St Mary’s Church is meeting On-line

Following the Church of England advice, there will be no public worship services on Sunday until further notice, to prevent spread of the Covid-19 virus. However we are going stream our Sunday Worship live, and have it available for download, so that people will be able to join us in worship.

HOW CAN I JOIN IN?
The service will be streamed on the St Mary’s Church Facebook page (@StMarysCheadle) or on YouTube (St. Mary’s Cheadle).
Click on the link above, and you should see the service scheduled on the main page or on the events page – if you are not able to join live, it will be listed for 24 hours on that page.

This facility should make services available on your home computer or Smartphone. If you have a “SMART” TV, it should be possible to access YouTube from your TV via one of the Apps.

If you experience problems connecting, contact the church office and we will try to help you if we can.
(email: churchoffice@cheadle.org.uk or ring 0161-428-8050 during office hours)

WHEN IS IT?
The live broadcast will be held at 10.30am on Sundays.
We are intending it to serve the needs of all four of our usually separate Sunday congregations, but will bring us together as a sign of our unity at this time of challenge and change.
We are encouraging people ideally to tune in live at that time, expressing a new sort of togetherness- sharing in the same time if not in the same space. The service will then be downloaded to the website and available for the following 24 hours, in case people are unable to join in live or the time is difficult.

We will also pre-record a second service, which will be posted on Wednesdays, which will have a slightly more traditional feel, available from the same links.

KEEPING IN TOUCH
We will keep all Church Members updated via ChurchSuite and the Website about weekly arrangements, but in addition to the On-line services, we are hoping to develop two other regular opportunities for contact and fellowship.
1. SoundBites – On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, we will upload a short (15 min) faith-thought: a reading, short reflection, prayer and hymn. We hope this will help people to keep some bigger perspective on the events of each day, and the challenge of God’s Word in challenging times.
2. Praying Together – On Wednesday nights at 8pm we will host a prayer meeting using the Zoom app – which means connecting people in ways that we can see and hear each other. Links and Instructions will be made available on the website next week, but there has never been a more important time to pray together – and technology makes it possible (albeit quite a different sort of experience than normal!)

In addition, we are hoping to provide an additional point of contact for our teenagers – but information about that will be passed on to them next week.

LOOKING OUT FOR EACH OTHER
The Church is not just about our worship, it is about sharing our God-given love for each other together. With that in mind, we are encouraging all our Church members to ensure they are on one of our Pastoral Link networks – whether through their homegroups, or in their area – so that we can pray for each other and provide practical help where that is needed. If you are not sure you are in such a network, please contact the church office and we will arrange it (Email: churchoffice@cheadle.org.uk or ring 0161-428-8050)

FELLOWSHIP SPACE
The advice from the Church is keeping some church space open “as a place for prayer and contact”, that conforms to the social-distancing guidance.
At present, we are maintaining the Upper Room Cafe as that space, where tables are kept at 2m distance, and the extra government-advised hygiene regulations are followed scrupulously.
Should that need to close, we would then plan to open the Church building itself, at set published times, as far as guidance allows – recognising that there are greater hygiene challenges for maintaining that building.
We are very aware and concerned for those who are otherwise alone, that they can feel safe to come out, and have wider contact with other people (if only at a safe distance)

The present crisis is a challenge for all of us. There are many fearful for the future, for health, finance, and security. It has always been the call of Christians to serve, in the strength God provides, to share the hope that He gives. Please pray for your neighbours, and where appropriate provide practical support. Follow the Spirit’s prompting, when someone’s name comes to mind, to make contact – it is one of the greatest helps to people feeling isolated. Keep in touch with your wider Church Family, not just On-line, but in worship, prayer and care together.

I have found Psalm 130 particularly helpful, as it speaks of faith in our deep distress v.1-2; forgiveness in the face of fear v.3-4; patience in anticipation of God’s help v.5-6; and hope in God’s sure love and salvation v.7-8. “O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” That he has done, as we have a Saviour, who has defeated sin, sickness and death – may He always be our Hope!

Yours in Christ
Rob

Rev Dr Rob Munro

Rector of Cheadle
rob@cheadle.org.uk
Office: 0161 428 8050