St. Mary's Church, Northiam
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To the glory of God; serving the community in love.
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Click Here For St Mary's Church Website
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You can watch this week’s recorded informal service from the Rectory of St Mary’s Church by clicking here (the click will be the Vimeo Channel  page on the website). 

This is our church Vimeo Channel:   
: https://vimeo.com/channels/stmaryschurchnorthiam
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Services are cancelled until further notice (except weddings and funerals), and the church remains open for private prayer.  

On Sunday 22nd March, the Diocesan Bishop has called for a Day of Prayer for the nation and for the world and has asked those who would like to, to very carefully light a candle and to put it in the window of your home at 7pm as a symbol of togetherness in prayer for our community and as a symbol of the Light of the World, shining into our darkness.

 

Light in our darkness: A message in our current crisis.

Having already written a blog for the website, it now has to be re-written in the light of the unfolding crisis our country and the world now faces and it would seem that much of the life we have so readily taken for granted is being re-written too.

Words like “uncharted territory” and “unprecedented times” can barely reflect something of the huge concerns we all face and the sense of the unknown is causing a natural level of anxiety for ourselves and our loved ones. With daily reports and ever-changing strategies which we would expect to see only on a war footing, we cling to the love of family and friends and reach out to those around us who may feel alone in what is a very caring community. But there is one thing we can also cling to in order to give a sense of peace and security and that is the unchanging love of God and his promise to be with us even in the darkest of moments or the strongest storm and I pray that we all might know that peace which passes understanding which comes from his presence.

As most of you will know, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have had to make the very hard decision to close all church services until further notice (except for weddings and funerals) but its important to emphasise that St. Mary’s will remain open every day for personal reflection and prayer for any who would like to come and that the church family is still alive and well and we are praying every day for our community, the nation and the world. Along with so many others in our village, we are also here to help anyone we can, so please feel free to contact me by phone if you feel the need to talk or require practical help.

With advice for the elderly and vulnerable to stay at home and for all of us to exercise “social distancing” in order to delay the spread of the virus, I’ve been trying to encourage church members by sending out regular emails and its been so encouraging to hear back from many in response. I have found it so encouraging to see the name of a church member pop up in my inbox and I would encourage everyone to send a simple message to those who are on their minds or to pop a card through a neighbour’s door. It means such a lot! Although I’m a bit of a technophobe, now that we are unable to meet for church services, I hope to record a short message to go out to church members on Sunday (so there’s no escape) although as I said in an email, at least you will be able to turn me off, which you can’t do so easily in church!

At a time when we feel such a need to meet together to pray, support and encourage one another, we are unable to do so, but prayer is something which transcends all barriers and joins us together in a tangible way. On Sunday, the Diocesan Bishop has called for a Day of Prayer for the nation and for the world and has asked those who would like to, to very carefully light a candle and to put it in the window of your home at 7pm as a symbol of togetherness in prayer for our community and as a symbol of the Light of the World, shining into our darkness.

I’m reminded at this time of Lent that as events develop leading up to the darkness of Good Friday, the light of new life bursts from the empty tomb on Easter Day and so we pray for that resurrection light to shine into the darkness of this time and that a time will soon come when this virus will be eradicated!

Please be assured of our love and continual prayer at this difficult time for us all.

With love in Christ

Rod White.

A prayer which was sent to me by a fellow vicar in our Deanery

May we who are merely inconvenienced
remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
remember those who must choose between
preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children
when their schools close
remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money
In the tumult of the economic market
remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love.
During this time when we cannot physically
wrap around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God
to our neighbours.
Amen