We have come to the very difficult decision to close our church buildings for public worship with immediate effect.
I hope that you can appreciate that this decision has not been taken easily but after consultation with the Churchwardens and PCCs, with the support of the Diocese of Blackburn and following the recommendation of the Lancashire health authority. We will keep the situation under review and, as soon as we feel, or are advised, that it is safe for us to open the church building again, we will make a further announcement.
Our Sunday services will, once more, be on-line only with the Eucharist live-streamed each Sunday at 10am. This will be available on our Facebook pages. This will be followed by ‘coffee’ via Zoom for those would like to come along for half an hour of chat and catching up. The invitation for this will be sent out in our weekly email before each Sunday.
We are also working out how to best keep in touch with those people who don’t use the internet. Our daily services of Morning and Evening Prayer continue as usual. Our Wednesday lunches will also continue.
Funerals can still take place in church when requested. Weddings are only permitted to take place in extreme circumstances. Baptisms are able to take place although, in an effort to keep everyone safe, we hope to defer baptisms until later in the year.
We must all play our part, in these unprecedented times, in keeping ourselves and everyone else as safe as we can, in protecting the NHS and all who work within in, which includes so many people whom we all know, and bringing an end to the Coronavirus pandemic.
We must commit our anxieties and fears to God in our prayers and come together, however we are able, in worship and for the sustenance that we receive through it.
With my prayers and best wishes
Fr David Stephenson
St James, Haslingden
St Thomas, Musbury