The Church continues to be alive and active, although our public worship is suspended and our church buildings must close for now. However, the Church has the most profound desire to stand alongside our neighbours with the faith, hope and love that Jesus inspires within us.
To paraphrase our Bishop, we are not just shutting up shop, rather during this current crisis we are seeking to step up not to give up, to let go of what is less important and focus on what is most important, to be not just the Church of England but the Church for England.
We want to go deeper in our commitment to what Jesus described as the greatest commandment of them all to “love the Lord our God with all our heart and mind and soul and strength, and to love our neighbour as ourselves.”
We are loving and reaching out to our neighbours in a number of ways:
Spiritual resources are available for those online, with much to encourage us on a daily basis, including on the Church of England website at https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer
‘Time to Pray’ presents everything we need for Prayer During the Day, with variations according to the day of the week and the season of the Church’s year, see: https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/apps/time-to-pray
Weekly services will be broadcast live on the Church of England Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/thechurchofengland
Live streamed Sunday services include All Souls, Lanham Place at: https://allsouls.org/Groups/337797/Watch/Watch.aspx
All Hallows by the Tower offer a weekly short act of worship at: https://www.ahbtt.org.uk/live-stream/
A free, popular Bible reading app to download is ‘Bible in One Year’ by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel of Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) https://www.bibleinoneyear.org/
The gospel message offers us hope, despite the circumstances we may find ourselves in. When life gets really hard, as it is for many people right now across so much of our planet, it can be reassuring to know that we can place our hope in God and not in people or circumstances. God knows exactly how it’s all going to end because He’s in control! This should not only give us hope, but also assurance and peace.
We have a team of church volunteers who are keen to help in whatever way they can, whilst respecting Government guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone.
Some of them are offering to regularly keep in touch with those at home and with members of our church family who live outside the parish, by telephone, emails, social media and even posting encouraging and supportive letters or postcards.
Others are able to assist practically in a number of ways, such as going out for food or health related purchases, to deliver to those isolated or unable to go out themselves.
There is wonderful community support across the villages of Mickleham and Westhumble. The Mickleham Emergency Plan WhatsApp group are offering help, contact Will Dennis telephone 07903 842674, email firstname.lastname@example.org or David Allbeury (Westhumble) telephone 07860 227451.