Letter from Reverend Christopher Harrison

To the members of St Peter’s and All Saints’ churches

Warmest greetings to you all; I do hope that you have been keeping well during these times which remain difficult for many people.

As you may have heard, in the light of the latest changes to the Covid-19 regulations we have had to suspend church worship services as from today. This means that it will no longer be possible to hold the Sunday and Thursday services at St Peter’s, or the Sunday service at All Saints’, at least for the next few weeks.

We will continue to stream the 10.45 Sunday service from St Peter’s, which will be transmitted live as usual but behind closed doors (sadly!) and with only those involved in leading the service present. You will continue to find the link to the service here.

Please note, however, that you can either join the streamed service live at 10.45 each Sunday or view it as from the Monday which follows, for the remainder of that week (videos posted on YouTube typically take around 24 hours before they become available for general viewing).

St Peter’s church will be open for private prayer on Thursdays from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm; All Saints’ church will continue to be open for private prayer on Tuesdays from 11.00 am to 1.00 pm and now also on Sundays from 10.30 to 11.30 am.

This Sunday is Remembrance Sunday, and I encourage you to join our live streamed service at 10.45 as well as taking time to remember all who have died as a result of war, particularly those from our parish but also the many millions from this country and around the world who suffered or died as a result of the two World Wars and in other conflicts since then. Do also give thanks to God for the peace which has prevailed upon our shores for many years now, and pray for peace in all those areas of the world where wars continue. At this time we pray especially also for our armed forces and for all who are involved in the defence of this country and the maintenance of peace and stability both here and elsewhere.

On Sunday from 2.30 to 3.30 we will be holding another ‘Zoom’ Coffee Time; do join this if you can.

May I thank all those who have contributed to a gift for Alan Franks, who retired as Parish Manager at the end of last week; we will be thanking him for his invaluable contribution to the parish during this Sunday’s Zoom Coffee Time.

I am delighted that Adele Siepmann is able to take on the responsibilities which Alan has hitherto handled, alongside her existing responsibilities as Parish Administrator; this will help us through the current period until such time as we can make a more permanent decision as to how the tasks which fall to the Parish Office can be covered.

As we enter a new lockdown and as winter approaches, I hope and pray that you will remain strong and safe. A second national lockdown will no doubt take its toll on people’s well-being, and we should all continue to pray for and support one another as best we can. We have much to be thankful for in our churches – and indeed I can announce that the roof renewal project at St Peter’s is now complete, which is wonderful news. This period reminds us, however, that the Church is far more than just its buildings. For the Church is no less than Christ’s people; we are his Body, here on earth, and we all depend on one another. May that mutual dependence, sustained and strengthened by the love of Christ, see us through these demanding times until a new day dawns and we can look with confidence to a brighter future.

Wishing you all every blessing,