A message from Rev’d Leisa Potter and churchwardens.

The ministry and mission of the Church of England will continue during the weeks and months ahead but in a different way.

Following on from the guidance from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, we have been asked to announce that all social gatherings – including for public worship will be suspended, until further notice at:

Rectory Chapel, Freshwater

All Saints’ Church, Freshwater

St Agnes Church, Freshwater Bay

St James Church, Yarmouth

Christ Church, Totland Bay.

This suspension will apply to all church gatherings, including Sunday and midweek services, Lent courses, House Groups, Concerts, Bell ringing and Choir Practice and activities at our Parish Halls.

Church buildings will remain open, as far as is practical, for private prayer and quiet reflection, requesting people take appropriate hygiene steps and ensuring a distance of two metres between each person.

We are awaiting further advice regarding funerals and weddings but please contact me or one of the Administrators if you have a wedding booked or a funeral to prepare. We will do our best to give you as much information and explanation, as possible, and update you as more advice and guidelines become available.

As the Archbishops have wisely said, these precautions are taken because of our responsibility to love our neighbours (not to contribute in any way to the spreading of the COVID-19 corona virus). It does not mean, however, that we stop being ‘The Church’. Rather, we are invited to be The Church in our communities – to be creative with praying, worshipping and serving differently.

We will be working closely with all community groups, organisations, schools and churches, across Freshwater, Yarmouth and Totland to support the most vulnerable, in our lovely part of The West Wight.

Some excellent online resources for daily prayer can be found on the Church of England’s website and there will be resources in our churches to help people pray and reflect, during this time of uncertainty.

The overall aim will be to offer support to those who need it, and the opportunity to continue connecting with God through the ministry of the church throughout the coming days. We will be updating details as they arise or change.

Please join me in praying for all who may feel anxious at this time.

Please do contact me, the Administrators or Church Wardens, through our websites or by using the relevant contact details, on notice boards and in our magazine. We will be happy to help, support or sign post you, as we are able, with further questions or need.

With love and every blessing through this unprecedented time,

Your Vicar, Leisa