I just wanted to be in touch as your Rector with an update of where we are as a team of churches as we live through this viral outbreak.
Since March 17th we have been told not to hold meetings and since March 23rd we have been told to close our buildings.
Many of us have been deeply saddened by these decisions, particularly the latter one as we all appreciate praying in our beautiful churches.
Quite a few of you have been in touch lamenting these closures. While I agree about this it’s not in my powers to reopen them! Please write to your MP about it as he maybe able to help.
Let us hope and pray that our churches are open again soon.
As a team we have started a fresh initiative offering ‘hope and help in troubled times.’ This is our practical response to the crisis being spearheaded by Simon Mills.
If you are stuck at home, perhaps in a vulnerable group, and you need some help please do ask.
- Does a prescription needs picking up?
- Do you miss the Saturday paper?
- Have you run out of provisions?
- Do you want a teenager to help with baffling tech?
Whatever the need please don’t be too proud to ask; we are a community of Christians and we’re here to love each other and help each other.
Simon has been collating a list of volunteers, all of whom are either members of the church or known to us.
For those at St Mary’s you may have been contacted by Anne Yates and her team of LPAs who are doing sterling work helping others.
If you need help or wish to volunteer you can message Simon on this email lovemarlborough@gmail.
Good routines and ‘Holy Habits’ will help us all through our isolation - don’t forget you are never isolated from God.
So, please continue with your own prayers, Bible reading and singing.
It’s good to hear that some home groups and Lent groups have met virtually – keep on zooming!
As a church team we are hoping to help in the following ways:
- Publish a virtual service on our website each Sunday. This week is prayers and readings from me, but also Leonie sings a couple of hymns. Enjoy! http://dynamic.
church123.com/podcast/ eb80dc7d-64d2-4474-be50- a063667af8a9
- Upgrade our website with better pictures and clearer content.
- Drawing up an email/mail list for the church so we can keep in touch via this route too.
- Sarah Musgrave, David Maurice and I will be writing a weekly letter of encouragement which we will email, put on the website and mail to those who are offline.
- For the more tech savvy you can now follow ‘Love Marlborough’ on Facebook and Instagram
- Signposting to other helpful stuff. For example I found Nicky and Pippa Gumbel talking about cancer and isolation both realistic and helpful: https://www.youtube.
If you have prayer requests please do email them through. As John Wesley used to say, ‘When we work, we work. But when we pray, God works’.
Please put ‘Prayer Request’ as the email subject and then there are two ways this can work:
- More publicly to email@example.com
Some people put prayers in the box at church and then these needs were brought to the Lord in our services.
As we aren’t meeting at the moment we can’t really do that. But if you have a prayer request like this please email or ring it through.
The advantage of taking this route is more people can pray for your need.
And if you would like to receive prayer requests to your inbox please let me know and I’ll start an email group. It would be really helpful for us all to be praying for people’s needs in this way.
- More privately to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes we will want more confidential prayer from David, Sarah or myself, or us and the after service prayer team. That is a fine request to make please just specify ‘Prayer Request – Private’.
Calling is just as good - and be prepared - I like praying with people over the phone!
All of us need to be praying to God for his help through this outbreak. Like a good Martini prayer is ‘anytime, anyplace, anywhere’. Keep going team!
If you are feeling shocked, bewildered, or blown off your feet please be assured that many of us feel like that. This is a uniquely strange position for the world to be in and it very natural to feel unsettled.
New routines and practices all take time to get up and running. Be kind to yourself; Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Over time I’m sure the church’s response will get more wizzy and efficient. But for the moment let’s all give each other the space to adjust to this unique time.
With love and blessings.
Rev Christopher Smith
Team Rector of Marlborough
The Rectory | Rawlingswell Lane | Marlborough | SN8 1AU
rectory: 01672 514357 | team office: 01672 512357