Benefice of Farleigh, Candover and Wield
Rector: Rev. David Chattell
The Rectory, Alresford Road, Preston Candover, RG25 2EE
Associate Rector, Rev. Stephen Mourant
The Rectory, Church Lane, Ellisfield, Basingstoke, RG25 2QR
March 20 2020
Benefice of Farleigh, Candover and Wield
Update on arrangements for the immediate time during the Corona virus pandemic
Dear friends, these last few days have been we are sure hugely busy as we have struggled to grasp how things have changed since last week. But remember, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
Our God has not changed; He is the beginning and the end, He is the source and giver of life itself, He is the power behind every breath we take, and His promises remain the same: He loves us, He invites us to follow Him, He breathes His Holy Presence into every life by His Spirit, He enjoins us to listen, to walk with Him, to pray, be still and to enjoy that He has given us life in all it’s fullness.
It has been so encouraging to see support being organised across at least 4 of our villages for the elderly and housebound, to ensure no-one is overlooked, and that has been people working together for the common good – well done all those who have initiated and organised them.
Many of you may not be in the habit of prayer and worship together at home: attached are some frameworks you can use at home – one for families with children – published by the Church of England today – let’s try something different. On Sunday we are all called to pray for our nation at this time – I am praying for an awakening by God’s Holy Spirit to wake up those who are asleep in their spirits towards God in particular, as well as His mighty protection upon all who serve in the NHS and medical services that they do not succumb to this illness at any serious level, and that the speed at which it can be brought under control is high. We also pray for those in our communities for whom this virus could be fatal, that they come to their end in God’s time, not hurried but at peace with Him.
We are also wanting to provide daily Bible passages to read, and the Benefice Prayer and Bible Reading diary is ideal: the current one is available from the website now and Stephen will update it in the next few days taking the situation into account.
Stephen has recorded a short service online for Sunday morning – he has set up a You Tube account and the message has been uploaded to Youtube and the link made available via the website. http://www.farleighcandoverandwield.org.uk/services/
David has placed an Evening Prayer service on the here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=275sTSxRJM0
This tool which has been low in most people’s minds now comes into its own. We will inform you of the link later – and we would be delighted for help from anyone with the expertise.
There are also many other Christian organisations and churches who provide daily spiritual nourishment online: see below.
We are both available for private counsel, prayer, by phone, email or using SKYPE or one of the other video conferencing platforms with which so many people are familiar in the workplace.
Funerals will continue to take place, weddings also but on a much reduced scale – please pray for Stephen as one of the diocesan surrogates for Common Licences, which will have to be sworn in place of banns which have had to be suspended till services restart. He has several to process already – with paperwork involved and fees.
Arrangements for APCMs are all going to be different with them being delayed till the autumn unless already held.
May we both encourage you all to explore the different ways of communicating with your own neighbours and villages, tell us what you would like us to do to help; most villages have established some form of care for the vulnerable so no-one is left alone without support.
But we remind you all: this situation is not unknown to the Living Lord: let’s work with Him in discovering what He wants to teach us about our own hearts, attitudes and gifts, how we can use them to bless others at a distance as well as close at hand.
Day of National Prayer this Sunday 22 March 2020
The archbishops have called us to pray, so:-
JOIN US BY LIGHTING A CANDLE AND PLACING IT IN YOUR WINDOW WHERE OTHERS CAN SEE IT AT 7.00 P.M.
PRAYERS FOR US TO PRAY:-
We pray for deliverance from fear- there’s a lot of fear around.
For looking out for our neighbours in need and to offer help.
To keep in perspective that suffering comes to us all so let’s recognise this situation is difficult but it is not impossible.
To pray for the disease to be stopped:
To ask for the Holy Spirit to refresh and heal us in order that we may be able to minister with confidence to those in need.
To prepare the dying for their death and help those who fear death to find hope in Jesus Christ.
With our prayers and supporting love
David and Stephen
(courtesy Dave Walker, cartoonist)
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