Staying Connected during Covid19
Please be aware that all our services and groups have been suspended for the time beaing. Our church building is also closed.
As I write this message to you all, my heart is filled with love and care for you at this time. Yesterday afternoon I received the letter from the Archbishops of York and Canterbury suspending all services of public worship for the foreseeable future. As I read the letter, I could see a lovely couple walking across the drive for their final Wedding meeting in preparation of their wedding – a process which we had been working through for almost two years. Discussing the postponement of their wedding was deeply moving, and the dignity and understanding which they showed, despite being so deeply disappointed, was an amazing lesson for us all in how we too could conduct ourselves during this difficult time; with dignity, courteously, kindness, and indeed love. This is of course our great calling as Christian people; to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
So how can we as a Church sustain our fellowship and love amongst ourselves, and reach out in love to others, during this time when we are unable to come together physically to meet and to worship.
What we do as a Church Family will develop as the current situation unfolds, but below are some things for you to consider:
• Parish Magazine
I have arranged for the Parish Magazine to be sent to all of our Church members as a means of keeping in touch. This will reduce the number of copies available to give beyond our Church Family. Doing this will provide a means by which I can communicate with all our Church members, including those who do not have internet access. Obviously, there is a financial cost to doing this and if you do not already subscribe to the magazine you might consider doing so, or may make a donation. See below for a means of doing so.
• Sustaining the Church Financially during this period
Ongoing financial support for our church is essential if we are to be effective in supporting the vulnerable amongst us at this time. We also need to keep our Church ‘healthy’ for when we return to a more ‘normal’ situation. Many of you already commit to St Thomas’ by regular standing order, or by the ‘envelope’ scheme. Please continue to do so. The envelopes can be given together when we return to having services, or as things develop it may be possible to make other arrangements.
Those of you with online banking might want to use that facility for making a payment to support the church and the following details can be used:
Use your own name as the reference for the payment.
Account name: PCC St Thomas Churchwardens
Sort Code: 01-03-33
Account Number: 04977653
• Support for Vulnerable or Isolated Church Members
If you are isolated or feel vulnerable, then please contact either myself or one of the Church Wardens on the following numbers:
Revd John – 01995 602162
Doug Willoughby – 01995 640061
Trevor Sperring – 01995 606288
We will then try to link you up with a Church Contact person, who will be assigned specifically to support you. They will be in contact via telephone. All contacts will be under my supervision.
Please do let us support each other as a Church Family.
As God’s people we are called to be a ‘Light to the world’. One way of doing this under the current circumstances is to deepen our pattern of prayer. Structuring our day around prayer is a useful way of keeping our spiritual and psychological balance when isolated from one another. If we all share a pattern of four prayer times per day, we can know that others in the church family are also praying at that time. I suggest that if possible, we should pray at the following times:
Morning – perhaps before or after breakfast
Midday – Twelve noon would be a good time as we
could pray together
Evening – Perhaps 6:00pm, if you want to pray at the
same time as others
Night - Just before going to bed, as this is a
great way of entering into sleep with peace
I hope to be able to update you soon. Please know that you are held in the arms of a loving God who makes all things well!
Vicar: Reverend John Griffiths
Email: John Griffiths
Phone: 01995 602162
Address: St Thomas' Church, Church Street,
Garstang, Lancashire PR3 1PA
Churchwardens: Doug Willoughby (Tel: 01995 640061)
Trevor Sperring (Tel: 01995 606288)
For Baptism enquiries please contact: Jean Sawyer (Tel: 01995 606962)
For Parish Hall enquiries/bookings please contact: Judy Osborne (Tel: 01995 600996 or 07581078888)