Did you hear the All Saints’ church bell ring this morning? This was the Church of England’s suggested 10.15am call to (home) prayer.
Kate explains more below about how Church and Chapel will see us through this period of cancelled services. The website will use its church and chapel page to spread the word.
Both the Church of England and the Methodist Church have agreed that services should be cancelled due to coronavirus and the need for us all to social-distance and self-isolate. Today is ‘Mothering Sunday’, a festival which originated within the church and provided all those working in service or on the land and away from home to travel back to their ‘mother church’ and to see their family. It was a rare holiday, coinciding with the 25th March, the Feast of the Annunciation, or ‘Lady Day’. Until the late eighteenth century, it was also the start of the English New Year, when the common pastures would be opened for grazing after the winter.
We can often look back at the past and feel sorry for those who saw their families only once a year, relying on letters as their only means of communication. Yet how strange it seems today that we are being encouraged NOT to see our families and to observe self-isolation and social distancing as a means of showing them just how much we love them. This will be very hard, especially for those without connection to the internet or video calls. How much we will miss seeing them in person, enjoying lunch in The Grapes, or afternoon tea at the Hovingham Bakery.
The Church of England has suggested that every Sunday as far as possible we ring a bell at 10.15am, not to call people to worship in the building, but rather at home, and to remind people of his love in these dark days.
All Saints will do this (I rang the bell for a very short time this morning just in case it takes a while to get the message round….we don’t want people thinking it’s an emergency and rushing to the church to see what’s wrong!) But we will try from now on to post a weekly reflection through the website church and chapel pages, in case it is helpful. Later this week, I’ll post an article on the nineteenth-century rebuilding of the church, which we would have been celebrating today.
For today, however, I’ve copied a prayer for Mothering Sunday that we can hopefully use at home. And for the moment, All Saints remains open and accessible as a place of quiet prayer and solace, as does the churchyard which is filled with spring flowers and wildlife, precious signs of Spring and God’s love which feel all the more important as we face some dark days ahead. If you would like to ask for a prayer, there is a book at the back of church to write in, if you want to bring your own pen, or write it out at home and pin it to the noticeboard where we’ve been updating people about the roof appeal, or post it through the chapel prayer box.
with much love,