From the Rector - 21st April

Dear Friends

 

Hope you are all keeping well?

 

I am emailing to inform you all, that on St George's day 23rd April (this Thursday) at 4.30pm, four of our Clergy, one at each Church, will be praying in the Churchyards for our Nation at this time of crisis, for our local Communities, our Church, the NHS and other Carers, those who are Sick, Isolated, those who are Struggling and also remembering those who have Died. 

 

Some of you may think it is strange, and be wondering why this is taking place in the Churchyard rather than the Church? The Archbishops have given strict guidelines to the clergy of the Church of England that we should not enter our churches at this time, even to pray. 

 

We as clergy in this Benefice believe that a fundamental of our Priesthood is to intercede for the people in our care, primarily in Church, 'being at one with God with you the people on our hearts'. However, because of the Archbishops edict this is not possible at the moment. I have spoken with the Archdeacon of Malmesbury and it has been agreed by the both of us, that on this special day for our Nation at this critical time, as we remember our Patron Saint George, that we as a team of clergy can say the office of Evening Prayer (combined with intercessory prayer), in close proximity to our four churches.  

 

I would like to ask four things of you whilst we do this: Firstly, If you would like us to pray for someone or something in particular please email me by Wednesday evening with a name and a little bit of context (m.strange@fromesidechurches.org.uk) and we will include the request in our prayers. Secondly, please feel free to pray this prayer for our Communities at the same time as we are praying. (This prayer is used regularly by the Ecumenical Prayer Group, 'Share and Prayer', in Iron Acton.) Thirdly, please hold us and all members of our Ministry Team in your prayers at this time, as we work tirelessly to provide spiritual and pastoral strength to all who live in our villages. Finally, however tempting on a sunny Thursday afternoon, please don't try to join us, as the agreement is clear that we need to be doing this on our own to comply with social distancing rules.      

 

On a final note, don't forget to get out at 8pm that evening; to clap, bang saucepans, blow horns and cheer our amazing NHS, all the carers and key workers who are striving to keep us safe.

 

May God bless you all and take care out there!

 

Fr Malcolm