All Benefice Churches Closed Sunday 10th and 17th January

I am sorry that it has been necessary to close our church buildings again: we did not want to, but feel we have no choice in the current circumstances. The risks are too great. Malcolm Guite’s poem, Behind each number, one beloved face puts it better than I can:

At close of day I hear the gentle rain
Whilst experts on the radio explain
Mind-numbing numbers, rising by the day,
Cyphers of unimaginable pain

Each evening they announce the deadly toll
And patient voices calmly call the roll
I hear the numbers, cannot know the names
Behind each number, mind and heart and soul

Behind each number, one belovèd face
A light in life whom no-one can replace,
Leaves on this world a signature, a trace,
A gleaning and a memory of grace

All loved and loving, carried to the grave
The ones whom every effort could not save
Amongst them all those carers whose strong love
Bought life for others with the lives they gave.

The sun sets and I find myself in prayer
Lifting aloft the sorrow that we share
Feeling for words of hope amidst despair
I voice my vespers through the quiet air:

O Christ who suffers with us, hold us close,
Deep in the secret garden of the rose,
Raise over us the banner of your love
And raise us up beyond our last repose.

We will continue to offer our online services on Sundays and midweek. Please do contact me or Paul with any concerns or requests for prayer. Norma

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