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Following government advice and the letter from our Archbishop, our Sunday and midweek meetings will now be online until further notice. Please see a letter from our Vicar, Pete Snow, below.
Public Worship On Hold
Dear brothers and sisters,
In the current coronavirus pandemic we are going to be unable to meet in the usual way as a church family on Sundays, possibly for the foreseeable future. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have advised us to put public worship on hold until further notice to slow the spread of Covid-19.
I met with the Church Council, and we agreed this is uncharted territory for all of us, so let me reassure you that the LORD is our shepherd, and we will not be in want. (Psalm 23:1) His goodness and love will follow us through this, and we have the mutual care of a church family to lean upon if we find ourselves isolated, ill, or even dying.
We are planning on putting out an online church service at 10.30am on Sundays so that we can still meet together, albeit virtually -- sort of like a Harringay Songs of Praise. We plan to use Facebook Live via our existing St Paul's Facebook page.
Additionally, it looks like this coronavirus lockdown will get worse before it gets better, so may I urge you to keep doing these 3 things?
It may sound obvious, but I hope you'll all consider the vulnerable by washing your hands regularly and avoid touching your face, as recommended. The Church of England has suggested that you say the Lord's Prayer while doing it, which helpfully takes a little more than 20 seconds.
Please tell the Church Office if you are self-isolating, as well as friends, family and home group, and then we can support you. You can reach the office by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR
The Lord Jesus taught us to love our neighbour as ourselves (Mark 12:31), and it at times like these that obedience to this command is a) most costly and b) most noticeable. Sharing toilet roll, pasta, antibacterial gel, or having a simple concern for others' welfare is a powerful way to show that Christ's people are helpers, not hoarders. We have God and a church family to lean on, which is infinitely more than most.
There is a danger that we all spend weeks or months in isolation, all watching the same news feeds on our devices, feeding on negativity. How much better to feed on the eternal Lord! So may I encourage you to pray long, and deep, and often?
- I have included an amplified version of the Lord's Prayer below.
- I am planning on ringing the church bell at 9.15am most days, which is the time I pray for you all every day. I hope that, if you're within earshot, it will be a useful reminder to you that you are being prayed for. Please tell anyone in our community that they are prayed for too, and that they are welcome to send in prayer requests. I may be able to send a simple daily audio prayer by WhatsApp, if time and technology permits.
With grace to you all through our Lord Jesus Christ, the good shepherd,
Rev. Pete Snow
Priest in Charge
Here is an amplification of the Lord’s prayer for you or household:
Our Father in heaven – thank you for Jesus in whom you have adopted us as your beloved children. Help us remember that sickness and death will never separate us from your love, believe you will be with us through whatever lies ahead, and trust you are fully in control and perfectly good;
Hallowed be your name – we pray this crisis will result in much praise for you – that believers will be strengthened in their faith and unbelievers will recognise our human frailty and mortality and turn from sin to worship you;
Your kingdom come – Lord Jesus, return soon to rescue us from this world of pain. And as far as this virus spreads, we pray your kingdom will grow further, in the hearts of people of all nations finding in Jesus the sure hope of resurrection into your new creation, free from sickness, suffering and death to enjoy you forever;
Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven – Father, we rejoice in your sovereign power. In your mercy, please end Covid-19 soon, deliver us and all your people through this crisis, and may your gracious plans to save the lost be advanced by this season of humbling;
Give us this day our daily bread – thank you for dedicated doctors, nurses and other NHS staff, for our government and its advisors - please grant them the wisdom and endurance they need; sustain us with the daily bread of Christ crucified for our sins, in the living bread of your Word; reassure us when we’re anxious, heal us when we’re sick, strengthen us when we must die, comfort us in our bereavement, and embolden us to share the gospel of Jesus, the living bread we all need;
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us – have mercy where we have presumed upon our health, forgotten our frailty, or neglected to thank you for your daily care and protection; forgive us because Christ died for our sins, count us acceptable in his perfect righteousness, and in the light of your mercy, help us show mercy to all;
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil – deliver us through this time of testing – help us resist every temptation to doubt your love; help us stand firm in our faith against Satan’s lies, knowing that all over the world, your people are enduring the same kind of trials;
For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.
St Paul’s Harringay is a vibrant church in the heart of North London. We are a family on mission, treasuring Jesus Christ together. We love Jesus, love people, love Harringay.