The Archbishops of Canterbury and York announced on Tuesday 17 March that in light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, public worship is suspended until further notice. We are going to abide by this advice at St. Bartholomew’s. Therefore, sadly there will be no services on Sundays or second Wednesdays with immediate effect and until further notice. We will be updating the church website regularly with information about how we can continue to worship together in these days, support one another and share the love of God with our neighbours.

At a time of crisis, when we would long to gather with our church family so that we can turn to God together, we are advised to keep apart in order to protect one another and our wider community.

However the church will be opened daily for anyone to use for prayer and reflection and you may add prayers to the board in the side chapel.

Meanwhile, do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of help or you want a chat.

It is entirely understandable that many of us are concerned and fearful about what coronavirus and the coming months will bring. The unknown is very often disconcerting and unsettling. However, we do not need to be afraid for God is with us, whether we are with others or home alone. God is with us, whether we are feeling brave or fearful. God is with us, whether we are well or ill. God is with us and that makes all the difference.

The Psalmist puts it this way:

I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come?

My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.

He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade at your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.

The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.

(Psalm 121)

So let’s turn our eyes to God and face the coming days confident in the knowledge that

‘My help comes from the LORD ‘.

With love and prayers

Paul

Paul Boddam-Whetham

01993 776625; rector@ducklingtonchurch.org.uk

www.ducklingtonchurch.org.uk