“It is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. No it’s not, it’s a triathlon.” So commented another Vicar in the Diocese recently as we come to terms with entering autumn and winter with Coronavirus increasing in prevalence and all that that brings with it.
At Christ Church we have been able to introduce a Sunday service which can be attended. This takes place at 3pm each week and is usually a service of Holy Communion. Seats are limited; we can accommodate 20-25 people (depending on whether they are alone or with others) and usually about 15-18 attend. There seems no immediate prospect of us expanding this.
We are continuing the online service, released on the Christ Church YouTube and Facebook pages at 10.30 each Sunday. I still see this as our main service of the day. We also have a Thursday Communion Service once each month. The next one will be on 22nd October at 10am.
It was a joy for me recently to join some of the Christ Church children (and their parents) on Zoom. Each week they are meeting for a virtual children’s meeting to look at a Bible story and encourage one another. It was great to see them again and hear about some of the things they have been doing.
This is all very different to the church life that we previously knew. So how do we respond to the news that we are in this for the long haul? The Bishop of Oxford has suggested the following six ways to live well in response to the Prime Minister’s ‘Rule of Six’. I offer them to you.
- SIX MONTHS IS THE NEW HORIZON – Focus on Easter and lean back into the great themes of the church year.
- SIX DAYS TO WORK AND A SABBATH TO REST – Reclaim the gift of one day each week for rest and re-creation.
- SIX PEOPLE TO JOURNEY WITH – Rediscover church as small groups of people supporting one another.
- SIX WAYS TO BE SALT AND LIGHT – Identify the people and community organisations you can support.
- SIX PERCENT TO YOUR CHURCH – If your income is stable, increase your giving to sustain the local church.
- SIX PEOPLE TO PRAY FOR – Pray for people you know to discover the riches of our faith.
May you know God with you as we continue this unusual journey.
Revd Andy Wilson
Vicar, Christ Church Portsdown
Priest-in-Charge, St John the Baptist Purbrook
Curate, Church of the Good Shepherd Crookhorn
Chaplain, Havant & Waterlooville FC