Together while apart
In these times of isolation and uncertainty, it’s more important than ever that we should continue to connect and commune with one another, albeit remotely, and in spirit, rather than in person. We will update this page as often as possible.
Read Alan's letter to us all:
"We will get through this, and my prayer is that we will be changed; that we will be kinder; that we will have gained a new depth of faith and a new appreciation of what is really important."
Families and younger ones
Although, sadly, our youth activities are suspended, Tracy (Children and Youth Worker), has been busy building connections with families online. You can find all sorts of resources through the Sele Messy Church Facebook page, including a live feed with Tracy on Sundays at 10.00am and Wednesdays at 4.00pm.
You are not alone
Things might be feeling pretty uncertain right now and that can lead to heightened anxiety. It's also difficult for very many who can’t go to a funeral, whether for family, friend or neighbour. The Church of England is offering extra support and you'll find information here.
Breathe and Coffee Mornings
While we cannot meet for our monthly Breathe
prayer gathering or Coffee Morning
, we can still do what we can to be together whlie apart.
Services you can follow from home
All the information you need about Morning Prayer, Worship, Mindfulness and links to other resources
Holy Week and Easter
How to reflect, prepare and celebrate this season - Holy Week and Easter.
Joint statement and prayer from Church leaders for Holy Week
Loving God, in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for our salvation, cast out the darkness of our anxiety, fear and mourning, enfold us in your love and give us joy and hope this Easter. Amen.
Lift up your hearts - prayers and reflections from the Church Times
Each week for the foreseeable future, the Church Times plans to produce a collection of prayers and reflections which will hopefully help to support people who are deprived of the gifts that come from churchgoing. Everything there will appear on www.churchtimes.co.uk
, and, from next week, on a page in the printed paper; but it is designed to fit on an A4 sheet, downloadable for free from their website, so that individuals and churches can print copies for distribution to those stuck at home. This first edition is a sample.
Mindfulness is a very helpful way of bringing us into a deeper awareness of the present moment. It can be helpful in dealing with stress or anxiety. Until our fortnightly Meditation and Mindfulness sessions resume, you may wish to try this Mindfulness Mindfulness rough guide
by Rev. Alan at home.
At this time when we are unable to go to church services, many of us might like to pray more regularly at home, either alone or with those we live with.
Morning Prayer - together in spirit
Morning Prayer is usually said in the Chapel at St Andrew's at 8.30am on Mondays and 8.00am on Thursdays. Rev. Bill and Keith from St Andrew's will be saying Morning Prayer from home now and you can join them from your own home at the same time (or at a time convenient to you) - together in spirit. We usually use Common Worship on Mondays and The Book of Common Prayer on Thursdays. These can both be found online at the Church of England website, complete with the set psalms and readings. If you go to the 'More Options' tag, you can get all the permutations for every day.
Every evening at 7.00pm, we encourage you to pray along with others all over the country. We have produced some short Daily Prayers, which you could use during this time. There is more information from Churches Together in England here.
Every Sunday evening at 8.00pm, you are invited to take part in a shared time of prayer for our town. Please see the details here in the Pray for Hertford flyer.
It helps to have a structure, so Wendy has offered these recommendations:
Church of England Daily Prayer Available via the website and also through a very convenient app. It includes morning, evening and night prayer (compline) each day, including the readings, and has links to prayers and other useful extras. It is free to use but costs £2.99 if you should want offline access.
Church of England Time to Pray is another free app which gives a more flexible approach to prayer throughout the day. As it’s new, I haven’t used it yet so look forward to any feedback.
Northumbria Daily Prayer This is available via a webpage and is updated daily. It is much less formal (and shorter) than the Church of England versions. I do add in the Lord’s Prayer as a minimum.
Ignatian Spirituality If you prefer something less wordy then I recommend the website ignatianspirituality.com. The backbone of this is the Examen – a time of prayer with space to offer God all our hopes and concerns. Prayasyougo is an app that offers this form of prayer.
If you have another favourite method of prayer or find something helpful to others, do get in touch so we can share it.
Our Quiet Day in Lent at The Grove, Hertford, was unable to go ahead. We are grateful to Rosemary Willis for sharing her material for the day here - please take a look at this in your own time and space; may you find comfort and reflection through it.
Thought for the day
Each day, we will post a Thought for the Day on our Facebook page and via our church email. If you'd like to be on our mailing list please get in touch with Phil via the church office email address: email@example.com.
Thought for the Day - Week 1 (Rev. Wendy Sellers)
Thought for the Day - Week 2 (Melanie Seward)
Do you need support?
We are keen to support the most vulnerable in our community and reach out to people, including those who may not have access to the internet for email or social media. If you feel you need support, or you could offer support, please get in touch:
Jane Cohen, Churchwarden: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Mulligan, Churchwarden: email@example.com
Church of England
Homepage of Church of England
LiveLent: Care for God's Creation - daily series
Mental health reflections
Dealing with loneliness and isolation - five top tips
Reflections for those who can't attend a funeral
Worship on the BBC
BBC TV Sunday worship
Radio 4 Sunday Worship
Radio 4 Daily Service
The Church Livestream Directory (CPO)
Prayers and reflections from the Church Times