Dear Brothers and Sisters,
How are you and how are you managing your life in this time of uncertainty and isolation?
Thank-you for the messages that some of you have sent by email and thank-you for the phone calls that some of you have made to me. Some of the news is happy as people have time to be together with family members, but some news is sad as others struggle with illness, bereavement or sudden financial insecurity resulting from the loss of jobs or the closing of businesses imposed by the pandemic.
The support of friends, neighbours and family is more important than ever now, even though our communication has to be limited to phone calls or to email, zoom or its alternatives, text, whatsapp etc. Whether we are young or old, single, married or widowed we all however, belong to the family of our church.
How can we continue to be the family of St Martin’s Church?
Not being able to gather together for the usual Sunday Masses or for the weekday Masses with their smaller and more intimate congregations presents challenges, but it’s great to see how ideas are emerging about ways to stay connected.
A key tool for staying in touch is of course, our website www.stmartins-ruislip.org Please do look at it regularly, as we are refreshing its content more frequently than normal, providing new resources to sustain us through this time of enforced isolation. Among them are:
A pre-recorded Mass for every Sunday. Please do commit to participating in it each week so that together we remain as far as possible, a community of prayer that places Jesus at the heart of Ruislip.
Fr Yaro continues faithfully to live-stream Morning and Evening Prayer on our Facebook page so that we can join in the rhythm of the prayer of the Church throughout the world.
A booklet called Praying at Home is now available for you to download and use yourself. It provides some simple ways to have a structured life of personal prayer.
For children and families, click onto the Together at Home tab to find weekly resources for engaging with the Sunday scriptures in a way that is fun and imaginative.
The Church Union website contains links, among other things, to the Walsingham website and the resources available there. The Church Union has played an important role in strengthening he Catholic movement in the Church of England over many decades. If you go to the News section on the red bar across the top of the website you’ll find lots of useful things to look at.
You’ll see an invitation to join in a virtual coffee time should you wish to chat to other people in this way.
The weekly bulletin also provides guidance for reflecting on the Sunday scripture readings as well as naming people and situations that need our prayers.
Another thing that is being planned by Fr James and Alison Cummins is an online Bible Study Group. I hope this will soon be up and running for all who’d like to take part.
Caring for one another is such an important role of the Christian community. Thank you again to those of you who are fetching shopping for neighbours in need and for some of our elderly and housebound parishioners.
The sense of isolation is also very challenging for many people. I refer you again to the website that helps us draw strength from the wisdom and experience of the monastic tradition: www.alonetogether.org.uk
My hope is that these are all things that can help us to be the Church at Home.
Do drop me a line by email or give me a phone call (01895 633040) Remember too that I pray for you early each morning when quietly, I offer Mass.
Please pray for me as I pray for you.
My very best wishes,