St James buildings are closed – Some Services and activities continue online.
A letter from the Vicar
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
The famous words from Isaiah– words that we hear every Christmas – filled will hope and promise.
And yet they were written in difficult days to people who had really had enough – oppressed and in exile – they are words which helped them dream of a time when their suffering would end and joy would be theirs again.
Words of hope – not because they necessarily felt hopeful – but words said through gritted teeth and with a feisty faith that refused to give up.
This Christmas we need to hear the words of Isaiah as they were first spoken and have the same response – for very sadly we have made the decision as a PCC to close the church with immediate effect due to the rising infection rate in the area. This is extraordinarily sad and I’m aware that many of you like me, will find this very hard.
But the infection rate in our parish is higher than in the surrounding area and now stands at over 1,100 per 100,000 which puts us in one the hardest hit areas of the country. In order to protect our NHS and our most vulnerable neighbours we feel it is the loving and responsible thing to close our doors and urge you to stay at home.
This does not mean worship has stopped – far from it. It means we must learn ‘to sing the Lord’s song in a strange land’ as the Psalmist would say of such times – we need to hold on to our faith and find our voice to praise him despite the circumstances. And we will get through this together.
We shall be livestreaming Midnight Mass – which will then remain available on Facebook – so that you don’t have to stay up late to join us! But it would be lovely if a few of you did – we can see who is watching and it makes a big difference – it is good to gather – even in strange ways.
If any of you would like to talk to me about this or anything else, as always, please do not hesitate to call 07464 960345.
You all remain very much in my prayers and I hope this Christmas and New Year brings richly deserved comfort and joy to you all.