18th March 2020
St Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop, teacher of the faith, 386
Fr Andrew writes:
As parish priest I am writing to all those connected with the Croydon Minster by email. I intend to do this on a regular basis whilst we face and endure the Coronavirus (Covid-19) emergency.
These are spiritually, emotionally and physically challenging times.
I hope these emails will help to keep us in touch, to give information about practical matters - such as when the church is open and how we might help get food and supplies to those who are self-isolating or unwell - and what resources are available for you to read, ponder and pray.
The church has a data protection (GDPR) policy and we will respect that. We have your email address because you have given it to the church in the past. If you do not wish to receive these email bulletins please simply press ‘Unsubscribe’ at the bottom.
The bombshell we learnt yesterday was that the in light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice.
They say that churches should be open where possible but with no public worship services taking place. In response Croydon Minster is open for personal prayer at the following times:
Sundays: 10.00am – 12noon and 4.00pm-5.00pm
Weekdays & Saturdays: 10.00am – 12noon
The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed as a focus for prayer. Prayers and devotional reading material will be available for those present.
There will be no acts of corporate public worship until further notice.
Many people will be feeling isolated not just physically but emotionally and spiritually too as well as feeling angry, uncertain, bewildered and plain lonely.
As a church community we can draw on our faith and our fellowship to be sustained ourselves and to sustain others in these difficult times.
One way we’re responding to that is that we will be calling members of the congregation by phone so that we can keep in touch and help with any needs people may have, insofar as that’s possible.
If you know someone who would appreciate a phone call from someone at the church, or to join this email list please ask them to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can add them to the lists.
I’ll be in touch again soon.
The Church of England has prepared prayer material for this time. You can click here (https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-liturgy-and-prayer-resources) to find more
PERSONAL PRAYERS, PARTICULARLY IF YOU CAN’T GET TO CHURCH
Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples, ‘I am with you always’.
Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.
Hear my prayers for others and for myself, and keep me in your care.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger. from St Patrick’s Breastplate
I am giving you worship with all my life,
I am giving you obedience with all my power, I am giving you praise with all my strength, I am giving you honour with all my speech.
I am giving you love with all my heart,
I am giving you affection with all my sense,
I am giving you my being with all my mind,
I am giving you my soul, O most high and holy God.
Praise to the Father,
Praise to the Son,
Praise to the Spirit, The Three in One.
adapted from Alexander Carmichael,
Carmina Gadelica (1900)
Before going to sleep
God our Father, by whose mercy the world turns safely into darkness and returns again to light: we place in your hands our unfinished tasks, our unsolved problems, and our unfulfilled hopes, knowing that only what you bless will prosper. To your love and protection we commit each other and all those we love, knowing that you alone are our sure defender, through Jesus Christ our Lord.