CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Benefice of St Michael-in-the-Hamlet & Christ Church Toxteth Park

Coronavirus Update Tuesday 17 March 2020, St Patrick’s Day

 

As churches we will be implementing the following course of action, based on guidelines issued by the Archbishop’s office today:

 

  • Public worship on a Sunday and midweek is to be suspended for a season. There will be no services on Sunday, nor on Thursday midday until further notice.

 

  • Other events, such as the Christ Church Soup Group, are also suspended until further notice.

 

  • We are working on keeping Christ Church open for two hours each day for private prayer. More information is to follow.

 

  • We are also looking into the possibility of providing online worship, and/or tapping into what might be provided elsewhere in the Diocese. More information is to follow.

 

  • I will provide a weekly reflection, with prayers, which I will publish online.

 

  • I will continue to do some doorstep visits to the very vulnerable, but as a rule will not be entering houses (following the guidelines).

 

  • Ours is a strong community and we are well networked as churches, meaning that many of our elderly and most vulnerable people have the ongoing support of relatives, friends and neighbours who. Please continue to make sure that your immediate neighbours are well and provided for.

 

  • The nearest foodbanks to the St Michael’s area are two miles away in either direction. We are looking into how we might facilitate food supplies to the most vulnerable, working together with existing foodbanks. More information is to follow.

 

  • In the meantime, if you wish to donate foodstuffs (non-perishables wrapped & packed), please drop these off at the Vicarage – 1b St Michaels Church Road.

 

  • It is important that as a community we don’t replicate our provision. Hence, we are working closely with our local councillors and other agencies to provide a joined-up approach to meeting need as and when it arises. Please inform me of anyone in any particular need.

 

  • Our Archbishop’s, Justin and Sentamu, are asking as to pray:

 

  • To meditate on the Shepherd’s Song, Psalm 23, The Lord’s my Shepherd

 

  • To continue to pray the Lord’s Prayer daily – especially when you wash your hands

 

  • Our Archbishop’s are calling for a Day of Prayer & Action this Sunday (23 March), on which we are asked to:

 

  • Light a candle at 7pm and put it in your window

 

  • Ring someone who might be isolated

 

  • Buy an extra food item for donation to a foodbank or neighbour

 

  • Today is St Patrick’s Day. Patrick (c. 385 – c. 461) was a towering figure in the Celtic Mission Movement. Liverpool is of course the most Celtic of English cities. Patrick authored a beautiful prayer known as ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’. Let us pray the following section of this prayer daily for our people, our nations and our city:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Amen.

 

On Sunday at StM’s I spoke about fear. Fear is a natural response in the circumstances we now face. Yet…

In 1 John 4 verse 18 we read, ‘There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…’

Jesus is *Perfect Love Personified*. Cling to Him. Trust in Him. Fall upon His grace and mercy. For His love never fails.

 

Revd. Keith Hitchman

Vicar, St Michael-in-the-Hamlet Church & Christ Church Toxteth Park