There won’t be a ‘thought for the day’ next week as it is Holy Week. Instead there will be a service online each day, which will hopefully give a ‘thought’. There will also be an All-age section with projects to do throughout the week. Tomorrow will see an attachment with a little quiz for the week, and there is also a competition for decorated eggs planned for next Sunday. Serious and light-hearted, we’ll bring you both
Saturday 4th April
Each day we hear of people dying as a result of catching coronavirus, and the sad situation of relatives who cannot be with their loved one in their dying moments because of quarantine restrictions, and often cannot attend the funeral too. There are many other bereavements each day where coronavirus is not involved in the cause of death, but, because of the restrictions brought in by it, they face the same difficult experiences of not being with their relative as they die, and not being able to attend the funeral. It is very hard for all concerned.
Lord, especially as we approach Good Friday, we know that you understand what pain and grieving are like. We pray for all who are alone in their last hours, the staff who are seeking to provide the comfort they need, and the relatives whose grief is made worse because they cannot say ‘goodbye’ in the way that they would wish. May they know you peace and love with them. May we offer what help and support we can. Amen
Friday 3rd April
The weather forecasters say that the temperatures are to go up over the weekend. Ordinarily that would be a great excuse for going out for a day at the coast or in the country, maybe a barbecue, or friends and family round for a party outdoors. But these aren’t ordinary times. It isn’t easy keeping children or teenagers amused, especially if it is warm outside, and you don’t have a garden. However the advice is to stick to the Lockdown guidelines, for the sake of everyone but especially those who are vulnerable, and those who work in the health service, social care etc.
Lord, following the guidelines isn’t easy. Though it is harder for some than for others. Help us all adhere to them, for everyone’s sake, and to help those who are struggling to cope. Amen
Thursday 2nd April
Alongside healthcare staff, there are a variety of other groups who are in the ‘front line’ such as care sector workers in care homes, supported accommodation and visiting clients in their own homes. They provide a valuable service, and are also exposed to risk of catching infection. We want to express our appreciation and support, and pray for their safety.
Lord, thank you for the work of care sector workers, in care homes, supported accommodation, clients’ own homes, and anywhere else. May they know they are appreciated. Keep them safe. Amen
Wednesday 1st April
For teachers and many of their pupils this is a hard time, trying to keep pupils motivated to learn, supporting those who were due to take exams/ leave school/ hopefully move on to college or work/ make choices for next year’s subjects – and for staff adjusting to remote teaching. Some are also in school working with children of ‘key workers’ or from vulnerable families.
Lord we pray for teachers, pupils and parents/guardians coping with the current situation, with the uncertainty, disappointment and worry. As the official ‘school holidays’ approach we pray that staff in particular may have time to relax and ‘recharge the batteries’. May they know that we appreciate all that they are doing. Amen
Tuesday 31st March
A friend was talking about a neighbour’s toddler, who will be getting very used to having Mummy and Daddy around all the time, but not encountering anyone else, including other children. What will be the effect of ‘getting back to normal’, interacting with other people, and discovering that Mummy and Daddy are not always on hand?
Lord, we do not know what unseen effects this period of Social Distancing/ Social Isolation could have on various groups in the community. We pray that all may come through it safely and be able to re-engage with people at the end with no long-term consequences. Amen
Saturday 28th March 2020
A Poem by one of our Parishiners Izzy Young
LOST IN THE WILDERNESS
The way ahead seems lonely and dark,
Gone is that bright encouraging spark.
Where is the light to show us the way?
Show us that light, dear Father, I pray.
Put a spring in our steps once again;
Let life be full as it was back then.
Give us the strength and give us the hope
That with FAITH and LOVE we will all cope.
Friday 27th March 2020
Yesterday, the Government announced measures to help self-employed people who have lost income as a result of the measures introduced to curb the spread of coronavirus. Many are worried about their finances and how to pay their bills.
Lord, we pray for everyone – employed, self-employed, on zero-hours contracts, applying for benefits etc – who are worried about their finances, how they will pay their bills, and keep themselves and their families fed and housed. Bring them comfort and relief. Amen
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Thursday 26th March 2020
It was a dreich day today. In ‘normal circumstances’ it would not be an easy day to have children at home during the school holidays. But these are not ‘normal times’ and come fair weather or foul most children are at home, indoors – some don’t have the option of going out in the garden because they don’t have a garden.
Lord we pray for those looking after children at this time, trying to keep them occupied and cheery. Grant them the patience and love they need. Inspire them with what to do. May this time of ‘Lockdown’ be a time to build relationships, not one that leaves people ‘not speaking’ or feeling that they have ‘lost’ time in their lives. Encourage us to offer ideas and suggestions where we can.
Wednesday 25th March 2020
Today is the Feast of the Annunciation (9 months today is Christmas Day!)
The angel went to Mary and said, ‘Greetings you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you’ Luke 1: 28
The Lord is with us too, whatever situation we are in.
We remember all who are ‘self isolating’: because they have symptoms that could be Covid-19, or they are regarded as a vulnerable group (over age 70, or have an under-lying health condition). They may be worried, they may be lonely, they may be frustrated. May they know your presence and peace with them. Help us to know what we can do to help them. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
Tuesday 24th March 2020
A thought for all this week:
We have had to close all activities in our buildings, including worship. People are feeling isolated, frustrated and maybe afraid too. But let’s remember, the church is the people, not the building. So the best way to keep the church open is to encourage people to pray at home and serve those who are vulnerable and lonely.
We thank you today for the care and commitment of healthcare staff. We pray that they might have the energy and enthusiasm to carry out the work amid all the pressure and stress. Keep them all safe. Amen