For Saturday 28th March 2020
Sadly, under the latest government measures to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus, we have had to close the church completely, for the foreseeable future
We will continue to say Morning Prayer in our homes, and to provide help, support, and prayers for our community and church family. We expect to continue with streaming the Sunday Service.
The music this morning was all composed by Bach:
Recorded on Saturday 21st March 2020
9.30am: Parish Eucharist livestreamed from The Rectory
Please do join me online and please do invite your friends as well. We are keeping things relatively simple to start with so we can get the basics right and then build from there- and once I’m out of self-isolation we should be able to do that from St Paul’s. We will have music, played by Chris Cipkin before and after the service, if all goes well, but will otherwise have a said service. It will be brilliant to be together as one Church and one community and one parish in the best way we can, Sunday by Sunday. Attached is the Order of Service we will be using, which is the main one for Lent. It’s the purple one St Paul’s people see every Lent and Advent. We will keep Mothering Sunday too but the Lent Book feels most appropriate for the current situation.
Daffodils are going to be put by the statue of Mary as usual, and a bucket of daffodils will be left outside St Paul’s for anyone passing to either pick up and give to a neighbour, or keep, or put on a grave.
Our technical consultant, Peter Wells, offers this helpful explanation of how to find it (and do ask a friend or family member to help if you still have questions):
I know that for some of you, creating a Facebook account may seem a bit daunting, or maybe you are in a job where having an account could be risky, so I will let you borrow mine. On Sunday, if you follow this link – http://www.facebook.com/livemap, then when it prompts you to log in, either use your Facebook account, or use my email address firstname.lastname@example.org and the password NoCheesePlease (no one would guess that would they?). when the live stream starts you should see it immediately because I follow the church Facebook.
If you miss the live stream, the video will also be available on Facebook when the service finishes, and we shall be providing a link to it on the website.
Morning Prayer is absolutely one of the treasures of the Church of England. It is going to be hugely important to us all in the next weeks and months.
It links us in with one another, since we are saying the same words at the same time.
It links us in with the great history of the Church, and roots us in monasticism.
It links us with something bigger than ourselves since its words have been used for centuries and centuries by people who were facing even greater challenges than we do today, without the benefit of modern medicine.
It is a link with the normal world since MP has always been said in the parish 5 days a week at 8.30am and that is still carrying on.
And it is a link with God, a way of praying which allows us to be carried along by the current into the loving heart of the One who loved us and knew us before we were born.
The easiest way to join in, and please do, is to either download the app to your phone (called Daily Prayer and in a light blue icon) or go this website every morning where you will find everything you need, including the Bible readings- https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer (MP for the day is normally near the bottom of the page with a dark green square next to it- you want the contemporary version).
Find somewhere quiet to sit, perhaps with a cup of tea.
Take your time- it should take about 25 minutes.
Do not be afraid to pause and reflect on a phrase and why it matters so much.
And know your connection with the person who is praying it in St Paul’s, and with people praying it all over the parish, and with Christians all over the world, and through history as well.
And once you’ve fallen in love with MP, as you will, it will be a constant friend to you always.
Romans 5.1-11, John 4.5-42: Covid-19
Friends, we gather here this morning in unprecedented times. We gather in an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear, of questions and hesitation. Those things are in us as well as around us. We are learning to think about things we normally don’t- is it safe to go there, is to safe to touch that handle, how can I control the world around me. Centuries of training is being undone as people get within inches of a handshake and then suddenly recall themselves. Very many people who would normally be sat here with us this morning- and will be again- are rightly sat at home instead. We are the less without them, we miss them but they are here in our missing and in the prayers and thinking which unite us in this moment. Continue…
Essentially, everything including Sunday morning worship is now stopped in terms of gatherings. But we will, of course, continue to serve the community in every way that we can, as we have been doing since 1864.
Amidst the scary things happening at the moment, we would like to reassure you:
– we are here for you
– we are praying for you
– we can help you
If you or friends or family in Wokingham, Emmbrook or Woosehill need anything – whether its pastoral, spiritual or with supplies – please let us know: email@example.com, or 0118 979 2122.
Do look after yourselves and do look after each other.
Being stuck at home does not mean that you can’t call someone and see how they are, or write an email or a letter. This is going to be a marathon and not a sprint so we need to pace ourselves, and keep ourselves fresh and connected and curious and close to God.
And if you would like to receive the daily parish email then please do let the Office know as well.