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Note from the clergy        November 2020

Dear Friends

What difficult times we find ourselves in! 

As Bishop Robert writes to us:

“For many of us, this second lockdown is a body-blow. However, we must not pull back in exhaustion or fear. Earlier in the year, we learned that it is by drawing on the well-springs of our faith and reaching out to those in need that we mitigate isolation and smooth the abrasive edges of lockdown. As Paul writes, ‘We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair’ (2 Cor. 4.8). This is the moment to draw together in mutual support and renew our trust in God who journeys with us.”

As you will probably realise, we will not be able to hold any services in the church building for this next month or so – however we shall still be providing worship each week online at 930 and 11 on the St Matthias YouTube channel.  If you have not tried accessing these, please do so.  If you are fed up with zoom meetings, please persevere.  Even if we find them difficult, it is often better than not meeting at all – and many who are living alone find the contact invaluable.  

Indeed, it is more important than ever that we find ways to worship, pray and learn together - even if that is virtually together!  We also need to persevere with that on our own at home too.

(We are continuing to distribute paper copies of notice sheets and a weekly sermon to people who are not online and plan to continue to open the church for some times of private prayer.)

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishop of London (Sarah Mullally) have also recently written to church leaders – and they offer challenging but important counsel for us all.

First they remind us to simply be kind to one another – almost everyone will feel the stress of this new situation, and some will be much harder hit than others.

Second they call us to prayer for this whole month – but also invite us to make Thursdays particularly special.  Instead of ‘clapping for carers’, they call us to pray and fast in some way if we are able to, for deliverance from this pandemic.

And finally, they remind us of what Jesus calls us to be as His body on earth:

“In one of the climactic passages of the New Testament, Paul says to those who follow Christ that their “love must be genuine, that they hate what is evil and hold fast to what is good.” He asks them to “serve the lord”, exhorting them to “rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.” (See Romans 12.9-12.) None of this is easy. Especially not at the moment. But it is our calling.”

With our prayers for you

In Christ

John and Paul