Letting the (wild)flowers grow

As part of Earth Day 2021 St Mary’s Church, Whitkirk are pleased to share the news that parts of their land will now be left to grow wild.

The Church is responsible for the upkeep of large amounts of grassy land in its churchyard and cemetery, and this change means that selected patches where there are no graves will no longer be mown. Leaving these areas to grow wild and encouraging local flowers and plants to take root helps to support local wildlife, in particular pollinating species such as bees and butterflies. This in turn strengthens the local ecosystem, boosting biodiversity and making it more resilient in a changing climate.

St Mary’s is committed to reducing its impact on the environment, and this change is the latest in a line which includes moving to low-energy lighting, installing improved insulation, adjusting heating to better match usage and encouraging greater reuse and recycling on our sites.

An update on worship during the latest lockdown

Worshipping in-person

During this time of national lockdown we have temporarily suspended all acts of public worship at St Mary’s. We ask everyone to play their part in controlling this ongoing pandemic by following all official advice and remaining at home wherever possible.

This is not a choice we take lightly, and we will regularly review our decision and re-open to worship – with some restrictions – as soon as we believe it is safe to do so.

Join us for worship online

You can join us in worship online every Sunday from 10.00 am by visiting whitkirkchurch.org.uk/live, or catch up later at any time in the week. These services are streamed live from St Mary’s and include prayers, readings, hymns and a sermon.

If you can’t get online you can also call us on 0113 467 6777 to hear the services over the phone, or listen to our services by podcast, by searching for “St Mary’s Church, Whitkirk”. Services over the phone and podcast may be delayed by a few days.

Baptisms, weddings and funerals

We are able to hold services such as baptisms, weddings and funerals with limited attendance. If you want to speak to us about one of these services please email [email protected] or call 0113 264 5790.

Stay up to date

You can sign up for our weekly email newsletter at whitkirkchurch.org.uk/notices-email.

You can find us on social media – we’re /whitkirkchurch on Facebook, @stmaryschurch on Twitter, and @whitkirkchurch on Instagram.

For full details of what we’ve been doing during the Coronavirus outbreak you can see our website at whitkirkchurch.org.uk/coronavirus.

Get in touch

If you want to get in touch with us about anything we’re always here for you. You can email [email protected] or give us a ring on 0113 264 5790, or for more ways to get in touch see our website at whitkirkchurch.org.uk/contact.

An update on reopening our buildings

As businesses up and down the country begin to reopen, many churches are working towards doing the same. Here at St Mary’s we’re eager to open for worship, services and prayer once again, but our first concern is the safety of everyone who enters our buildings. For this reason taking things slower to make sure we’re doing them properly and at the right time.

At the moment we remain closed for all services – including weddings and funerals – as well as for private prayer. We are working hard to find ways to gradually reopen both our church building and Community Centre to as many people as possible, and we’ll be sharing our plans in due course.

We have no plans at the moment to stop providing our online and telephone services, meaning even after we begin to reopen you won’t need to attend in-person to join our worship. If you are currently shielding or self-isolating we continue to recommend you follow all official advice, and encourage you to get in touch if there are ways we can help.

Please continue to share your thoughts and comments with us, as well as join us online each Sunday and through the week.

The Coronavirus Management Team

Switch how you donate at Whitkirk

Dear friend,

These are trying days in the life of our nation. At the beginning of the year, while we might have known of the outbreak of a new illness through the news, we probably pushed it to the back of our minds. Few could have imagined what impact it would have for as we all know, it has changed so many aspects of our life. St. Mary’s, as you know, has not been unaffected and last Sunday morning via the internet I led a service from a church now closed to the public for worship. Next Sunday, I may be broadcasting from the Vicarage! Yet the life of the Church here and around the diocese goes on. We have to find new ways to minister and manage our parish.

One aspect of this management is the impact on our cash flow at this time. As one of our regular givers, I appreciate how much you do to support the Church through our envelope scheme. However, opportunities for giving in this way are now minimal. Therefore I ask if you might consider changing the way you give, at least for the time this pandemic is with us.

Continue reading “Switch how you donate at Whitkirk”

The Church continues to be alive and active, but our buildings must close

We are seeing a huge increase in the number of people falling sick with COVID-19. We must distance ourselves from one another and prevent the spread of infection in order to save lives.

Therefore, as well as public worship being suspended, St Mary’s Church, Whitkirk and all church buildings in the Church of England are now closed for all services and prayer.

Our worship of God and our care for each other continue but cannot be done in the church building.

Our website contains details of how to join others online for prayer, worship, study, and community life.

The vicar can be contacted in an emergency by telephoning 0113 264 5790 or emailing [email protected]. Churchwardens may be contacted in an emergency on 07929 127190 or 07554 442788, or by emailing [email protected].

“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.”

To protect the vulnerable amongst us, please do not leave your home except for essential trips.

Whitkirk goes live with service during coronavirus pandemic

Since the suspension of public worship by the Church of England earlier in the week, a small group at St Mary’s Church, Whitkirk have worked tirelessly to make sure the sense of community felt on a Sunday morning wasn’t lost. They did this by rolling out a live-streamed service to the entire parish and beyond, overcoming the challenges of broadcasting from an ancient church.

Vicar Matthew Peat prepared a service of the Word which followed many of the beats of the traditional Sunday morning eucharist, and with only five people in the church (all following strict hygiene and physical distancing measures) it provided four hymns, a sermon, two readings and intercessions.

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What we’re doing during the coronavirus outbreak

Download this latest update as a PDF

This week has been both turbulent and challenging, with many fast-changing pieces of advice and with many people suddenly finding themselves doing new things outside of their comfort zone.

The team here at St Mary’s have been busy putting together a clear explanation of what we’re doing over the coming weeks and months, which you can find below.

We hope that this answers most of your questions regarding what is happening at Whitkirk. If you have others then please don’t hesitate to ask us. We can’t promise to have the answer, but we can promise you that we are doing everything we can to continue our work and to support everyone in our congregation and beyond.

With our love and prayers,

— The Coronavirus Management Team

Continue reading “What we’re doing during the coronavirus outbreak”

Update on our response to the coronavirus pandemic

In light of the recent advice from Public Health England around social meetings, we have taken the decision to cancel our planned Wednesday morning Eucharist service this week, on the 18 March.

We are working closely with the Diocese of Leeds and constantly reviewing official advice, and will be posting a further update on all our services and meetings as soon as the immediate situation has been clarified. In the meantime we continue to recommend people follow the advice around avoiding unnecessary travel or contact with others, and to self-isolate if they or others in their household are suffering from the symptoms of coronavirus.

We know that this may be a difficult or worrying time for many, and we want to reassure you that everyone at St Mary’s is dedicated to supporting the whole community in any way that we can. If you or anyone else you know would like to talk to us about anything – even if it’s just to say hello – please get in touch.

You can always find the latest information on our response to coronavirus on our website at whitkirkchurch.org.uk/coronavirus.