Posted 6 months ago

“Church is not the building it’s the people!” that’s what I often say, and it’s true. We may usually attend public worship on a Sunday in the church building but the Bible teaches us that we are “church” as people together.

The well-being of each one of us in our villages is so very important. The churches will be doing all they can to help and support the vulnerable and needy. The Church of England has set out clear guidelines in what is allowed to happen in the building, and what is not. These can be found on the Church of England website at www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid19-guidance-churches .

At the present time, our usual worship gatherings/services are not taking place but weddings (limited in terms of number people attending) and funerals (observing social distancing requirements) may go ahead. Please contact Rev Rosie Bunn (780210) or Rev Viv Ridpath (07523717810) if you have any questions regarding the above.

Burgh Castle Church will remain open as usual during the day, as a space for quiet reflection and private prayer. All Saints Belton will be open occasionally; details of times and dates will be posted on the church website or social media platforms.

If you wish to join with other people for prayer and worship, arrangements are being made to gather people together on-line or by making a telephone call to join a regular “event”. Details of this will also be made available via the internet or through individual contacts, posters, etc. Please bear with us as we develop new ways of joining people together.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has hosted his first national virtual Church of England Service, which was broadcast on Mothers Day at 8 am on local radio stations and is encouraging the clergy to be creative in the way we encourage and support our parishioners.

If you are elderly/vulnerable and self-isolating and need shopping doing, we may be able to help. An initial contact made to Rosie (780210) or help.contact@allsaintsbelton.org.uk will be forwarded to people who are prepared to respond and help.

The Pantry is a food bank for Belton & Burgh Castle residents, which has been running for a number of years. We support local families and individuals referred to us by the school and other pastoral contacts. Our usual points for collection are the JGI, Moorlands Academy and the church, all of which are now closed, and so the flow of the necessary provisions has significantly reduced. If you would like to help support people in need, your donation of either food or money would be very much appreciated. Please contact either Marion (07514458186) or Rosie (780210) for details of the drop-off point. If you are in urgent need yourself, please contact Marion (07514458186) or Rosie (780210) and we will do what we can to respond to your request.

A personal note from Rev Rosie Bunn As many of you might know, I take medication that causes me to be immune suppressed and, like many people in our area, I am vulnerable in the present circumstances. I will be self-isolating (as best I can) but very much available on the telephone or via email or social media contacts. I am going to find it very difficult not being able to be out and about serving the community but will be creative in the ways that I can help, if at a distance. I will, of course, be praying for all of you; for the NHS staff at the forefront during this crisis and for all who carry out the vital tasks that enable the essentials of life to be available us (food, water, energy, safe environment, etc.).

PRAYER FOR A PANDEMIC

May we who are merely inconvenienced – Remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors – Remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home – Remember those who must choose between their health and making the rent.

May we have the flexibility to care for our children now the schools are closed- Remember those who have no options.

May we who have had to cancel our trips- Remember those who have no place to go.

May we who are losing our spending money in the turmoil of the economic crisis – Remember those who have no spending money at all.

May we who settle for isolation at home – Remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country – Let us choose love.

During the time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other- Let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbour.

Amen