A Pastoral Letter from the Parish Priest

The Coronavirus Pandemic & Its Effects On Our Lives

A Pastoral Letter from the Parish Priest

Letter 14 – 14 June 2020

First Sunday after Trinity

 

My dearest Friends in the Lord,

Here I am again with my weekly Pastoral Letter since the lockdown as we continue to Stay Alert, Control the Virus and Save Lives!

Last week we celebrated Trinity Sunday and began the so called “Ordinary Time” of the Church Year. The priests may wear green vestments at services during this period and churches may hang green banners. “Green” is a colour for life and growth especially for trees and plants! In the same way, for Christians this liturgical season of “Ordinary Time” is a time of quiet spiritual growth. This period in our Christian calendar concludes at Advent in late November!

Last week it was drizzling while writing the weekly letter and today is not very different. But the meteorologists are promising warmer days although farmers and gardeners might want some more showers as well.

The George Floyd death, quite like Covid-19, is a “Kairos” moment for the world, the moment for radical changes and decisions! God created us and no matter who we are or where we come from, we are children of our Heavenly Father! The 21st century must be the century when we rediscover each other and we learn to value each other, care for each other and to cherish each other as true brothers and sisters!

Regarding the opening of churches for private prayer, let me quote from the letter of the Bishops last week: “You should not feel under any pressure, (though we fully recognise there may be some from our communities) to open churches before we have decided it is something you are wanting to do and are confident that it can be done safely.

We reiterate that decisions that are taken now will have impact on the future, and so it may be better to take a step by step approach, as we suggested earlier in the week, perhaps first only opening one church in a benefice or in a neighbourhood, or opening a church only for limited times.  We hope that those who wish to come to pray will understand the reasons for a well-communicated, well-thought out but graduated approach, whatever it is, and you would have our full support if this is the decision that you take.” Safety and security of people – that is the main thing!

Dear Churchwardens and local Village Church Councils: If you decide to open your village church, please make sure to follow strictly the guidelines provided to you by the Diocese with regards to social distancing, sanitising gels, strict hygiene rules, risk assessment etc. As Rector of the Springline Parish, I would support whatever decision you make but let us together affirm our unconditional commitment to safety, health and welfare of our people adhering fully to the guidelines provided by the Diocese and Church of England regarding opening of churches for private prayer. There is a Parochial Church Council scheduled for Thursday.

We will offer further information next week about the reopening of churches in the Springline Parish.

The sixth “LIVE” PARISH SERVICE this Sunday.

It will be A SHORT LIVE EUCHARIST ON ‘ZOOM’ AT 10.30 am led Father Sebastian from his study at the vicarage in Ingham.

You will have received an invitation to join the service if you are in the Parish database. If you are not in the Parish database and wish to join in the service, please contact your local Churchwarden before Sunday morning.

Please use the following link to view The ORDER OF SERVICE.

Springline Parish on-line Home Worship resources

Please note that there are resources for children and families as well along with general resources for prayer and worship. Please visit our online Church page.

We are still Church – a family of the followers of the Risen Jesus Christ!

Although the church buildings are closed, we are still Church. Jesus taught us to love God with all our hearts, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbour as ourselves. We will continue to do this. As the Risen Jesus exhorts us.

Please take care and do stay safe!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all now and always.

With my love, prayer and blessing to each one of you,
Father Sebastian

Revd Dr Sebastian Thomas Mattapally,
Rector, Springline Parish, Diocese of Lincoln
Tel: 01522 731793     Email: rector.springline@btinternet.com