Life at St Mary’s during the pandemic

This page explains what we are doing while so many of our usual activities are suspended because of COVID-19 Coronavirus. We try to keep this page updated. Please bear in mind much of this website (besides this page) is out-of-date and refers to events that have had to be cancelled. If you are interested in what’s going on, please click “Keep in touch” in the top left of this web page and joining one or more of our mailing lists.

In Church

After three months without services in church (the longest such period in 800 years), we are now able to worship in church again. At present, there is one service: Holy Communion at 5:30pm on Sundays. There are no hymns or sermon, but these are available in our online services at the moment. If a priest is unavailable at short notice, this service may have to change to Evening Prayer. Everyone is of course welcome to attend whether or not they intend to receive Holy Communion. For those receiving Holy Communion, it is in one kind only (under the form of bread) and there is no sharing of the Peace at present. Seating etc is arranged so everyone is able to keep 2m social distancing throughout, except for a few seconds if receiving Holy Communion. The church is cleaned between all uses, and hand sanitizer etc is available. Please do not come to church is you have COVID-19 symptoms, but do let us know so we can help with prayer, support, shopping etc.

We are also opening the church for private prayer on Thursdays, 5:30pm-6:30pm, but this is suspended for August after 6 August.

Online services

Online services are livestreamed on Sundays and other days. The usual pattern is a Sunday Morning Prayer service on Facebook at 9:30am, including hymns, music, and a sermon. All-age and other services take place most weeks, featuring music, craft, stories, readings, and prayers.

Baptisms Emergency baptisms can take place at home or in hospital under strict conditions. It will soon be possible to arrange baptism services, but only for a limited congregation and in a limited way: many people are choosing to wait until restrictions are further lifted.

Weddings can take place from 4 July, with the numbers attending limited to 30 (including clergy, sidesmen, organist) by government regulation. Organ music is possible, but singing is not at present. Please get in touch and we can talk more about what is allowed at present. Please be in touch with the parish office or clergy.

Funerals can take place in church, as well as at the graveside or in crematoria. However, there are limits on who can attend, and on the form the service can take. Please be in touch with the parish office or clergy. We encourage people to plan larger memorial services to be held later.

Telephone contact ministry

We have a telephone contact ministry in place. This is for everyone who would like to be involved, and particularly for those without internet access who may feel particularly isolated and cut off. Please contact the Revd Sue Ayling or Canon Margaret Marsh. You do not need to be a church member, or a Christian.

Those in need, and offers of help

Through our telephone contact ministry and by other means, we are helping those in the local community. Let us know if you can help those in need, e.g. dropping off shopping; or if you would like help with shopping, IT, etc because you are self-isolating. You do not need to be a church member. Please contact the Revd Sue Ayling or Canon Margaret Marsh.

Those who live locally and are in sudden financial need because of recent events are encouraged to contact us, as we may be able to help.

Prayer

Even though there are no weekday services at present, the clergy and other church members continue to pray daily. You can pray the same daily office of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer as clergy and others by clicking the links (1662 versions, Nigh Prayer, and Prayer during the Day, and Daily Prayer apps also available here) .

We are providing prayer resources for you to download, print, and use at home. Let us know if someone without internet access would like us to send them printed versions.

You can also join others in prayer at home every day of the week by pausing for a moment at midday and praying the Lord’s Prayer. Depending on your situation you can pray either in the silence of your heart or aloud.  See the Lord’s prayer video at www.facebook.com/stmarysewell/videos

Children and Families’ Ministry

Our children and families worker, Sandi Keen started work with us at the beginning of April. Children and families continue to be at the centre of our church and ministry during this period. As well as our Sunday services, there are activities and ideas on our weekly mailings and on Facebook, and more activities are planned for the summer.
Children’s Hour is meeting online every week at 10:15am via Zoom. Please be in touch with Kathie Burgess at kathleen@burgess.org.uk to find out more and how to join in.

Club Sandwich. This youth group for 7+ and 11+ meets online fortnightly via Zoom. There are games, activities, and discussion. Please be in touch with Sandi on families@stmarysewell.com to find out more and how to join in. All welcome.

Music

You can enjoy the music of our Father Willis pipe organ on youtube here. Our Director of Music Jonathan Holmes has been recording and uploading music from the cancelled concert, and other choral and organ music to Facebook and Youtube. Watch this space for information about when other musical activities can re-commence.

Parish Office

The parish office remains open for telephone and email enquiries only; messages will be check at least every 48 hours on working weekdays.Visits in person cannot be received.

Discussion Groups, Videos, and Meetings

There is a new Facebook group: click on the link or search for “Friends of St Mary’s Ewell”. If you join you can take part in chat and conversation.

We are holding social events (such as quizzes and coffee mornings) and church meetings online using Zoom. Those interested in participating in discussions and meetings are encouraged now to ensure they have a laptop, PC or tablet with camera, microphone, and speakers. If your computer doesn’t have these features, they can be bought separately, and we’d be happy to help you get up and running.

If you don’t already use Facebook please consider joining at least for a period. You don’t need to give them any personal information you don’t want to, but it is where we will be streaming and posting lots of our videos. You don’t need to join Facebook to view livestreams and videos, but you do to comment and interact. You can view recordings of livestreamed services later when they have finished.

We are planning a liturgy discussion group in July. We will meet together (by Zoom, as above) to discuss the form our church services take, specifically the Eucharist or Evensong. If you are interested, please get in touch and we will send you a Zoom invitation.

Weekly Notes and EPN

The Weekly Notes is not being printed but is posted on the front page of this website, usually on Friday afternoons, for download. Please let us know if there is anyone who cannot access a copy.

The Ewell Parish News is available electronically here on our website as soon as it is published at the end of each month.