23 March 2020 - Update
In addition to public worship and all groups being suspended, as of 22 March 2020 the St Peter's Church building has also been closed to the public until further notice.
St Peter's Church Hall is also closed to all groups and hirers with immediate effect. All those with existing bookings between now and 31 May will be contacted by the hall manager regarding cancellation. For those with bookings beyond 31 May we are keeping the bookings for now unless you notify us otherwise, and a decision will be made towards the end of April.
Please do contact the hall manager for any queries or to make bookings for later in the year or 2021.
The work of the church does of course continue for the voice of prayer is never silent. Father Stephen our Vicar will continue to celebrate the Eucharist at 10am on a Sunday morning and on other feast days, albeit behind closed doors, to pray for, among others, the leaders of the nations, this parish and its people, for all healthcare workers, and for the sick and the departed.
For pastoral support please contact Father Stephen using the Contact Us tab above.
A letter from Fr Stephen Coleman, Vicar.
16 March 2020
‘God is our hope and strength, a very present help in trouble’ (Psalm 46)
The global outbreak of COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on our way of life, and the Church is no exception. Following advice from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, public services at St Peter’s, Grange Park on Sundays and on all other days of the week are suspended until further notice. This also means that Junior Church, Youth Club, Coffee Morning Mondays and all other groups are also suspended.
This does not, however, mean that our church is closed: far from it. As our patron St Peter says, we are the living stones that make up the Church. No matter what happens, the church continues in each of us: our calling is always to worship our Lord Jesus Christ who is forever faithful, and to love and serve each other. This crisis calls us to model a different way of being the church and we are putting the following in place to enable us to do that:
The Sunday 10am Parish Eucharist, weekday services and private prayer
I will continue to celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday mornings at 10am in church with my family in attendance, to pray for our parish and for its people, for our world, and for the sick and the departed. The celebration of the Eucharist is the most powerful form of prayer and is at the heart of our life as a church; it will continue even though it is not open for others to attend. If you have any specific prayer requests please let me know.
At 10am each Sunday the bell of the church will be rung as it always is as a call to prayer. At some point between 10am and 11am, if you can, please stop what you are doing and pray, perhaps by using the prayer booklet (mentioned below) and by offering your own prayers, so that as a church we continue to worship together.
In addition to Sundays, I will also continue to say Morning and Evening Prayer on behalf of the parish each day but again these services will not be open to others to attend.
A short booklet with prayers for use at home, the weekly readings, and worship resources for use with children will be circulated in due course. I am also looking into ways to make some sermons/reflections available via the website, e-mail and social media.
Use of the church building
Although we cannot congregate together, the church will be open for private prayer from 10am-2pm Monday-Thursday and 11am-2pm on Sundays. Obviously people will be expected to observe proper hygiene and social distancing. If you are not self-isolating, please do make good use of our wonderful church building for prayer and reflection.
Pastoral care of each other and those in our wider community is at the heart of our work. We are in the process of linking up those who are over 70 or otherwise vulnerable with younger members of the congregation as a point of contact and practical help.
I have been very moved by the offers of help already received but we could always do with more volunteers so please let me know if you are able to help. If you would like such help, or can identify someone who does, please also let me know.
Keeping in touch
I will aim to make available readings, reflections, prayer resources and regular updates as we respond to this changing situation through e-mail and by posting on our website and social media. If you are not on our e-mail list or St Peter’s WhatsApp group and would like to be then please let me know.
Although we are unable to meet together in our church building for a while we are nonetheless held together as a church and a family: we are living stones bound together by the Holy Spirit and united in prayer.
St Peter’s is a remarkable church family and I know that we will show the love of God by caring for one another at this extremely challenging time, and that we will also find strength in God our Father who loves us more than we can imagine and who sustains us in all our difficulties.
As your parish priest and your friend I am always available for a conversation or pastoral support – please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail or on the number below. I greatly look forward to the time when we can once more gather together for worship, but for now I end with a prayer that I hope will bring some comfort and hope at this time.
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
With my love and prayers,