Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update - 27th March
A message from our Vicar
As the reality of lockdown (and for some of us the added challenge of home schooling) begins to hit home, we've all been forced to go back to the basics of living. Do we have enough food to eat? Is everyone safe? It's true of our faith too. We've had to go back to the basics of prayer, reading scripture and caring for others (as best we can). It's like we've turned the clock back to the early days of the Church, when the faith was based in households, not church buildings. The Church then was a network of people who had discovered that Jesus makes a difference to their lives. It's no bad thing to be reminded that our homes and the people we may share them with should be the primary place where our faith is nurtured and expressed. There is now a notice on the doors of our churches which says, "all church buildings in the Church of England are temporarily closed." However, it begins with a much more important statement:."the Church continues to be alive and active...our worship of God and our care for each other continue. " I pray that you will always know that you are part the Church, as we continue to be a network of people inspired by the Good News of Jesus, whatever our our circumstances.
Revd Patrick Taylor
Vicar of the Parish of Stratford-upon-Avon with All Saints', Luddington and St Helen's, Clifford Chambers
Follow our livestreamed services on Facebook, accessible from the home page of this website and our uploaded services and resources from our YouTube channel at this link.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update - 20th March @ 21.00
These are remarkable and unprecedented times for everyone. Whilst public worship has been suspended, far from having "shut up shop", we are still being the Church but in different ways. We have returned to what has always been at our core: prayer and serving others. We are praying each day in church (join us online or listen out for the bell if you live close by) and reaching out to people in need. May God bless you all and keep you. You may like to include the prayer below in your own prayers:
The Rev. Patrick Taylor
Vicar of the Parish of Stratford-upon-Avon
Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Prayer and Worship continues ......
From today, the three churches in our parish are open for personal prayer. All Saints' and St Helen's are open each day during daylight hours, and Holy Trinity is open every day from 12.00 to 14.00. (excepting when services are already planned, please check our parish website for up to date information).
On Sunday we shall celebrate Mothering Sunday with a live stream of the service from the nave of Holy Trinity at 10.00am. We hope that you will join us. You should go to our website Homepage and double click on the Facebook live feed. Even if you don't have a Facebook account, this should work for you. We would like your feedback about how this works because we will be streaming services for some weeks and we'd like this to be as good for you as we can get without letting production overtake worship !
Our pewsheet is already on the website - follow this link
In the coming days we will be asking those who currently give through our envelope scheme to set up a standing order if they are able. If you would like assistance with this then do get in touch.
Contact & Support
We have had a fantastic response to the mailing that came out earlier in the week and which asked you to complete a short form. A big thank you to all those who responded, your offers are indeed a sign of the community that we all want to be a part of. If you haven't replied yet there is still time, this is the link.
We will be leafleting Old Town on Monday, to extend this scheme into the wider community and later in the week will launch this through our social media channels. Already we had had many offers of support as well as hearing from lots of you who self-isolating. Today we have hand delivered the Pew Leaflet to around 80 people in our community who are not able to receive this new bulletin or use the internet.
If you are already in a Contact Group you should start to receive a weekly call from your Contact Group Leader, just to check-in and know that all is well. We hope that they will also put you in touch with the other people in your group so that no one is isolated although they may not be out and about !
As the days progress we will develop our capability to respond to things you may need, prayer, delivery of food, picking up prescriptions etc. There will be more news about this during next week.
The production has been slightly delayed this month so that it can be up to date with the news and arrangements. We are hoping that all will be in place towards the end of this week - we will keep you informed.
You might be interested to follow the latest advice to those in the Church of England which is regularly updated and is available at this link
Keep safe and keep in touch
The Holy Trinity Team
Coronavirus (Covid-19) arrangements within the Parish of Stratford-upon-Avon
as at Monday 16th March
Following further advice and guidance this evening from HM Government, Holy Trinity Church will be closed to visitors from 17th March 2020. We will monitor further advice so that, in due course, we can update this advice with an expected date of re-opening.
We will continue to maintain the rhythm of prayer and worship at this historic Christian site and our services remain open at the present time.
In support of the current advice from HM Government all other church activities, meetings and gatherings are immediately suspended. This includes Home study groups, Trinity Tots, Soundbites Community Coffee Stop, as well as scheduled meetings and training events.
Please check this website page for further updates, a full list of suspended activities will be posted in the coming days.
If you wish to receive updates on news at Holy Trinity, please sign up at https://www.stratford-upon-avon.org/sign-up-for-our-news
Above all, keep in touch, look out for your neighbours, and keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us
from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) arrangements within the Parish of Stratford-upon-Avon
as at Saturday 14th March
Following updated advice during the week from HM Government and the Church of England the following arrangements are in place for our services at the churches of All Saints’, Holy Trinity, and St Helen’s on Sunday 15th March.
We will ask all those attending services to use provided hand sanitiser as they come into church. We will also ask them to avoid crowding by using all of the space available in the church, not to bunch up in queues when coming up for communion, and by taking time to leave at the end of the service. There will not be breakfast in the Parish Centre at 09.30 nor refreshments after the service (or the Traidcraft stall at Holy Trinity).
At the Peace we will not shake hands but will greet and acknowledge each other with the words of the Peace.
At All Saints’ and St Helen’s a collection plate will be used as usual.
At Holy Trinity a collection plate will be placed at the back of church for you to leave your gift as you enter church or up to the time of the Peace, before the collection plate is presented at the Offertory. There will also be a plate at the back for those who wish to leave their gift on the way out. Use can also be made of the contactless donation point.
At the Parish Centre a collection plate will be placed by the entrance, for you to leave your gift as you arrive or up to the time of the Peace, before the collection plate is presented at the Offertory
The Offertory will not include the elements for Communion which will be already in place on the Credence Table.
At Communion we will receive in one kind only (the Bread) and we will do this standing to avoid the need to use the altar rail as a support. One’s hands should be held as flat as possible to receive the wafer.
We will not shake hands on leaving the service
At Holy Trinity, the Choir will be present for the 10.00am service and at 6.00pm Choral Evensong in reduced number but otherwise without adjustment to any elements of the service.
The suspension of refreshments includes the cancellation of our Lent Lunches and our meeting of Trinity Ladies that was scheduled this week.
Our pastoral care for the parish extends beyond the congregation and we have begun to compile a list of those known to us who are self-isolating. Anyone wishing to add themselves or someone else to this list should check that the person concerned is agreeable to being added and then let us know either by calling 01789 266316 and leaving a message or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You should leave a name and contact number.
Our Standing Committee will be meeting on Monday 16th March to develop the Contingency Planning for the Parish of Stratford-upon-Avon and further announcements will be made and communicated through our website, on social media and by e-mail.