Coronavirus and our church
Services in our church buildings have been put on hold
As you will be aware, there has been a very steep rise recently in Covid-19 cases, including in our area; the new variant of the disease is much more transmissible; and hospitals are under huge pressure. It is now much harder to assess and eliminate the risk of holding in person services, and there is evidence emerging of churches being places through which the virus is spreading. Our Bishops have written to us, saying that, although churches are still permitted to hold services in their buildings, clergy and PCCs should consider not doing so.
Our PCC has, with sadness, decided that we will not hold services at St Mary’s or St Paul’s until further notice.
There will also be no midweek services (with the exception of funerals). Many churches in our Diocese and other parts of England have now made the same decision, so we are far from alone in this. Our responsibility as a church has to be to keep people safe and well at the moment.
We do encourage you to try online worship if you haven’t yet done so - you'd be very welcome! Please contact us if you'd like the Zoom links to the services. Alternatively, you can access Morning Worship here and go through the service by yourself or with others in your household.
The church remains alive and active. We continue to worship and pray at home, and to care for each other and our community through phone calls, emails and practical action.
Some members of our church and community are able to do shopping, collect medical prescriptions and collect/deliver other essential items or post (excluding money) for those who are unable to go out. They all have the appropriate DBS check and Safeguarding training. If you would like us to do that for you or someone you know in Bishopstoke, please contact us here:
If you have questions about faith, other concerns or needs, or would like us to pray for you, you are very welcome to contact our Rector, Richard Wise, here or by phoning 023 8061 2192.
Some appropriate prayers from the Church of England can be found here:
If you are concerned about your mental health and wellbeing, or that of someone else, you may find this helpful:
At this time in particular, it is good to remember that the church is people, not buildings, and God promises to be with us wherever we are. Let us continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable, and build our communities, even while we are separated from one another.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength... Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”