This is not the letter that I had been intending to write for April – for obvious reasons.
On all our minds is the dark cloud of the Coronavirus. It is affecting us in ways we could scarcely have imagined. There are the necessary restrictions on our freedom of movement. They are for the greater good of reducing the spread of the virus, but have come as a shock and a challenge.
The closure of our schools too is a measure of the seriousness of what we face. And I am sorry that public worship in our churches is ceasing for the time being. This is unprecedented.
However……every Sunday as usual I will be leading an act of worship in the church – but it will be an act of worship without a congregation to participate in it.
In other words, I will be more or less on my own. But I will be leading the worship of God and praying for our community; and I invite all of you to set aside the time of the services to make your own prayers at home. 9.30 at Preston. 11 o’clock at St Paul’s Walden.
Whatever Coronavirus brings, the key focus for us in April this year remains the great events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. It is a wonderful and profound transition – from the Cross to the vital surge of new life that the Resurrection of Jesus brings.
The Cross, as the place of the supreme crisis, and therefore the place of all our individual and collective crises, is also the prelude to their resolution in the event by which God raised Jesus from death to life.
It is a challenging point to keep hold of – but if we can hold onto it, we should do so, because it gives us hope at the heart of our current predicament, whether we face it individually or in our communities.
With every blessing for Easter,
Last Minute Update
We are all very sad that St Martin’s is closed until further notice because of the Coronavirus. It means no services in or from the church.
However for the first time, this Sunday 29 March, at 10.30 we will be streaming a service of Holy Communion via You Tube from The Vicarage in Whitwell. At any rate, that is my hope, but you never quite know with the internet or my computer skills!
Access to the broadcast will be via the A Church near you St Paul’s Walden website.
I hope you will want to tune in and follow it with us.
Meanwhile there is a pew sheet for this Sunday, a copy of which can be accessed by following the link from the Preston website notice board www.prestonvillageherts.com
With my very best wishes in these tough times.