As we go to press (!) our churches are open for worship. Please join us on Sunday.

Our online service and resources are also available on Facebook and YouTube for those who are not able to get to church for whatever reason.

As we go to press (?) we are making sense of a new set of restrictions/requirements/directives. The levels of incidence of the virus in our boroughs remain too high and that is serious news if we are to avoid a winter resurgence.

Most of us have never lived with this sort of imposition, these orders to limit our freedoms. The older generation may remember the black-out and rationing in WW2 but even that did not prevent people from gathering freely. And the new directives affect the recovery plans of businesses as well as the social plans of ordinary families and people. We are anxious, annoyed, frustrated, fearful. We will react with emotions as well as with our minds.

Vicars are expected to give a God-shaped answer to why all this is happening, but none of us really know, though we know there are good, but complex, reasons for why this particular virus is spreading. Modern humans want to know and think they are clever enough to know everything. God has given us enquiring minds and the brains to begin to fathom the wonders of this world, but we are also creatures within this created world, and we do not know everything.

Faith continues to hold on, even when we do not know all the answers. That is very different from blind faith which holds on even when the answers come back saying we are wrong. Faith acknowledges, like Job discovered, that the human mind, wonderful as it is, cannot fully determine the will of the Creator.

What are human beings that you are mindful of them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels .. (Psalm 8)
so says the psalm, but even the angels do not understand all.

We seek to do what is right, we seek to work with our neighbours to make our communities and boroughs more COVID-safe, we seek to make our churches safe places to gather, as well as offering worship and prayer resources online. We acknowledge the limits of our human frame, our mortality, our weaknesses, and we believe, despite those things, in these circumstances, God loves us and has offered a way to new life, eternal life.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me (Ps 23)
“Remember I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Jesus’ last words in Matthew’s gospel)
in our uncertainty and in our restrictions God is with us and will remain with us.

Please do join us on Sunday, but we ask that everyone, who is able to, wears a face-covering for the whole time they are in the building, in accordance with the new guidelines which will be mandatory from Aug 8th. We must all do our part to ensure that the risks of any transmission are reduced to the lowest level we can achieve, for the sake of us all, but especially the more vulnerable. We pray for and work for a time when this risk has abated and people can gather freely again.

Rev’d Peter Reiss: 31st July 2020