The current situation is changing at a rapid pace and first of all I wanted to assure you, as someone who engages with St Andrew’s or The Wisdom of God, that we are actively working to consider how we should respond and how to do everything we can to ensure the safety of you and others connected to our churches.
We are also actively looking at what role the Parish should play in supporting you and the wider community with spiritual and practical support. Whether you feel you might need help, or might be able to offer help, please read on to find out how you can let us know.
With so many people being involved in different aspects of the role we play in our community, I wanted to share with you the full range of actions we are taking and different scenarios we are considering.
The Parish of Kingswood is part of the Diocese of Southwark. We are getting specific advice from the Diocese and from the Church of England. That advice, which is regularly updated, is available here (https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches)
We are also paying close attention to advice given by our government and the current situation in local schools. All of the actions we take will be guided by these sources and our own assessment of how that information affects our ability to safely fulfil our role within the local community.
Sadly, regular corporate worship has been suspended until further notice. Two local Churches will remain open for private prayer by individuals during the daytime: The Church of the Good Shepherd in Tadworth and St Mark’s, Reigate. In addition, I will prepare a weekly ‘broadcast’ on our website which will include prayers, Bible reading and a reflection. www.parishofkingswood.org.ukPerhaps you would like to listen to this at your normal service time of 9.30am or 11am to feel that you are joining with others in worship. Other online resources will also be available via our website. For those unable to access these, printed copies can be sent out if requested.
A number of other events and activities have also been suspended or cancelled and are listed at the end of this message.
What do we see as being our role?
This is something I discussed at length with our Churchwardens and have shared with the Parochial Church Council. With the situation changing so quickly, it may evolve, but in broad terms we see our role as being to provide spiritual and practical support to those more vulnerable or less able to support themselves in this time of need.
We already know who many of those people are, or might be, from the work I and others from the parish do in the community. But we are certain there will be other people in need that we don’t currently know.
Soon, you should receive a phone call from one of the people we have appointed as a designated Pastoral Contact to check in with you in case of need. If you feel you may need support from this Parish in some form, please let them, or Lindsay Cole, know whether you need that support now or anticipate needing support as the restrictions placed on our daily lives continue. Our offer of help is extended to anyone within the Parish of Kingswood who might need help. (Contact details are at the end of this notice.)
What can you do to help?
As a church, we have put into place measures to provide pastoral care within our community as well as practical help to those who need it. However, the way we do things may well have to change and we may not be able to do everything ourselves. We may be looking to engage with other churches and organisations locally as well as liaising with local government where appropriate.
Please keep an eye on our website, your email and social media. We will use these channels to communicate any changes to this provision. If for any reason you know someone who does not receive these channels, please let Lindsay know so that she can make alternative arrangements to communicate with them, if they want us to do so.
Our message to our local community is very much that ‘no worry is too small’ and the Parish of Kingswood and its community will do what it can to help and support people.
If you can help in any way, please let us know. If you need help, please let us know.
How to get in touch
Please contact Lindsay Cole for general requests for help or offers of support:
Telephone: 01737 201199
If your need is urgent, it is most likely that you should contact one of the emergency services in the first instance.
Thank you for your support in these challenging times.
Revd Chris Colton
Priest in Charge and Churchwardens of The Parish of Kingswood
All Regular Public Worship – Suspended
Sunday, 29 March –at St Andrew’s 11.15 am Annual Parochial Church Meeting and AGM. – Postponed. We are awaiting instructions from the Diocese regarding our legal position in this matter and will keep you informed as we receive this information.
Monthly Coffee Circle – Suspended.
Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater – Saturday, 4 April at The Wisdom of God at 7 pm. – Postponed – more information in due course.
Lower Kingswood Village Fete – Friday 8 May – VE Day theme – Cancelled.
VE Day Talk (Pia and Kevin Chamberlain) ‘Kingswood at War Again’ at 2.30 pm and ‘Street Party Feel’ tea at 4 pm in Kingswood Village Hall on Saturday, 9 May – Postponed – more information in due course.
Wisdom Stories at Tea Time – Suspended.
Roots Church and Youth Club – Suspended.
Choir Practice – Suspended.
Home Groups – Suspended.
Parish Administrator & PCC Secretary
Tel: 01737 201199 www.parishofkingswood.org.uk