COVID-19 Update #3
Our aim in issuing these updates is to reassure parishioners that we are taking every step to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all our parishioners and neighbours.
We continue to follow the advice given by the Church of England nationally, and also locally from the Diocese of Chelmsford, and also from HM Government and the NHS/Public Health England.
These updates will be issued as necessary.
In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Bishop of Chelmsford, in partnership with Bishops in other Dioceses, has directed that, as of 6pm on Sunday 22 March 2020, ALL CHURCH BUILDINGS ARE NOW CLOSED in Chelmsford Diocese until further notice.
Following the Prime Minister’s directing of a national LOCKDOWN, Marriages and Baptisms are suspended; Funerals may continue but with different arrangements being put in place. For more information, please contact the Parish Office via email (spitfE17@gmail.com) or call the Vicar on 07871584997. Morning Prayer is being livestreamed by the Vicar on our Facebook Page, Monday through Saturday, at 9.30am. Evening Prayer and Night Prayer are also being offered most evenings, courtesy of Bernard Eaton (LLM) and Sally Holman (LLM-in-formation).
Sunday Parish Eucharist is being livestreamed at 10.00am, each Sunday whilst these social restrictions obtain.
All parishioners are encouraged to use the 'Service of Daily Prayer' resources of the Church of England each day. Our MMU partners, St Mary with Christ Church, Wanstead, have produced a set of 'Family Prayers for use at Home'. The Church of England has also issued 'Guidance on Spiritual Communion and Coronavirus'. Alternatively, please watch 'An Introduction to Spiritual Communion', a video produced by the Diocese of Chelmsford.
Ministries and Activities
All of our different ministries, activities, and classes are also suspended with immediate effect, until further notice.
The Parish Office
The Parish Office is now closed but email messages will continue to be picked up until further notice. To contact our team members directly, please use the following email addresses:
Various folk are making themselves available to help support those who are ill or self -isolating in appropriate ways. Please do contact the Parish Office or the Vicar if you would like support or help.
Please also contact the Parish Office if you would like to be put in touch with a member of our congregations and do not have their contact details. We may be able to contact them on your behalf and gain their consent to share their contact details.
For Last Rites, ministry around the time of death, and any guidance on drawing up funeral plans, please contact the Vicar in the first instance on 07871584997 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Vicar is also able to keep any funeral plans securely on file in the Parish Office.
Death is a natural part of life and it is good for all of us to think about this and to plan for it. Surviving relatives can also be enormously grateful for any plans that their lost loved ones have already kindly put in place.
The Ministry team have put together a Contingency Plan for the Parish which has now been approved by the PCC Standing Committee, so that we know who is responsible for each part of parish life and who takes over in the event of illness. This plan is made up of a detailed document that covers the areas of infrastructure, communication, worship, pastoral care, community activity and finance. The Standing Committee and PCC is continuing to operate effectively with decisions being taken electronically and meetings taking place online.
The Centre is now wholly closed, except in exceptional circumstances (as it may obtain to the care of key workers and their families, or in matters concerning major emergency contingency).
Please remember to check on the wellbeing of your neighbours and any people who are particularly vulnerable at this time, and please help us to do the same.
The Parish has recently taken steps to minimise all but necessary expenditure while our services and regular activities are not running. However, we do have significant fixed expenses to cover and if you would like to support the Parish at this time, we are grateful to accept donations to help us meet our financial obligations.
Donations can be made by one-off bank transfers, or by setting up a standing order.
The parish’s current account details are as follows:
Name of Bank: The Co-operative Bank
Address of Bank: PO Box 250, Delf House, Southway, Skelmersdale, WN8 6WT
Account Name: PCC of St Peter in the Forest Walthamstow
Sort Code: 08-92-99
Account Number: 65621822
APCM and Electoral Roll Revision
More information will be shared as soon as it has been received from the Diocese.
We will communicate to parishioners via these bulletins, through social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Facebook), and through paper notices on our church doors and noticeboards.
The Standing Committee and the PCC of St Peter-in-the-Forest will respond quickly and decisively to this rapidly changing situation.
We are very blessed in having such strong support from our dedicated Staff Team, Volunteers, Church Wardens, PCC and Congregations.
Fr Paul Trathen, Vicar, St Peter-in-the-Forest, Walthamstow
26th March 2020
A prayer about the Coronavirus outbreak:
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.
For those in isolation:
God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope;
in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For those who are ill:
we entrust to your unfailing and tender care,
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold us safe.
Comfort and heal them,
and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For hospital staff and medical researchers:
give skill, sympathy and resilience
to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for when you can’t get to church:
Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples, ‘I am with you always’.
Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.
Hear my prayers for others and for myself,
and keep me in your care.
A prayer for the World:
God of love and hope,
You made the world and care for all creation.
But the world feels strange right now.
The news is full of stories about Coronavirus.
Many people are anxious because of it.
Many people are anxious that they might get ill.
Many people are anxious about their family and friends.
Be with them in their worries and help them to find some peace.
We pray for the doctors and nurses and scientists who are working to discover the right medicines to give hope to those who are ill.
Thank you that even in these strange and worrying times, you are with us.
Help us to look for the signs of your goodness and love towards us. Amen.