Now that Churches have been asked to suspend public services we are going to have to look for different ways to get together to pray and worship together.
This page will develop in the next few days as resources become available but for now we can offer the following sugestions.
Online church services, pod casts and reading.
The BBC offers a Sunday service on TV from different places around the country. If you would like to follow the morning service at the Cathedral they will be Live Streaming it on Facebook from 10am, and offering daily evening prayer at 5.30pm.
If you’d prefer something to read, (perhaps you’re missing the regular sermons!) Clare and I like these weekly articles. They are well written and often very relevant. Journey with Jesus.
And from our very own Bishops they publish a weekly vlog conversation on Facebook, lasting about 5 mins and related to the weekly readings. Worth a look (and no we are not being paid to plug them!)
The Bishops are also offering daily prayer live every morning from 8.30 on their Facebook page above. Or below is an order of service you can use at home.
The situation is changing fast so do heed the latest advice but alongside that, you might like to consider some Golden Rules that the Bishop of St Albans has suggested as good ways to respond:
Golden Rule One: Each one of us can think about how we can protect and support our neighbours. So much of the public rhetoric is sowing fear about the danger of other people. So, taking all the official precautions, offer help and reassurance to others – and don’t demonise anyone or any group.
Golden Rule Two: Think about who may be suffering more than me. For those of us who are healthy there is much less to worry about but the elderly, the housebound and those with chronic health conditions may be very anxious. How about drawing up a list of the vulnerable people you know and giving them a regular phone call. There’s nothing like a friendly voice to offer solace when someone is worried. A smile can bring cheer, even on the phone. If you visit, follow all the official precautions or don’t go.
Golder Rule Three: Don’t give into panic and start hoarding food. There is plenty to go around, so practise the Christian discipline of sharing. Ask your neighbours what they need and do you best to help them get it. If you are self-isolating you will of course need some supplies – so please don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Golden Rule Four: Live today to the full. None of us ever know what the future holds. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6. 25–34), Jesus challenged his followers to live each day fully and not be afraid. Every time we are tempted to give in to fear we need to make a conscious choice to respond in trust and openness.