We are living through difficult times and many people are facing great anxiety. It has been a privilege to speak to so many local people who have shown such compassion and common sense as the news of the Coronavirus pandemic has progressively disrupted our community. I am in awe of those who have so generously taken to social media or local community networks to offer support and assistance to neighbours who are unable to get out.
At St Mary’s and St Peter’s in Whitegate and Little Budworth we have been following the advice provided and done everything we can to keep our churches open safely. Sadly that is no longer possible. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have asked for all public services to be suspended until further notice.
The absence of Sunday services and other gatherings does not mean that we have closed. It is our honour to be situated in the heart of the community and we take that responsibility seriously. Our churches, St Peter’s in Little Budworth and St Mary’s in Whitegate, will be open for anyone who wants to sit in a place of quiet during the day. Usually we will have them open between 9.00am and 4.00pm.
Our Foodbank collection is particularly important as donations are needed more than ever. The box will be available at the back of church between 9.00am and 4.00pm.
We will play our part in trying to assist anyone who has to stay indoors and needs a bit of a hand with practicalities. That might be a bit of shopping or just a chat over the telephone. Please contact my direct line which is shown at the top of this letter. We can’t promise miracles but we will do our best. Or you can send an email to the address also above.
For those who wish to share in daily prayer the Church of England has an app which provides everything needed free of charge (used online). It is available for Android and Apple products, look for Daily Prayer by Aimer Media. For anyone using a computer the Church of England website has the same material – www.churchofengland.org, click on ‘Prayer and Worship’ then click on ‘Join us in a service of Daily Prayer’.
When this is all over what will count is how we have lived through it and the things we have learned not to take for granted.
On behalf of St Mary’s and St Peter’s
The Revd Canon Paul C O Dawson
The Vicarage, Cinder Hill, Whitegate, CW8 2BH. firstname.lastname@example.org, 01606 889995