Please see statement below from Canon Ken Higgins.
ST DONARD’S CHURCH – CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE
TO ALL PARISHIONERS
We have now received official notice from the House of Bishops that ALL church services and meetings are to be suspended from today (18th March) until further notice in response to the need to limit social contact in the present situation. This applies to all organizations using the Church and Parish Centre.
At present funeral services and weddings can still proceed; however, it is expected that these may be limited to close family members. Further guidance on this is yet to come.
Moving forward, worship in a limited form will take place each Sunday at 10am, but without a congregation. Myself, and others on our staff team will lead a short service, which will include liturgy, a short meditation, prayers and hopefully some music. This will be recorded and put online on St Donard’s Facebook page and also recorded on CD.
JIGSAW Sunday School will hopefully continue with online resources that some of the teachers are putting together.
We have also put together a team who are willing to act as Contact People for many of our older members who may have to restrict their social contact and stay at home, especially those who have no close family nearby. They will make regular contact by phone to chat and to help with shopping or collecting prescriptions. They will, of course, have to follow Public Health advice about avoiding social contact, but will be on the other end of the phone to give what help they can. They may be able to deliver a CD of a recorded service if you request one; they can pop it through the letterbox for you.
Regretfully, I also must follow the guidance we have been given about avoiding social contact. This means that I will not be visiting people in their homes or hospitals unless in emergencies. I will be in touch by phone on a regular basis and please don’t hesitate to ring me with any concerns you have.
We are all sailing into unchartered waters and the way ahead is uncertain for so many people who are concerned for their family, their livelihood, their education and business, but the Church has a message of hope even in the darkest of times; because we have an anchor of hope – our trust that God is with us through it all.
Joshua 1:5 & 9 God says “I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” God is Sovereign over all, and he will see us through this.
It will be strange not meeting together for worship and fellowship, but they say ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ and it’s a reminder to us all of how much we are all part of one another, need one another and are bound together by God’s Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:12-30) So pray for one another – pray for our leaders – pray for those in need at this time.
May God bless you. KEN