We remain with all our churches closed and we have lost some of the anchors of our lives. I commend this short written exposition of ‘The stilling of the Storm’ by Pope Francis. Profound, simple, accessible and above all hopeful words
All best wishes, love & prayers to you and those close to you.
Moment of prayer and Blessing by Pope Francis
“When evening had come” (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm.
We have realised that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realised that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.
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Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of 23rd March, St Giles’ Church is now closed for both private and public services. This includes the Crypt, St Giles’ Parish Hall and the St Giles’ Centre.
This is a very difficult time but our worship of God and our care for each will continue.
This situation will raise many questions and we encourage you to visit the Church of England website for guidance. There are suggestions on how to worship and study at home, as well as information about how to join others online for prayer. There are also virtual services to join in with, available here.
For emergencies, please leave a message for us by telephoning 0207 703 4504 or emailing us using the online form, here.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . . . Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
“In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice. Churches should be open where possible but with no public worship services taking place.”
At St Giles’, along with other churches and cathedrals, the building will be open on Sundays from 11am to 1pm to allow people to come in and light candles. There will be prayer cards and instructions about how to keep safe, and (more importantly) how to keep others safe. Thank you in advance for observing robust hand hygiene and observing current government advice on safe distances from other people.
Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), those living with someone who has symptoms, elderly people over 70 and anyone with underlying health conditions or a long-term health condition; should be practicing self-isolation and must stay at home.
Please continue to pray together from home. For more information and advice, please see the Church of England response to the Coronavirus here.
With love and prayers (especially for Mother’s) this weekend….