There are not really words that are adequate to describe the times that we are living through. The Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it confusion and fear across the world. We have followed the instructions from the Archbishops and the Bishop of Portsmouth and closed our church buildings.
We often say that the church is not a building, but a group of people. Now is the time for us to live this out. It is challenging to think what it means to be the church when not only are our buildings closed, but all our meetings are cancelled.
We need to look at new ways of worshipping. At the moment I am streaming an online service each Sunday morning, but I encourage you to think about how you supplement that. Take a look at https://www.portsmouth.anglican.org/digital-prayer-resources/ for links to pages that will help you to pray and worship. If you have children at home then there are some great ideas at https://www.portsmouth.anglican.org/coronavirus/children-young-people/.
We also need to look at new ways to care, both within the church and beyond. Do pick up the phone and check on your friends and neighbours. Often a friendly voice can make a huge difference to someone’s day.
In all this we must ALL follow the Government guidelines, for as long as we are told that we need to. This means, that if we do not need to travel for essential work, we should stay indoors apart from essential shopping (to be done as infrequently as possible), medical needs and exercise once a day. Some of you will be completely self-isolating.
If you are unwell, or struggling with isolation, or worried about what is going to happen to you or those you love, then please know that you are in my prayers. Do call me if you if I can support you in any way.
Please join me in praying for those who are ill, and those who are working in our hospitals to care for them. As we do so we remember that although the church is dispersed at this time, we remain one in Christ.
“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”1 Corinthians 12:12-13
Revd Andy Wilson
Vicar, Christ Church Portsdown
Priest-in-Charge, St John the Baptist Purbrook
Curate, Church of the Good Shepherd Crookhorn
Chaplain, Havant & Waterlooville FC