Category Archive: Update from David

 

Coronavirus

Message on 20th March Dear Friends, You will all be aware how much has changed in the last few days. For us as the Church in Kingham and Churchill, the biggest impact is surely that public worship has been suspended so there are no services in church for the time being. As individuals we may be affected in numerous other ways, each of them making a significant difference to our pattern of life. Facing all these challenges we may feel daunted at times but we can draw strength from our Lord Jesus, who endured forty days of fasting in preparation for his ministry, then suffering and death, and who is with us in our difficulties, by his Holy Spirit in us. I hope that, despite the pressures we are under, we can each find time each day to be quiet, read the Bible and pray. (As I write these words, Gigaclear are busy on my drive, so I do appreciate it will be difficult at times!) So in the midst of this change, what can we do?

Keep in touch with one another.

Mostly this will be by phone, I expect, though many enjoy social media too. We might also use conference call software to help us meet virtually in groups. We’re planning a ‘phone tree’ to help us stay in touch as the Church family.

Look out for our neighbours

Many of our neighbours will be isolated at various times. For some people this will be worrying or even depressing, so let’s phone one another more than we might otherwise. Many may need help with shopping etc.. Even fit and healthy families may be unable to get out because one person has an underlying medical condition. We’re placing ‘I can help’ cards in the church at Churchill and in the shop in Kingham, so if you can offer help to neighbours, please pick up some cards, fill in your details and deliver them.

Spiritual resources

As I said earlier, please do ask God for strength and guidance through this time. You may like to use some of the following resources too. Churchill and Kingham churches are both open daily from now on. We can’t gather there but we can still go and pray by ourselves. They are beautiful places and inspire us in worship. Many of us are already using the #LiveLent daily reflections, either on our phones or tablets, or in booklet form. There are still some booklets in Churchill church, so do pick one up if you’d like one. I will aim to prepare a sermon each week and make it available. Usually this will be a recording, accessed through the website. However, I could email the text to you, or print a copy and post it. We may find better ways of delivering it as time goes by. The Archbishop of Canterbury will be broadcasting a service at about 8am on Sunday on Radio 4. The Bishop of Oxford will stream a service starting at 10am and St Mary’s, Chipping Norton are planning to have a service available on their website. An abundance! The regular broadcasts on radio and Songs of Praise on Sunday afternoon.

Further resources

As time goes by we hope to be able to offer resources for children, to help them in place of Kidzone and Messy Church. The Easter Egg Trail will be going up in Kingham and maybe more. We’ll let you know. If you have ideas of things that would be useful, please let us know. Do call me on the regular numbers, or video call, if you like. I’m learning how to use Facebook Messenger, Skype, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts and Discord! On Tuesday morning I was reading from Numbers 6: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace.”     Message on 16th March This global pandemic affects us all. Some will feel confused or frustrated, some will be fearful for themselves and/or loved ones. And yet we believe and trust in God, our creator and sustainer. No-one is outside his love or beyond his reach. We ask for his strength and guidance, to continue in faith and to demonstrate his love to one another, at the heart of the village, sharing the love of Christ.

General guidance

We have, of course, been closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and, following advice from Public Health England and the Church of England, are taking appropriate steps to ensure we keep our congregations, staff, volunteers, and event attendees as safe as possible. For your own safety and for that of others, please:
  • Think carefully before attending church if you are in a vulnerable, high risk group.
  • To help prevent the spread of infection, please follow general best practice as outlined by Public Health England (catch it, bin it, kill it) and wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • DO NOT ATTEND CHURCH if you have a recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature, and click for public health guidance.

Impact on Church services

These are some of the steps we are now taking more widely to help prevent the spread of infection:
  • We are doing all we can to provide hand sanitisation across all church buildings, services and events, and ask that everyone uses it (or washes their hands) whenever entering.
  • A change in the way we take communion: this will now be taken ‘in one kind’ (i.e. just the bread) for the foreseeable future. It is Anglican teaching that to receive the sacrament in one kind only is to receive the sacrament in its entirety.
  • Avoiding physical contact (i.e. no handshakes, or laying on of hands in prayer or blessing).
  • We have suspended all in-house catering until we are advised that we may resume.
  • We will not be passing an offering plate around in services (retiring collections will be taken instead).
It may become necessary to cancel some or all services and/or events. Please contact the Church Office for information.

Supporting one another

As unique individuals we will respond to coronavirus in different ways. Whilst we will, no doubt, discuss the advice we have each received we should do our best to respect one another’s decisions and support one another through this difficult time. If you need any practical help because you have self-isolated, please contact the church office (details below).

Showing love to those around us

As we respond to government guidance there will be a number of people isolating themselves at home in our villages during the next months. God calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves. One way of doing this is to offer practical care, fetching shopping and/or medicines for those who can’t get out, for example. Also, especially as the weeks go by, it will be important to remain in touch with one another, so let’s use the phone, ‘Skype’ or ‘Facetime’ to maintain regular contact. If you are able to offer help to others in the village and are happy to be contacted, please contact the church office (details below).

Faith in God

Romans 8.28 says, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ ‘In all things’ includes hardships and difficulties, even tragedies. Without belittling the real suffering that many will go through with coronavirus, we can be certain that God is at work in us and through us. Please pray for his will to be done in the decisions that our government makes, in the strengthening of our health and care services and in the love of churches, families and communities.

Other Resources

Please check out the latest advice from Public Health England and the Church of England. St Mary’s, Chipping Norton is preparing resources to encourage faith in those struggling with fear. Please check their website for details. https://www.stmaryscnorton.com/ We will endeavour to keep our own website up-to-date with information and recordings from recent services. http://www.kinghamchurches.org.uk/

Contact Information

Church Office: 01608 652888, kinghamsam46@gmail.com The Vicar: 01608 658852 (home), david.w.salter@btinternet.com