Author: annthomas2019

Message from Fr Mark (18th March 2020)

Very sadly, because of the present health worries, we have to announce that there will be no public services at Saint Giles Matlock, Saint John the Baptist Dethick or Christ Church Holloway until further notice. Both Saint Giles and Christ Church will continue to be open daily for private prayer and reflection and the key for Dethick Church will continue to be available in the Dairy at Manor Farm.

I will continue to say my daily office of Morning and Evening Prayer and celebrate the Eucharist each day in private on behalf of you all. At the daily Eucharist, I will need two people to assist. I would be grateful for volunteers. The Eucharists will be at the normal times:

Sunday 9.30 am at Saint Giles. 11 am at Christ Church in the Parish Room on the third and fourth Sundays (The Chapel aims to be open at 11 am on the other Sundays)

Tuesday 9.30 am at Christ Church
Wednesday 7 pm at Saint Giles
Thursday 10 am at Saint Giles
Friday 10 am at Saint Giles
Saturday 8.30 am at Saint Giles

I am letting you know the times so that you can join in prayer with me from home. And if you wish particular people or causes to be remembered, please write them on the sheet at the back of church or ring me.

We will announce more arrangements for Sundays later. We are hoping that we will be able to film the Sunday Eucharist for you to view online.

‘May the light of Christ, rising in glory, scatter the darkness of our hearts and minds’

Benedict Mark Crowther-Alwyn

  • E-mail: rector@stgilesmatlock.co.uk
  • Telephone: 01629 582199
  • Address: The Rectory, 116 Church Street, Matlock, DE4 3BZ

Digital Resources from the Church of England website.

Some resources are currently available and new content will be published in the days and weeks ahead for all to use at this time.

A range of Christian resources is already available:

Read a blog which outlines how a church can inexpensively stream a sermon, service, event or thought for the day. 

What will be developed in the weeks ahead?

In the days and weeks ahead we will be significantly expanding our output:

  • Simple daytime prayer and night prayer service – building on the existing daily prayer feed, we will record audio to accompany daytime prayer and night prayer per day, which will be available via an updated app and accompanying podcasts.
  • More video content – this will include video services and more content for Holy Week and Easter. In addition, we will make Holy Week audio content available.
  • Using AChurchNearYou.com – signpost those churches that are live streaming services and events. Churches need to add the ‘Livestream’ tag to their services and events that will be broadcast. Remember to add into the description, how people can watch this. You can add a link to the platform you’re using to stream, such as your Facebook Page or YouTube Channel. Find out more about live streaming services and events.
  • Mental health reflections – daily reflections to help people, especially at a time when they are feeling lonely, isolated or anxious. 
  • Increasing the number of webinars – to help churches stream sermons, events and make the most of social media. Sign up for free.

Alongside the use of audio, app, smart speakers and social media, one of the main principles we are working to is to make as much as possible available in simple downloadable and printable formats for those who can’t easily access the technology.

Prayer and liturgy

A new page has been created containing:

  • Prayers and intercessions for personal or group use
  • Special prayers for use if it isn’t possible to meet in church
  • A simple form of prayer for the morning and evening, which can be downloaded, printed, and shared with those remaining at home or who are unable to access the Internet.

These resources are offered to help those who are struggling to find words at this difficult and stressful time, and to enable Christians to worship in solidarity with one another even if it is not possible to gather in church.

Public worship put on hold (Letter from the Archbishops)

Archbishops call for Church of England to become radically different as public worship put on hold to help stem spread of coronavirus

In a joint letter, Archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu said it was now necessary to put public services on hold until further notice.

But they said that far from having to “shut up shop”, the Church of England must face the challenge by becoming a radically different kind of church rooted in prayer and serving others.

It comes after the Government announced unprecedented peacetime measures to try to control the spread of the virus, with restrictions on public gatherings, transport and working.

The Archbishops expressed the desire that church buildings may, where practical, remain open as places of prayer for the community, observing social distancing recommendations.

They also invited clergy to maintain the ancient pattern of daily prayer and, where possible, the eucharist – live streaming their worship if they have the resources to do so.

And they urged congregations to be in the forefront of providing practical care and support for the most poor and the most vulnerable during the crisis.

“Being a part of the Church of England is going to look very different in the days ahead,” they wrote.

“Our life is going to be less characterised by attendance at church on Sunday, and more characterised by the prayer and service we offer each day.

“We may not be able to pray with people in the ways that we are used to, but we can certainly pray for people. And we can certainly offer practical care and support. 

“Please do carry on supporting the local foodbank and buy extra provisions for it.  Ensure the night shelters wherever possible are kept open.  There are many very encouraging schemes happening right across our country in communities to focus on caring for the most vulnerable and do continue to play your part in those.

“Then by our service, and by our love,  Jesus Christ will be made known, and the hope of the gospel – a hope that can counter fear and isolation – will spread across our land.”

They added: “This is a defining moment for the Church of England. Are we truly are a church for all, or just the church for ourselves.

“We urge you sisters and brothers to become a different sort of church in these coming months: hopeful and rooted in the offering of prayer and praise and overflowing in service to the world.”

The archbishops have joined other church leaders in calling for a day of prayer and action this Sunday (Mothering Sunday) particularly remembering those who are sick or anxious and all involved in health and emergency services. 

Further information on what the suspension of public worship will mean will be available as soon as possible on the Church of England website. This page will be regularly updated. 

The Church will be providing a range of resources to enable people to continue to walk with God at this difficult time. This includes #LiveLent daily reflectionsprayer for the day audio and text and Alexa and Google Home smart speaker apps.

In the days and weeks ahead, the Church will be significantly expanding this output with audio of a simple daytime prayer and night prayer service, more video content and some live-streaming, new mental health reflections to support people, and webinars to help churches stream sermons, events and make the most of social media. Read more here. The aim will be to make as much as possible available in simple downloadable and printable formats for those who can’t easily access the technology.

Notes to editors

  • In normal circumstances, individual incumbents and parochial church councils would apply under Canon B 14A to bishops for dispensation from holding the public services required by the Canons of the Church of England.  However, on the basis of legal advice, and in the light of the Government’s advice on preventing the spread of infection, we consider that the canon law doctrine of necessity can be relied on and that the public services required by the Canons need not – and should not – take place until further notice. 
  • This advice covers the public services which the Canons normally require to be held every Sunday and on principal feasts and holy days (Holy Communion and Morning and Evening Prayer) as well as the weekday Daily Offices.
  • Read the full letter here.

Fr Mark writes… about The Passion

The word ‘passion’ is used to express very strong emotion, enthusiasm, and intense love. It also means to endure, undergo, experience, with particular reference to suffering. And so we speak of the passion of Jesus Christ, by which we mean his suffering. The different uses of this word ‘passion’ are linked. When we have intense love, it is an experience that takes hold of us, that we don’t control. And some ways it involves suffering. 

And for Christians love and suffering are particularly linked. Jesus Christ suffers in his life and in his death because of his great love for us. God’s love for us leads to his willingness to suffer with us and for us in Jesus Christ. God’s compassion leads to the passion of Jesus Christ.

The last two weeks of Lent, the fifth and sixth Sundays of Lent, are called Passiontide. During that time, starting this year on 29th March, Lent changes gear and we particularly remember the events of Good Friday.

Why is it that the passion of Jesus Christ is so important in the Christian faith? Why is the cross so central? Because in the cross we see a meeting point between the unconquerable love of God and the sin and wickedness of humanity. At the cross we see hatred and evil torturing to death a man of goodness and love. And we see, in that man, God’s love continuing to shine through despite all the evil that is done to him. At the cross, God’s love conquers. That is why we call this particular Friday ‘Good’.

Visit of the Bishop of Derby to St Giles

It is normal for the Bishop to visit the churches and parishes of the diocese. And congregations look forward to welcoming their chief pastor. The Bishop of Derby, the Right Reverend Libby Lane, has offered to visit Saint Giles on Pentecost Sunday, 31st May, for the 9.30 am Sung Eucharist.

After discussion, Bishop Libby and I have agreed that the Bishop will preside at the Eucharist as well as preach. It is an honour that Bishop Libby is coming to Saint Giles at Pentecost. Pentecost, together with Easter and Christmas, is one of the three great festivals of the church’s year. Do please put this date in your diary and make a point of joining with us that morning.

The congregations at Dethick, Lea and Holloway are cancelling their service that day so that they can join with us. And afterwards we will have some light refreshments together.

I would imagine that a lot of people would like to join us at the 9.30 Sung Eucharist. However, should you require an earlier Eucharist for one reason or another, I will as usual be taking the normal 8 am Eucharist.

With every good wish from Mark Crowther-Alwyn

Quotation for the Month

‘I have lived with the conviction that unearned suffering is redemptive. There are some who still find the cross a stumbling block, others consider it foolishness. But I am more convinced than ever that it is the power of God to social and individual salvation.’

Martin Luther King