6/4/2020 Update – Please note that St. Mary’s is currently closed and we have been informed that the Castle gates are also locked. For any questions about the current situation, please contact the Parish Office (M-F 9:30am-2:30pm) on 02392 321380 or email stmaryoffice@btconnect.com

What has been happening……

SERVICES:

Following the announcement from the Archbishop of Canterbury, all services in the Church of England are to be suspended immediately, and for the foreseeable future.This will also include all smaller mid-week groups like house groups, youth, courses, wedding preparation, PCC etc.

We will be posting content each week on our new YouTube channel. This will include a weekly Eucharist, worship songs, junior church at home videos and more.

They will also be added to our Facebook page and here on the website. Please like and share our posts on Facebook so more people get to see what we are doing.

Each day we will be posting a blog with prayers and any updates we might have received. You can find the daily blog here.

The weekly notices can be found here. They are currently a scaled back version but will include the Collect,  Reflections for Daily Prayer and any events. The daily blog mentioned above will have the most up to date prayer requests.

FUNERALS

Funerals at the graveside or in crematoriums can still take place, but only in line with the Prime minister’s Statement. Only immediate family members can attend (if the crematorium allows) – that is, spouse or partner, parents and children, keeping their distance in the prescribed way.

WEDDINGS

Weddings are currently on hold. Weddings may be re-booked for later in the year or next year. Please contact Emma at the office with any questions.

BAPTISMS 

Baptisms at St. Mary’s are also on hold, we will be in touch to reschedule. Emergency baptisms can take place in a hospital or at home, though subject to strict hygiene precautions and physical distancing as far as this is possible.

ST MARY’S, THE TEA ROOMS AND PARISH OFFICE:

The church building is now closed, we will re-open as soon as we are able to. English Heritage has also informed us that the castle gates will be locked. This will have an impact on access to our churchyard, we are awaiting information on this currently.

We have made the difficult decision to close the Tea Rooms for the foreseeable future. With the current guidelines around social distancing we feel that this would be best.

Thank you to everyone that frequents the Tea Rooms and we hope to see you all again soon.

The Parish Office (Tel 02392 321380) will be closed, but phone calls will be re-directed to the Parish Administrator’s home phone and regular office hours (M-F 9:30-2:30) will still be held, although remotely.

St Mary’s is not going to sleep, and will continue to minister as best we can, but with a different way of doing church. We will try and maintain pastoral contact through Facebook, Website, Mail Chimp and telephone.

We are meeting with other community leaders to see how we can best care for those elderly and vulnerable in the community and provide for practical needs.

DONATIONS

Our life together at St Mary’s is funded by donations from regular worshippers, friends of the Church and visitors.  We know that during the outbreak it is going to be difficult financially for many, including us here at St. Mary’s. We will be making reductions to our outgoings, as many will be and we understand if you need to reduce your giving.

As there will not be a regular collection each week and our tearoom will not be producing income, please consider if you are able to give a one time gift or increase your regular giving. Do you usually put your gift into the offering bag on Sundays? Maybe you could give online instead. Please click here for more information. 

Your donation will go into our ‘General Fund’ and will be used to support a whole host of important aspects of Church life.  Perhaps it may end up helping to fund repairs to the fabric of the ancient building, providing resources for the assemblies we lead in local schools, or financing the essential work we do with the bereaved or the housebound.  Either way, we promise to put your donation to good use – we are very grateful for your support and generosity.

CONCERTS AND EVENTS

Royal Marine Band Concert 2020

The Royal Marine Band concert has been postponed until the Autumn. Please get your money back from where you paid, if it was from the office, please call 02392 321380 to discuss options. Those who booked for this concert will obviously get priority for the next RM Concert

Summer Lunchtime Concert Series 2020

In the light of the current situation the Summer Lunchtime concerts are under review. Please check back here for more information as it becomes available.

 

 

For updates from the Church of England please visit their site here.

For update from the NHS please visit their site here.