I am sure that we are all somewhat perplexed and dazed at the speed with which so much as changed since this time last week. We are all saddened that our churches are closed but I understand that we should be playing our part in ensuring that everyone should stay indoors and not be out mingling with others. This was highly focused last weekend in the capital where people were using open churches as an excuse to meet together. Bishop Nicholas wrote to us all during the week saying “Our churches may be closed but we are a church that prays at home….we are just doing church differently.” and that is the message I ask you to share with your communities
Jo and Fiona and myself supported by Anne and Harry have continued to ensure that there is a full daily update available on this website. And on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (all @BeaminsterTeam). We are also posting thoughts and prayers for the day as well as a wide range of prayer and worship and there will be an act of worship for this Sunday for you to join in. Martin Schellenberg assisted by his wife Alex have also recorded hymns and music which will be available at a later date for you to listen to and sing along to.
I have also spent a considerable time this week planning how we can offer pastoral care and support and we will be using a system of pastoral phone calling and emailing. For the duration of this emergency I have split responsibility for areas of the team
I will oversee this across Beaminster, Netherbury, Stoke Abbott, Melplash and Mapperton, Hooke, and Toller. Jo will cover Broadwindsor, Blackdown, Burstock, Salway Ash, Seaborough, and Drimpton. Fiona will cover Mosterton, South Perrott, and Chedington.
We are starting to approach key people in each village to support this and have drawn up a protocol to comply with data protection. This system is not meant to be in conflict with what individual communities are already doing but to allow us to keep in contact with our church members. I would like to thank those who have already agreed to help with this especially our partner priests and LLM who will share in making calls. Alongside this approach Barbara Simmonds has offered to pray each day for those in special need of prayer, please let me know if there is anyone who would appreciate this prayer ministry. Please know that while we are restricted to movement in an emergency the staff team can and will respond to needs.
Please keep in touch with each other and with us and join us in prayer each day at 9.00 am and 4.00 pm you can find the link to the church of England daily offices on the website or download the app on to your devices.
God our Father, renew our hope,
By the Holy Spirit’s power,
strengthen us to pray readily,
and grow abundantly
rejoicing in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.