Update – Thursday 26th March, 14:30
We very much hope that everyone is keeping safe and comfortable. Please contact us if there is anything we can do to help you, or if there is anyone you feel we may be able to help.
The clergy team and members of the congregation are keeping the community very much in their thoughts and prayers as we move further into this difficult time.
Preparations are well underway for Sunday’s 9.30 Benefice service which is being filmed by people across the Benefice and will be a united effort from about 30 individuals. More on the Digital Services page.
At 10.30 on Sunday we are going to try Digital Coffee. There’s more on the website about that too with a message about how you can prepare for it.
If you’d like to be involve in making the weekly service you can signup from the website
The Community Larder continues to do an excellent job and has its own communication channel through it’s Facebook Page
Here is a recent communication from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York:
Update – Tuesday 24th March, 09:15
The Prime Minister’s announcements yesterday evening have unfortunately brought about a further narrowing of the parameters within which we are able to work. We remain determined to meet the challenges we face head-on, however, and to find new ways to do familiar things.
We always understood the Church to mean the people of Christ more than the building, but now we are realising how true and powerful this is.
- The church building in closed now during lock-down.
- Regrettably that means no funeral services in church but only for immediate family at the graveside or in the crematorium chapel.
- The clergy are unfortunately no longer available for pastoral visits to homes except for emergencies.
- The office remains open but people are requested not to visit. Lou is sometimes working from home.
- All weddings and Christenings are postponed.
- We will continue to strengthen our digital presence especially with the Sunday 9.30 broadcast from the website and Facebook.
- Digital resources are being made available to help people cope with lock-down and grow their faith during this time
- We are in the process of setting up a system of communication and pastoral care so that we maintain links with and support for one another as parishioners, reach out to those who are lonely or isolated, and mobilise help for those in need.
Update – Saturday 21st March, 12:45
All services other than funerals remain suspended. Following new guidance from Hereford funerals now have an upper limit of 10 in the congregation and these people should be close family members.
We continue to experiment with digital services and a dedicated page is now on the website. Tomorrow’s service, Mothering Sunday, has been recorded and will go live tomorrow at 9.30
and on our Facebook page. Please comment and share as you feel appropriate.
Pastoral Letter from the Rector – Wednesday 18th March, 12:50
To the communities of Ross-on-Wye, Walford, and Brampton Abbotts.
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have recently requested, in line with Government advice, that all public worship in churches be paused until further notice. What this means is that Sunday and weekday services like Eucharists, or All Age Worship, have been stopped at St Mary’s Ross-on-Wye, St Michael’s Walford, and in Brampton Abbotts for the next few months. In churches where there has been unbroken Sunday worship for many centuries this is unprecedented, but it is a necessary measure to keep people safe and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Despite there being no formal services of worship, St Mary’s, Ross-on-Wye and St Michael’s, Walford will remain open every day for anyone who would like to pray, light candles, or simply spend a few quiet moments in thought. This is an extremely difficult time for all of us, and we need to bring light into the dark places of life in any way we can.
On Sundays and at other times, prayers on behalf of and for our communities will be said by clergy and ministers, and we will be sharing these services on the internet and through social media. Details on how you can watch these services and pray with us will follow shortly.
For now, we will continue to conduct funerals and small weddings in our churches, but the rules on personal hygiene and social distancing need to be applied – people will be encouraged to wash or disinfect their hands on entering the church; to sit at least 2 metres from one another, and to avoid touching one another or any common surface or item. People vulnerable to the virus should be discouraged from attending such services.
We will not be able to engage physically with one another until the Coronavirus epidemic has run its course, but thanks to the digital age we are in, we can keep contact through phone calls, emails, on by social media and Skype, and in many other ways. As the parish churches of Ross-on-Wye and Walford, we care for all members of our community whether they attend church or not, or whether they believe in God or not. We would not like anyone to become isolated or to feel desperate in any way, and so I invite you to contact me on 01989 562175 or by email if we can be of any practical or spiritual support to you. Sometimes it is just good to hear a friendly voice!
With my prayers as we all adapt to a new way of life,
Update – Wednesday 18th March, 12.00
In line with guidance from the Diocese and Church of England all services, other than funerals, are suspended in our churches until further notice. We are looking into ways of streaming some services online and will post more about that soon.
Church buildings will continue to remain open as usual. A fuller statement will follow.
All other events, (other than funerals and the Community Larder which are operating with changed protocols) are suspend until further notice.
Update – Tuesday 17th March, 12:35
Wednesdays: Contemplative Prayer is cancelled.
Wednesdays: Bereavement Cafe is cancelled.
Wednesdays: Lent reflections are cancelled.
Saturdays: First Saturday coffee mornings are cancelled until further notice.
Paddle & Praise and Paddle & Praise Plus are cancelled until further notice.
Update – Monday 16th March, 20:00
At present we are following the guidance given by the national church. Obviously the landscape is changing rapidly, and particularly so following the Prime Minister’s news conference this afternoon. We await national guidance in the light of that. However our own contingency planning is well advanced and will be published in full later this week.
We thank you for your understanding and in the meantime the Church of England’s national guidance is your best guide to what is happening broadly at church.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by the virus and we encourage all to be in contact with us if there is someone we can help.
Changes to the normal pattern of events in all three parishes will be advertised on this website and by social media posts. The current position is:
Tuesdays: The Community Larder continues and will open at 9.30 am tomorrow (17th March) people will be asked to go in one at a time.
Tuesdays: The Job Club is cancelled until further notice.
Tuesdays: Men’s choir will not now be starting until further notice.
Wednesdays: Toast and Toddle is cancelled until further notice.
Wednesdays: Lent Lunches are cancelled for the remainder of Lent.
Wednesdays: Sing out Strong is cancelled until further notice.
Thursdays: Christian Meditation at Walford is cancelled until further notice.
Fridays: LEAF is cancelled until further notice.
Tuesday 17th March – Home group at Walford is cancelled
Saturday 21st March: Licensing of The Bishop of Hereford (Hereford Cathedral) is going ahead but with no congregation. See the Diocesan website for live streaming.
Sunday 5th April: Come & Sing is cancelled.