Thursday 19th March 2020 - updated 24th March 2020
No one expected our Lenten journey to physically put us in the wilderness, but due to the increased complications and spread of the Coronavirus we are continually being pushed into a wilderness of isolation.
However, alongside this is the sure hope given to us through our faith in a God who loves and walks alongside us in our daily lives however they may be affected.
The Church of England made an announcement on 17th March 2020 that greatly challenges us as a gathered community. Your clergy are, however, confident that the response to this situation will still enable us to develop our common life together - but just not in the direction we thought.
With immediate effect, all public acts of worship were to be suspended. The clergy had already made the decision to suspend all midweek services but following the statement from the Archbishops this now sadly includes Sundays.
What does this mean for us at St Wulfram’s?
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on Monday, 23rd March the church building will be closed.
Congregations are not able to attend church for services, but to join in virtually via other means. Therefore, from Sunday 22nd March 2020 services are being broadcast on Facebook.
How do I join in the services online?
If you are already on Facebook, all you need to do is ‘like’ the St Wulfram’s Facebook site; and, when the service starts at 9:30am, you will be able to join our dispersed community via the live stream.
The Community news will be emailed out on Fridays along with the Sunday order of service.
What if I'm not on Facebook? And why just Facebook?
We understand that some people don't like the idea of Facebook; however, with the numbers of people who already follow St Wulfram’s, it seems the most logical means of communication. You can register to use Facebook and simply just ‘like’ St Wulfram’s for the period of time moving forward. Doing this will also give you access to the other suggestions we plan to start introducing into these uncharted waters.
In subsequent messages we will point you towards other online resources to equip you in your prayers.
Face-to-face meetings cannot take place at present; however, the rules that govern our business allow us to make decisions ‘by correspondence’ and we are in contact with the members by email. Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) scheduled for late April is postponed; and we await advice from the Diocese on how/when the business of that meeting can be conducted.
The Parish Office
To enable Elaine to keep as healthy as possible during this situation the Parish Office will not be open until further notice. Please email if you wish to contact her.
All Church Groups and events
From 17th March 2020 all church groups were suspended with immediate effect. I know that some (including the choir) are finding ways in which they can continue to engage with each other online.
Developing initiatives and points of engagement during the week
All your clergy definitely have faces for radio! However, each week, we are going to brave a video message. This could be a reading from scripture, a thought for the day, prayer, a joke, a question and a whole load of other ideas to keep us connected as a community. And certainly if you have any suggestions we'd be more than happy to hear from you. There will also be a weekly hymn sing-along.
Please be aware that the time may come for your clergy also to self-isolate. That said, we are determined to keep in contact with you all as much as possible. However, for us to be able to respond to the changing situation that you may be in yourselves, it is important that we know how you are bearing up.
One of the great strengths of St Wulfram’s is how we look out for each other and others in need. Now, more than ever, we need to be alert and help each other, and indeed the wider community as much as possible. We, therefore, want to build a list of people who would be happy to help neighbours, members of our congregation and others when they are in need. It could mean going to the shops for them, and other small tasks which would really make a difference to people. If you would like to be involved in this team of people, please do let us know.
Reception of the relic of St Wulfram
When the Church of England made its announcement on 17th March, the Abbot of St Wandrille and I had already taken the difficult decision to postpone the Wulfram celebrations planned for Friday 20th March 2020, the 1300th anniversary of the death of our patron saint. The generous act of trust in bringing the last relic of Wulfram to Grantham, from the Abbot and community of St Wandrille, is a remarkable and unique testament to the shared faith we have. The communities of St Wandrille and St Wulfram’s are united in a shared history around Wulfram and the faith he shared. We hold in prayer all those affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and the medical personnel who have the heavy load of ministering to those in need.
The second half of March has certainly been filled with difficult decisions. Indeed, the decision to suspend all our worship and groups felt like we were stripping ourselves of the most important things which unite us as a family. However, this is not true. Remember we are part of a great cloud of witnesses: a community that spreads itself not only across the world today but across time and all eternity; a community who, alongside Wulfram, are gathered into the loving and generous arms of God.
And finally - but importantly - love God, love your neighbour and look after yourself.
With every blessing.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It's good to welcome you to St Wulfram's website. St Wulfram's is an ancient site of prayer and pilgrimage with a living heritage today.
Here are a few things which might be helpful for you to know about us: We're a diverse congregation of all ages and from all backgrounds. As Jesus welcomed all people, so we too welcome all people regardless of their background. We're a place where all your senses will be fully engaged in the worship of God. You may smell incense, hear beautiful music, experience silence and stillness and see people using gestures as a way to express the inexpressible during our services. We’re a place exploring how to serve our parish and neighbourhood with acts of compassion along with expressing justice locally and globally. We’re friendly, we will make every effort to welcome you, but we will try to respect your space. Thank you for choosing to explore our website, and we hope to see you in St Wulfram’s very soon.
Grantham ARK - we are proud to be involed with this new initiative to help reduce the number of people homelss and living on the streets of Grantham. Please click HERE for more details about Grantham ARK.