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.

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.

Managing Coronavirus (COVID-19) at St. Mary’s Church, Whitkirk

Dear friends,

As you all know the last few days have seen a significant increase in England of those being diagnosed with Coronavirus.

Our Bishop, Nick, wrote to all the clergy of the diocese on Monday both to advise us of the seriousness of the situation and what we might do as churches to limit its impact.

Therefore, having discussed the matter with the Standing Committee of our PCC we have agreed to take the following steps based on the current advice being issued.

  • Place (when available) alcohol hand wash at the entrance to the church, on the credence table and in the sacristy
  • Refrain from sharing ‘a sign of peace’ with a handshake
  • Refrain from intinction (or dipping) the wafer into the wine

At present the common cup has not been suspended therefore it is possible to receive the sacrament in both kinds. However, those who prefer may just receive communion in one kind.

Whilst this may seem an overly cautious response, we need to take seriously the advice we have been given and act accordingly.

I hope that you will understand the need to take this course of action.

With love and prayers,

— Matthew Peat, Vicar