ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT OPENING OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS
You will have seen that the Government has said that from June 13th church buildings may reopen for individuals to pray in private.
Guidance to support this was only issued on June 12th.
The responsibility for keeping the building clean and the public safe, rests with the members of each church council along with myself as Vicar.
We will show our care for the community by only opening when we have studied the guidance and made a careful risk assessment.
We will take time to get plans in place.
It seems likely that we will only be able to open some buildings some of the time owing to a need for supervision. When ready, we will clearly list such times. Until that time, regrettably our buildings will have to remain closed.
The church (as the family of God), of course, has remained active and alive throughout the health crisis. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if we can be of help.
Sunday worship with us is now available at 9.30 am by phoning 0333 0110 946 and then adding 61337190# and 7450# when asked.
We also meet at 10:30 am via Zoom – and to receive the weekly link for this, you will need to ring me on 633235. It is also available on the Services page about 20 hours beforehand.
I’m sorry for any disappointment and hope you will understand – please pray for us as we pray for you.
Tom Ringland – Vicar
Scroll down to message of March 21 for the latest details about baptisms, funerals and weddings.
From the July issue of the Penhill Beacon:
We are now into our fourth month of restrictions following the lock-down in March, and are responding to the gradual opening up of the country.
We will have a wide mixture of emotions. Huge joy that we can reconnect in limited ways – especially for those who have been living alone, without the intimacy of a hug or to have company of an evening, but also a deep seated concern that the threat has not gone far – and the hope and prayer that it will not flare up again.
As churches we are looking carefully at how to respond to the new permissions as they appear. This issue of the Beacon is just for July, and is again being issued online, with a few copies being printed locally for specific delivery. We hope to print and deliver to every home again in August and continue with bi-monthly issues from that point.
We are also looking actively at re-opening our buildings for private prayer. Today the third set of guidance has just arrived, so we are continually assessing how we comply in a way that keeps people safe: those unlocking and cleaning as well as those coming in to pray. Keep asking for the latest news!
The lovely fact is that people are leaning on God more and more through this crisis. Here, as is commonly the case across the country, people are accessing streamed services in larger numbers than usually gather physically. We pray that, stretched and challenged as we are to adapt to new technologies, we discover new ways of leading people to the ‘still waters’ and ‘green pastures’ that are spoken of so poetically in Psalm 23 – places of spiritual refreshment and nourishment.
Even as we are fed up with this virus and its ongoing impact on health, wealth and well-being, there are so many examples of love and generosity that inspire us. I’m told Albert Camus wrote this at the end of ‘the Plague’.
‘…to state quite simply what we learn in time of pestilence, that there are more things to admire in men than to despise’.
So whatever tomorrow brings, by God’s grace let’s continue to look for the positives, and pray that we may ever be a ‘beacon’ of hope ourselves!
Daily Hope offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044. Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on COVID-19. Please let your family and friends, who are not on internet, know about this. More information at: https://www.leeds.anglican.org/news/free-dial-prayer-service-launched-national-church
Adapting church life during the covid-19 crisis
To join in with our group telephone Sunday church service dial in, shortly before 9.30 a.m. and simply Dial: 0333 0110 946 and then add: Room number: 61337190 # and PIN: 7450 # Depending on your provider this is either free or costs a local rate phone call.
We use the ‘Worship at Home’ booklets that were sent around prior to lockdown. If you would like a copy, please contact Christine, on 624542. If you don’t have a copy of the words you can of course still dial up and join in!
Finally, you have probably realised the church is no longer receiving Sunday collections or other income streams. Christine (624542) can put you in touch with the relevant church treasurer, if you are able to give, or to up your giving at this time. And thank you very much!
FREE DIAL-A-PRAYER SERVICE LAUNCHED BY NATIONAL CHURCH
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has launched a free national phone-line as a simple new way to bring worship and prayer into people’s homes while church buildings are closed because of the coronavirus.
Daily Hope, which is available from now, offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line.
The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
The service is supported by the Church of England nationally as well as through the Connections group based at Holy Trinity Claygate in Surrey and the Christian charity Faith in Later Life.
Although thousands of churches across the country are now running services and prayer groups online while public worship remains suspended, many people – especially older people – do not have access to the internet.
The line also recognises the impact of social distancing restrictions and self-isolation measures on those suffering from loneliness.
Statistics from Age UK suggest that 49% of older people believe the TV or a pet to be their daily source of comfort and interaction. While many organisations are encouraging people to use better use of technology, ONS figures also state that 2.5 million people aged 75 and above have never used the internet.
Callers will hear a special greeting from the Archbishop before being able to choose from a range of options, including hymns, prayers, reflections and advice on COVID-19.
Options available include materials also available digitally by the Church of England’s Communications team such as Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer, updated daily, from Common Worship, and a recording of the Church of England weekly national online service.
A section called Hymn Line offers callers a small selection of hymns, updated daily. An option entitled‘Hymns We Love’, provides a hymn and reflection and is based on an initiative by the Connections group
Archbishop Justin said: “With many in our country on lockdown, it’s important that we support those who are feeling lonely and isolated, whatever age they are.
“The Daily Hope service will allow people to hear hymns, prayers and words that offer comfort and hope, especially in this Easter season.
“I want to urge people to spread the news about this service. If there is someone you know who is particularly struggling, give them a call and let them know about the Daily Hope. I’m going to phone a friend; will you join me?”
Carl Knightly, chief executive of Faith in Later Life, added: The Church must be those who offer hope to our nation at this time, and I am delighted that Faith in Later Life is able to be part of this project.
“We know as an organisation of the challenges for older people in our society in normal times and these are not those, so I want to add our voice to that of the Archbishop and get people sharing this number with whoever they know who would most benefit.”
Pippa Cramer, founder of Connections, said: “At Connections we have found that well-loved hymns are a source of comfort and hope to our seniors. Hymns we Love has proved to be an accessible and popular way to explore the story and meaning behind some of our favourite hymns.”
MESSAGES FROM THE REV TOM RINGLAND
It’s so good to hear numbers of people are sharing in reading and praying together on Sundays – and for some of you in weekdays too!
In addition, many have been creative in searching the internet for streamed services of worship, either in places you know from the past, or those advertised on the diocesan or national church websites.
Paul encourages us to “rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances”
and continues, “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Three things (rejoice, pray, thank) - clear positive attributes - which are to characterise our day to day living, whatever betide.
If we can develop these in this time of isolation, we will be strengthening our own mental health, and will bring the grace of God to bless those for whom we pray.
There are things to lament but also things for which to give thanks.
[ I read today that this is the first time our buildings have been closed for public worship since 1208 – when the then Pope placed England under an interdict for rejecting his appointment of Simon Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury!! - from an article by Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop designate of York. For full article click here.]
We can and should lament … and also for the sufferings of others caught up in this crisis rather more deeply than we ourselves: the sick, dying and bereaved; the NHS, those who's lifework has come to an abrupt end ... But we can also look around and notice where we are now. What is emerging for you?
... Increased support within the community, more frequent contact with family and friends ...
– but also a refocussing on what is important in life and perhaps time to stop and reflect on who we are and where we are going.
Unwelcome and challenging as these days may be, we have an opportunity, perhaps even a responsibility to accept them and use them and learn from them.
Bishop Nick in one of his excellent blogs writes: (March 28th) “When you are in the desert, don’t look for the flowers that grow in the fertile areas; look for the flowers that grow only in the desert”. (see https://nickbaines.wordpress.com/ for more)
Why not begin a record – a journal of your own experiences, thoughts and feelings through this time.
We will continue to adapt, learn and grow - I pray we'll find a deepened connection with God, and that as a society we may learn again to be more generous and compassionate. I gather Andrew Marr began his show recently saying 'maybe selfishness will fall out of fashion'!
We'll also find new ways of communicating and sharing news and encouragement. For a Sunday service see Services.
We remain a people of hope - an Easter people ... and so lets pray for chances to infect others with that positive outlook. Where are the opportunities in this new regimen?
Simple good humour will go a long way to maintaining our spiritual health, so attached is a picture with some good advice...’
Please note the following:
1. Our church buildings are closed for public worship. Arrangements are being made to follow the strict protocols for churches to be open for limited periods of time for private prayer.
2. Emergency baptisms can take place in hospital or at home, though subject to strict hygienic precautions and physical distancing as far as possible.
3. Funerals with a small number of people present can be held at the graveside or crematorium and are now permissable again in church. Please contact the Revd Tom Ringland for details.
4. Currently weddings are still not permitted, although we hope permission may be given soon. We encourage bookings for future dates.
5. Live streaming of services is more important than ever and is still permissible from homes. We encourage us all to consider how we can be as creative as possible with streaming services and other resources. There are many, many fantastic examples of churches and clergy using technology to reach and engage communities. Read more guidance here: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/church-resources/digitallabs/labs-learning-blog/beginners-guide-going-live-your-service-or .
See also -
• churchofengland.org scroll down for 13 daily reflections, the #LiveLent materials and worship and prayer resources
• arthurrankcentre.org.uk click on 'Together Apart' for a range of resources for rural churches
• leeds.anglican.org click on Covid-19 (the starry screen) for resources including services streamed from local churches
6. The Church Pantries at Redmire and Castle Bolton churches are now available in Redmire village hall. These provide free food and hygiene products to those in need. You can consider making a financial contribution to these or your nearest foodbank.
MESSAGE FROM THE ARCHBISHOPS
Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu said it was now necessary to put public services on hold until further notice.
But they said that far from having to “shut up shop”, the Church of England must face the challenge by becoming a radically different kind of church rooted in prayer and serving others.
It comes after the Government announced unprecedented peacetime measures to try to control the spread of the virus, with restrictions on public gatherings, transport and working.
They invited clergy to maintain the ancient pattern of daily prayer and, where possible, the eucharist – live streaming their worship if they have the resources to do so.
And they urged congregations to be in the forefront of providing practical care and support for the most poor and the most vulnerable during the crisis.
“Being a part of the Church of England is going to look very different in the days ahead,” they wrote.
“Our life is going to be less characterised by attendance at church on Sunday, and more characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day.
“We may not be able to pray with people in the ways that we are used to, but we can certainly pray for people. And we can certainly offer practical care and support.
“Please do carry on supporting the local foodbank and buy extra provisions for it. Ensure the night shelters wherever possible are kept open. There are many very encouraging schemes happening right across our country in communities to focus on caring for the most vulnerable and do continue to play your part in those.
“Then by our service, and by our love, Jesus Christ will be made known, and the hope of the gospel – a hope that can counter fear and isolation - will spread across our land.”
They added: “This is a defining moment for the Church of England. Are we truly are a church for all, or just the church for ourselves.
“We urge you sisters and brothers to become a different sort of church in these coming months: hopeful and rooted in the offering of prayer and praise and overflowing in service to the world.”
The archbishops have joined other church leaders in calling for a day of prayer and action this Sunday (Mothering Sunday) particularly remembering those who are sick or anxious and all involved in health and emergency services.
The Rev Ringland was licensed as Vicar of Penhill Benefice in November 2019 - scroll down to the bottom of the Benefice Information page for the report.
Click on Aysgarth Church Harvest Flower Festival 2019 to see photos of that event.
See Festival of Remembrance for a report and photos about the flower festival and Remembrance event from November 9 to 12 2018.