5. If you are interested in joining a group or creating a prayer group online using Zoom to similar platforms, please tell us about it: part of the clergy chapter – the meeting of ministers in the deanery of Alresford was held on Zoom very successfully this week, so if it worked for us it can work for you! (Zoom is limited to 40 minutes)

 

Ellisfield’s Wednesday prayer time is switching to online, so if you want to be a part of that do email either of us and we’ll arrange for the link to be sent to your email address, then you click on the link and “join” the prayer time.

Thank you to all who lit a candle and prayed on Sunday evening. A reminder of help for prayers at home: Prayers about the outbreakPrayers for MidweekPersonal Prayers and prayers especially for families with children - let’s try something different.

 

”Lord pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us in these days of difficulty, that we may be an example to others of how we live under stress and difficulty. We ask for the spread of the disease to be stopped, for Holy Spirit confidence to strengthen us to help others, as we live without fear, for we trust Him who gives hope. Amen.”

 

The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you His Peace. Amen.

David and Stephen