Palm Sunday

National virtual service for Palm Sunday to be led by the Bishop of Manchester

Christians are to be encouraged to make their own paper or card ‘palm’ crosses and display these in their windows in a national virtual church service for Palm Sunday to be broadcast by the Church of England.

The Bishop of Manchester, David Walker, will put a paper ‘palm’ cross in the window of his Salford home in a national service he will lead for Palm Sunday, marking the start of Holy Week and Easter.

The Holy Communion service, will be broadcast at 9am on the Church of England’s Facebook page with readings from the Archdeacon of Manchester, Karen Lund and prayers by Lucy Hargraves from St Peter’s Church in Bolton. All three record contributions from their own homes in keeping with the rules on physical distancing.

In his sermon, Bishop David will speak of the strength and mutual support from the crowd that he addressed in Manchester city centre following the Manchester Arena attack in 2017.

At a time when gatherings are no longer permitted in order to stop the spread of coronavirus, he said support and comfort was being drawn from events such as virtual church services and campaigns such as #clapforcarers to thank NHS staff and key workers.

“In this time of social, or more accurately physical, distancing, the ways in which we can come together matter even more,” he will say in this sermon.

“It wasn’t only our health workers who took strength from that recent evening when so many emerged from their front doors to offer a round of applause.

“Each might only have been able to see or hear at most a handful of others, but everyone knew that this was something huge – a mighty crowd.”

Palm Sunday is the start of the most solemn week of the Christian calendar when the events leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ are commemorated.

Materials and guidance to parishes and individuals have been issued by the Church of England including practical activities to do at home, suggestions for prayer and Bible study, live streaming of services and advice for dioceses and churches.

The resources being offered include a series of five podcasts to take people through Holy Week, exploring and reflecting on five of the ‘Stations of the Cross’ which mark Christ’s journey to Crucifixion.

Read more about how the Church of England is adapting plans for Holy Week and into Easter to meet the challenges of coronavirus.

The virtual service will be the third to be broadcast on national Church of England channels since the suspension of public worship in church buildings. Last week’s broadcast by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu is estimated to have attracted 500,000 viewers who watched live or on playback. Thefirst national virtual servicebroadcast by the Archbishop of Canterbury, which also featured on BBC Radio 4 Sunday worship and local radio stations, attracted around five million listeners and viewers.

Posted in Service Info

New Statement 23/03/2020

Archbishops and Bishops: stay at home but continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable

The Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England have urged everyone to follow the instructions given by the Prime Minister to stay in their homes in a national effort to limit the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

But they called on the Church to “continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable”.

It follows the announcement by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson of sweeping restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

It means all Church of England churches will close with immediate effect in line with the Government’s instructions. There will also be no weddings or baptisms.

Funerals can still go ahead but within strict limits with only the closest family in attendance and essential physical distancing measures in place.

In a joint statement the bishops said: He said: “In the light of the Government’s measures, announced by the Prime Minister this evening, we urge everyone to follow the instructions given. 

“We will give a fuller statement of advice as soon as possible. Let us continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable, and build our communities, even while separated.”

Notes

The Church of England Communications Team
Church House
Great Smith Street
London
SW1P 3AZ

Direct Dial Telephone: 020 7898 1326
Email:comms@churchofengland.org

Posted in Service Info

Mothering Sunday Broadcast

Archbishop of York to stream live Facebook prayers on Mothering Sunday

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu will be streaming live on his Facebook page a short time of prayer this Sunday 22nd March.

The time of prayer will include the Lord’s Prayer and two Taizé Chants ‘Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison’ (Lord have compassion, Christ have compassion)’, and ‘Frieden, Frieden hinterlasse ich euch’ (my peace I leave, my peace I give you’). It will be around 10 minutes long and will be streamed from www.facebook.com/archbishopofyork at 10am, 12 noon, 4pm and 6pm.

Posted in Service Info

Alternative Worship 19/03/2020

There are a range of Christian resources already available online, via the church SMART phone app and via the radio:

#LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation – the Church of England’s Lent campaign for 2020. With weekly themes shaped around the first Genesis account of creation, it explores the urgent need for humans to value and protect the abundance God has created. This daily audio content is available via the app and daily emails. Sign up for free.

The BBC’s Daily Service and Sunday Worship – radio programmes will be using some of the themes from #LiveLent as part of their broadcasts.

Prayer for the day – each day the Church of England publishes audio and text of the Prayer for the Day.

Smart speakers – daily prayer and #LiveLent audio content can be accessed via our smart speaker apps.

Live streaming services – users can watch live streams of services from a range of churches and we will be improving AChurchNearYou.com in the days ahead to make this clearer. 
Sunday Service

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is to lead a national broadcast as the Church of England responds to the challenge of becoming a “different sort of church” in the face of the coronavirus crisis.

The service, including prayers, hymns and a short sermon, will be broadcast online by the Church of England and broadcast across 39 local BBC radio stations this Sunday as congregations across the country find new ways of sharing worship together after public church services were put on hold.

Read more in this press release by clicking here. 
What about Funerals and Weddings?

Guidance is being updated regularly, please click here
Posted in Service Info

Time to Pray App 18/03/2020

The Time to Pray app is now completely free.

For all who want to pray, for the first time or the millionth, this app is for you.

cofe.io/TimeToPrayApp

Posted in Service Info

Service Update 18/03/2020

Church services are now suspended (please do not attend the church), however, for those with internet access, clergy are broadcasting services online and via radio.

The full Church of England Statement and access to online webcasts and resources:

We urge everyone to keep following the latest official guidance online from the Government and Public Health England on how to stay safe and look after each other as we all face the challenges ahead together.

Remember you can still keep in contact with church members by phone.

Posted in Service Info

Coronavirus (COVID-19) 12/03/2020

Church of England Guidance:

In light of the continued increase of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United Kingdom, our guidance is to suspend the administration of the chalice as well as physical contact during the sharing of the Peace, blessing or “laying on of hands”. All churches should:

  • Offer Communion in one kind only to all communicants i.e. the consecrated bread/wafer/host, with the priest alone taking the wine;
  • Suspend handshaking or other direct physical contact during the sharing of the Peace;
  • Suspend direct physical contact as part of a blessing or “laying on of hands”
  • Display the standard public information poster, which states:Catch it – sneeze into a tissue.
    • Bin it – bin the tissue.
    • Kill it – wash your hands.
    • Do not touch your face unless you’ve washed your hands.
  • Suspend catering (teas, coffees etc.) where multiple people touch mugs, utensils and foodstuffs.
  • Ask those attending services to wash their hands as they come into church.
  • Suspend the use of holy water stoups.
  • Churches are encouraged to complete a Coronavirus Parish Continuity Plan to ensure, as far as possible, their continued mission and ministry. 
  • Ensure good regular cleaning of surfaces people touch regularly, including such things as door handles, light switches etc.
  • No pastoral visits should be undertaken to people who are self-isolating until isolation ends. However do offer phone support.

To find out more please visit: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches

Posted in Service Info

April Service Rota

Please only attend church services and activities if you are well and ensure you regularly wash your hands (at least 6 times a day) for 20 seconds or more.

Church of England Guidance:

In light of the continued increase of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the United Kingdom, our guidance is to suspend the administration of the chalice as well as physical contact during the sharing of the Peace, blessing or “laying on of hands”. We advise that all churches should:

  • Offer Communion in one kind only to all communicants i.e. the consecrated bread/wafer/host, with the priest alone taking the wine;
  • Suspend handshaking or other direct physical contact during the sharing of the Peace;
  • Suspend direct physical contact as part of a blessing or “laying on of hands”

To find out more please visit: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches

Posted in Service Info

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