Worship during Lockdown January 2021 

Letter from the Rector: 

Last week, in response to a strong steer from our bishops, I suspended services in church for the time being because of the alarming number of cases of Covid 19 and the pressure on our hospitals, about which we hear in nearly every news bulletin. I was particularly bearing in mind how difficult it is for us genuinely to do ‘social distancing’ without our normal friendly interaction when we come to church; our habits of friendliness are too strong!

This decision was made for the whole Team of churches. However, it does need to be ratified by all the PCCs concerned and communicated to the Bishop of Ely. This morning (Thursday 14th) I met with my ministerial colleagues in the Team, and we agreed that we should recommend to all our PCCs this
suspension of services, whilst promising that on Sunday mornings the bells would be chimed in all our churches just before 10 am to signify that clergy and LLMs were leading worship at that time in different ways, and inviting you to join from home. I believe that this decision will be ratified by the Team PCCs very shortly, and will be welcomed by many, albeit with a heavy heart. Although coming to church is very important to us, we all want to do our bit to stop the spread of the virus!

Zoom services at 10 am, accessible through the St Mary’s Linton website, will resume this Sunday at 10am, whilst at the same time members of a clergy household will be in church celebrating the Eucharist and posting it on Facebook Live for those who might find this a more helpful way to join in worship. We shall also, once a month, put a Book of Common Prayer Eucharist on Facebook Live on the St Mary’s page, as this is particularly meaningful to some of our church family. (This month this will be on January 24th at 8 am. but available to view thereafter as a post for 30 days.) All of these services will include Reflections or sermons on the readings of the week. The Zoom services will include hymns you can join in with at home if you wish.

We will also continue to send out the ‘Virtual Worship’ sheets, which will usually reflect the content of the Zoom services at 10 am. We are always glad to hear if there is anyone else who would like a Virtual Worship sheet delivered - perhaps someone in the wider community. who might not normally come to church. Do suggest them to people who might otherwise be too reticent to ask. Please contact Anne
admin@stmaryslinton.org.uk or me (tel.890273) if you or someone you know would find a written order of service helpful.

We are not currently planning to offer an online version of our Thursday Eucharist, but if members of that very faithful congregation would like to worship at that time, I encourage them either to follow the Facebook Live service which was posted the previous Sunday, or the Virtual Worship sheet.

It is my hope that through all these different means members of our Team churches will continue the round of worship and prayer which we offer on behalf of all our communities, as well as retaining a real sense of being linked to each other. We look forward to the day when we can all worship ‘face to face’ again.
I am also grateful to Sarah Thorne and members of our Children and Families Team who send out worship materials for families, and who intend to make the material more suitable for adults, too. Look out for information about ‘Lent in a bag’, and ask to be included if you think you would find it helpful.

Maggie Guite

14 January 2021

18-24 January - Week of Prayer for Christian Unity - Prayer resources are available