The Church is closed altogether until future notice. See the Coronavirus section for information on special arrangements.
19 March 2020
Dear members of St Mary’s Church
We hope and pray that you are well in these challenging days and we send our love and prayers to you all.
In light of recent Government Corona Virus (Covid -19) guidance, and in line with advice from our Archbishops, it is with a heavy heart that we confirm that all services of public worship at Harlington St. Mary’s Church are cancelled until further notice to protect the well-being and health of us all.
There will be no Sunday service on Sunday 22 March and no Easter and Holy Week services, but we are called to come together as a church of prayer and action.
This dramatic announcement to cease public worship, includes Church midweek meetings, meetings in homes, and Sunday services. We are advised not to physically gather – but we can gather as part of community, in isolation, in our homes to pray each day when we all stop, pause, and pray for those in the medical field, for those who are sick, for our Government, for our neighbourhood and for our neighbours and family. Shall we agree to stand together at 12 noon and 7pm in the evening each day to pray?
At the moment, the ceasing of public worship is with the exception of weddings and funerals but new defined requirements have also been issued by the Church of England for these events. On any occasions when one or two of us meet, we are to adopt strict social distancing rules and to implement the hand-washing and no physical contact rules, and if we have any of the Corona Virus symptoms, to isolate immediately.
We will inform you as quickly as possible when the public worship situation changes and assure you of our deepest care and concern for you.
We have started planning how we might continue ‘being church’ during this crisis. We hope that the church can be open each day, at least for an hour, so that people can individually pray and light a candle if they wish. Details of this are on this website (under Worship and Services above) Clergy are encouraged by the Church of England to include prayers for the church, and for the community and beyond during Morning Prayer each day. So, please, if you have any specific prayers you would like us to say to support you, do let us know via the contact numbers or emails below.
We are also keen to support those in particular need. Requests for help, support or prayer can be made to the Ministers Rev’d Nigel and Linda Washington or Dr Robert Johns on the contact links below. Tricia Murphy, Church Warden is also co-ordinating with other village community groups to form a support network for the people of Harlington, so if you have time, resources or skill to offer, please let Tricia know.
For further information and updates about our response to the Corona Virus and for prayer and worship resources, please check online at this Church’s website www.harlingtonchurch.org or A Church Near You website, the Church of England website, or the St Albans diocesan website, or on St Mary’s church facebook page. Information will be uploaded and updated, over the coming days
The Ministers and pastorally trained members of Church are available to pray and chat with you by phone, and are also looking to introduce other ways of ‘social distance’ communicating (Skype, What’s App and so on, depending on competence and facility). There are other options that we are also investigating as a means to make sure everyone is looked after and the Gospel continues to go out to the neighbourhood.
On Sunday at 7pm we are being asked by the Archbishops to show solidarity with others across the nation, by putting a lit candle in our windows to reflect the light of Jesus Christ, to shine out to all around, offering, as He does, love and an eternal hope. Please join us in doing this. For more information click here.
This is a defining moment for the Church of England. Are we truly a church for all, or just the church for ourselves? We encourage you to help us to be a special sort of church in Harlington, and beyond, in these coming months: hopeful and rooted in Christ, shining forth to those around us in the offering of prayer and praise, and overflowing in generous service to the world.
Please, therefore, join us in this great challenge; and pray for our Government and nation, for each other, and especially for those who work in our health and emergency services.
Finally, put your hope in God, love one another deeply from the heart, look out for one another, as we become Christ’s example in the community and in our homes.
With love in Christ and with our prayers.
Revds Nigel and Linda Washington 01525 714442
Robert Johns 01525 873214 or 07817 424003 firstname.lastname@example.org