Dear Church Family
You should all now be aware, that as the government has asked people not to gather in large groups, the Church of England has suspended all gathered forms of public worship until further notice. In other words, all church meetings, activities and services will not be taking place until the Covid-19 pandemic has been dealt with.
This is an unprecedented situation that has left us all feeling confused, anxious and uncertain about just what it is we are going to do. Many of our friends and neighbours are already in self-isolation and a number of parish families are quarantining their households as Coronavirus symptoms develop.
The parish Leadership team met on Monday evening to put a contingency plan in place and by Tuesday morning the Church of England had made their announcement, making most of the work we had set out to do unnecessary. This week has seen rapid development in the government's advice to us all, and I do hope that you are all managing to keep up with the recommendations and doing what you can to minimise the risk of catching and spreading the virus.
What we are now working on is a system of clear and regular communication to as many of our congregation members as possible. This will be done in the following way:
1. Weekly Pewsheets - these will continue to be produced and will contain the usual parish notices, contacts and Bible readings for the Sunday of each week. Just because we cannot gather, does not mean that church is cancelled! Remember that we are the church wherever we are. We can worship and pray at any time we choose to and should continue to look out for those in need in our community.
2. The parish blog from the website. Go to www.huttonparish.com/blog to sign up to receive regular updates, including the weekly pew sheet, straight into your inbox. Please share this with as many people as possible so we can communicate efficiently.
3. The parish Facebook page. www.facebook.com/huttonparish
Here you will be able to access live videos of services that will be taking place as well as news updates. Every weekday morning at 9am, please join us as Fr Andy leads Morning Prayer. On a Sunday, you can login at 9.30am as either Fr Andy or Fr Tony will celebrate at a simple service of Holy Communion, complete with a short sermon. You can watch live and pray along, as well as sending in live prayer requests via the comments section. A wonderful tool for a situation like this! Liturgy and bible readings will be made available. Do consider signing up for Facebook if you haven't already - and do ask if you need any help doing this!
4. The Parish Magazine. It's back folks and a little different than before! It will still be monthly, it will still contain seasonal teaching but will promote the work of the parish for those who do not come to church. It will also be FREE and available via email or through the parish blog.
5. Through your letterbox! We will deliver the weekly & monthly mailings outlined above if you request them. So please do get in touch with the office or with Fr Andy if you or one of your neighbours need good ol' fashioned paper copies of the parish information.
The one church ministry that will continue on a face-to-face basis is the food distribution ministry. Bread will be available every morning in the lobby area of St Peter's. Food parcels can be collected 3 times a week from the hall in St Peter's:
Sundays - 10.30am till 11.30am
Tuesdays - 9am till 12 midday.
Thursdays - 8pm till 9pm
Please do come down at these times to collect food for you or perhaps a neighbour in need. Contact Lisa Whymark on 07795 966453 or firstname.lastname@example.org if need a food delivery or further information.
Please also remember to donate non-perishables to help stock our food ministry cupboards. An extra few items in your weekly shop will make all the difference to a needy family or individual.
We expect the situation to be fairly fluid and will, therefore, do our best to keep you up to date with what's going on. Please do commit to regular prayer and worship over the coming weeks and months - it is a vital part of what being the church is all about. Please also keep and eye on those who might need a little extra support - a few groceries, a phone call or a note through the door.
If you are fit and well and willing to deliver pewsheets etc, then please do get in touch with Dawn Shaxon in the office.
With every blessing,