REVISED: Announcement about suspension of activities and services

Dear friends,

Since my message earlier this afternoon, the Prime Minister has made a statement. “Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel. We need people to start working from home where they possibly can. And you should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues.”

Because of this, as of now, all of our weekday services and activities are suspended. This includes Saturday’s concert, but Jonathan is hoping to put the concert on Youtube instead.

At the present time I expect funerals we have currently booked in to go ahead. I will await guidance from the Church of England about what we do about Sunday services and will update you, I hope, in a day or two.

I’ll repeat what I wrote earlier this afternoon. We are

 - Working on a system whereby we keep in touch with people regularly by phone, for company, support, and to try to help meet people’s need— hopefully we can benefit the wider community in this too.
 - As always, through this time we welcome prayer requests by phone or email
 - By next week we will have some prayer resources available, so that all of us can join together in prayers with our St Mary’s friends even if we are at home
 - We are planning to do more online: we are considering streaming services, Thought for the Day videos on youtube and/or Facebook; discussions on Facebook; meetings and prayer groups by videoconferencing.
 - Working to ensure continuity of what we do as far as possible through this time.

It will take a little time to get all this up and running, but I hope it will help during the difficult weeks and months ahead.

with my prayers, and thanks for all your support,