As we embark on this journey we will join together in a national Day of Prayer and Action, this Sunday 22 March, Mothering Sunday.
We will remember those who are sick or anxious and those working in our Health Service. As one action we are calling on everyone to place a lighted candle in their window at 7pm as a sign of solidarity and hope in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished.
The Church of England has recently released guidance for churches on their response to the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which includes hygiene in church, and the adoption of continuity plans. You can see it in full here.
We have suspended offering refreshments after church, or breakfasts, lunches or coffee mornings.
We are asking people to wash their hands in the washbasin with soap, on arrival at church or sanitise them with hand gel.
The priests are washing their hands before and after distributing communion.
In addition to receiving only in one kind, the bread, people need to receive communion standing up so as not to touch the communion rail and pass on infection that way.
No collection plate will be passed round. We will just have a retiring collection.
There will be no shaking of hands at all and in the Peace we will do sign language.
There will be a box of tissues at the entrance and a bin in which to put used tissues.
People handling cash are asked to do this wearing gloves, so I have ordered some gloves for this purpose.
A bead mosaic of Christ bearing the Cross (see picture) was presented to the team of people from the Benefice who go into The Whitecroft Residential Care Home, once a month, to lead services, offer Holy Communion and chat with the residents. The picture was very kindly made by Chris, the activities manager.