Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance - And update from Fr Jeremy
UPDATE 23/03/2020 - FOLLOWING THE RECENT GOVERNMENT ADVICE THE CHURCH IS NOW CLOSED FOR ALL ACTIVITIES UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE -- Should you wish to male contact please click here for further information.
A message from Archbishop Justin Welby on the need to keep church buildings closed - please click to see on YouTube
Please see the front page of the website for links to information, recorded services and prayer resources.
UPDATE 17/03/2020 - ALL GATHERINGS FOR SERVICES NOW PUT ON HOLD - We hope to update shortly
Further Guidance and Information is available from the following sites (which are not under the control of All Saints Church and the links are for convenience only):-
Public Health England which can be found HERE
The Diocese of Oxford which can be found HERE
The Church of England which can be found HERE
The Government Advice site which can be found HERE
The NHS which can be found HERE
The Frimley Health site (including Wexham Park Hospital) which can be found HERE
A Downloadable guide from Frimley Health for patients (or any-one who feels they may be infected) can be found HERE
A Downloadable easy guide to Corona Virus / Covid-19 can be found HERE
Please note that due to the rapidly changing situation these links may not work or the sites may not be up to date - please verify any information before acting upon it - please advise the Parish Office if any of the links are broken.
NEWS FROM Fr Jeremy
As well as links to guidance pages Fr. Jeremy is writing to inform you that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, The Most Revd & Rt Hon Justin Welby and The Most Revd & Rt Hon John Sentamu have issued the following information.
‘It is our view, in light of the continued increase of Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom, that is now necessary to suspend the administration of the chalice as well as physical contact during the sharing of the peace, blessing or ‘Laying on of hands’.
We therefore advise that priests should:-
Offer communion in one kind only to all communicants i.e the consecrated bread/wafer/host, with the priest alone taking the wine. The Church of England’s theology states that we are fully in communion with our Lord in both or either of gifts of bread and wine.
Suspend handshaking or direct physical contact during the sharing of the peace;
Suspend direct physical contact as part of a blessing or ‘laying on of hands’
Following this advice, I have met with our churchwardens’ Ken and Ann, Rod Broad and Jeanette Lock. We have agreed to ask all of you to follow the Church of England guidelines recommendations which are:-
Please take personal hygiene seriously through washing of hands, use of tissues and disinfectant hand gels. We also remind you that you can use the washing facilities at the parish centre.
We will discontinue the use of Holy water stoups.
At All Saints we will look to make sure that we are keeping the church as clean as possible. At the moment it is felt that the hymn books and Orders of service are only used on Sundays and should pose no threat of contamination. As we move forward we will continue to communicate with you via the website and the pew sheet.
Jeremy Nordberg has sent me information from his parish priest Fr Tony in France who shares the following story to illustrate that these measures should be considered in the light and context of our faith.
A man who was in the middle of a flood and the waters rose so high he had to perch on the roof of his house. He was a devout man whose faith was strong, and he knew in his heart that God would save him. Anyway, several people passed by, one on a raft, one in a boat and another in a helicopter. Each one offered to rescue the man but he refused and said he would trust only in God. Eventually the waters engulfed him and he drowned. In heaven, he complained to God because God had not saved him, to which God replied, but I sent a raft, a boat and a helicopter!’ Fr Tony goes on to say that the Holy Scriptures reveal that God often expects us to co-operate with him – to do something ourselves and not just expect miraculous deliverance.
I was watching interviews from Italy where young professional women were self -isolating not to protect themselves but to stop the virus reaching others particularly the vulnerable. This is the way we should view these times. We are to think about how we support community and as St Paul would argue the weak and vulnerable as well as the bold and strong.
Moving forward we at All Saints are:-
- Forming a Pastoral Care Team to keep in contact with people via phone. This will enable us to help with practical support such as food should you not be feeling well to go out to the shops.
- We will invite you to share your Next of Kin details with us should you need Fr Jeremy or a member of the pastoral team, to make contact with a family member or friend.
- If you did have to self -isolate please let the office know on 01628 621933 so that Fr Jeremy and Jeanette can contact you to offer help.
- We will be offering helpful websites such as ‘Pray as you go’ and Church of England Daily Prayer for spiritual support at home. We will be putting sermons on the website so that you can read alongside the pew sheet with the collect and readings.
Bishop Olivia has asked that we stay calm (No panic buying which impacts on others), be caring and make phone calls, send messages, letters, cards and offer food to others as a sign that we care. Be considerate in acting collectively to prevent the spread. It is not about me, it’s about us. Finally, we should be Christ-like by living hopefully, loving generously and praying earnestly – let’s bless each other by the way we behave.
To return to Fr Tony of ST Michaels, Beaulieu Sur Mer who says we must have faith and quotes the prayer of Saint Francis de Sales
‘Do not look forward anxiously to what may happen tomorrow;
The same everlasting Father who cares for you today
Will take care of you tomorrow and every day.
Either He will shield you from suffering,
Or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace, then, put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations,
And say continually: The Lord is my strength and shield;
My heart has trusted in Him and I am helped
He is not only with me, but in me and I in Him.’
Please be assured of our prayers at this time,
Fr Jeremy, Our Church wardens Ken and Ann, our deputy warden Stella, Our Treasurer Rod and Jeanette of our Pastoral Care Team.