Latest news - RECOMMENCING SUNDAY SERVICES.
From Sunday 2nd August at 10.00am we will be recommencing services at St Andrew's. During August they will be a form of Morning Prayer with a sermon, then in September we intend to recommence Communion Services.
To keep everyone as safe as possible we will be following Government and Church of England guidance. If you are able please wear a face covering. Everyone will be required to sanitise their hands on entry and we will be observing social distancing of 2m. We will keep a record of everyone attending and you may be asked for your name and contact details.
The congregation will be limited to 40 people on a 'first come first served' basis.
We look forward to welcoming you to St Andrew's
On Sunday, 14th June, our Archdeacon John Kiddle was due to come and preach at the regular Sunday services. As he couldn't be with us he kindly recorded a message for the church.
Letter to St Andrew's, Ham.
We have all already been adapting significantly over the last few weeks, due to the spread of coronavirus. Following the various announcements this week, life has now become very different, offering us unexpected challenges and opportunities.
I expect you have heard, but just to be clear, the Church of England has now suspended all public worship. This means there will be no Sunday or Wednesday services at St Andrew’s. Most groups and events have also already been cancelled, and most of us will be either social distancing or in self-isolation.
I don’t think any of us expected to give quite so much up for Lent! But given the situation we find ourselves in, I know we all have begun not only to look at what we need to do to take care of ourselves and our families, but also how to support our neighbours and friends. Thank you for all you are doing to help those around you. These kind words and actions will make all the difference, particularly to the most vulnerable.
Over the last few weeks I have been planning what to do should we get to the point where church as we usually run it needed to pause. These plans are now all being implemented and I wanted to communicate some of that with you now, and to ask for your help and co-operation. We may not be able to meet as usual, but Church will not stop; being the community of Christ is not cancelled, it will just look a little different for a while.
Here are four of the main ways we will continue to stay in contact, support each other, and enable our continued discipleship and spiritual development.
1 THE WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA.
The website will continue to be updated, as will Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. I encourage you to check these and sign up to the social media feeds.
2 PASTORAL CARE AND CONTACT DATABASE.
We are contacting everyone on the Electoral Roll, or who we have details for, to check how they are, and ask them about support they need or are able to give to others. All this information will be be confidentially co-ordinated so that we know who we are supporting, what support has or needs to be given, and who is or will be giving that support. Each person in the church is being assigned a Key Contact to further facilitate the roll out of support and resources.
3 RESOURCES PROVIDED BY POST AND E-MAIL.
The new database will also allow us to send out resources to the whole church. These will include things such as: liturgy and prayers allowing everyone to hold their own worship at home, worksheets, activities and crafts for children and young people, and a range of information and devotional material. These mail shots will mostly be delivered to your door by your Key Contact.
We will also be sending out more e-mails. Particularly within groups such as the Lent Group or Ham Priory and making a lot more phone calls to each other.
4 PRIVATE PRAYER IN CHURCH.
Though the church is closed and public worship is suspended, a Priest will continue to celebrate Holy Communion Services behind closed doors on a Sunday and Wednesday (and some of the principle feasts of the Church calendar).
Following guidance at the time, on Sunday 22nd March we did have the church open for an hour, with strict social distancing, and this was much appreciated by those who came in. However, the next day the guidance changed again and currently we cannot open the church to the public at all. As soon as this changes we will let you know and really look forward to welcoming you in again.
Till then we can also say prayers individually at home, but at the same time as everyone else, knowing that over Ham, Kingston and further afield, our congregation are joining together with us in thought and prayer for each other and the world. Bishop Christopher has invited us to pray for our nation and all those affected by coronavirus and say The Lord’s Prayer both at 1pm and 7pm each day. He also suggests putting a lighted candle in your window at night, though please carefully consider all safety aspects before doing this, making sure there is no danger of setting your curtains alight and not leaving a burning candle unattended!
This is a challenging and uncertain time, but our goal as a church community remains the same, to love God and love each other, to respond to whatever we face with love and not fear, and to be good news to our neighbours and our world. As we continue to do these things, despite the challenges, I believe we will be blessed and be a blessing, seeing the grace of God at work in every word and act of kindness.
You are all in my thoughts and prayers and I look forward to whatever challenges and opportunities these next few months bring knowing I do so in the companionship of this wonderful community.
All best wishes, Revd Alice Pettit, St Andrew’s, Ham
While we all miss gathering in the church building together to worship, there is a weekly programme we can take part in, knowing we are worshiping at the same time in the same way, whilst at home.
The Easter and Pentecost Mailings contain material to support you in prayer, worship and following the seasons of the church year at home.
Bishop Christopher has invited us to pray for our nation and all those affected by coronavirus and say The Lord’s Prayer both at 1pm and 7pm each day. He also suggests putting a light or candle in your window at night.
WEDNESDAY: On a Wednesday evening at 7:30pm you are invited to our ‘Catch up and Compline’ via Zoom. Simply let Ursula, or Sarah in the office, know you would like to attend and you will be sent a link via e-mail which will give you access to the virtual meeting. It might sound complicated but it’s very easy, and you can also join in with just an ordinary landline phone. If you need technical help please ask and someone will talk you through it.
SUNDAY: Although St Andrew’s is not live-steaming services, there is a huge choice of live-streamed services online, on TV and radio.
Each Sunday morning at 9am the Church of England streams a service at
(each week we will post a link to this on our Facebook page if that makes it easier for you to find) and if you haven’t already begun to join in regularly with a particular streamed service, I recommend this as one to regularly connect with.
Then at 10am a priest celebrates Holy Communion behind closed doors at home, for the parish of St Andrew’s, please continue to send in your prayer requests by phone or e-mail, and take part using the ‘Spiritual Communion’ sheet that was in the Easter mailing. If you need this again it can be e-mailed to you. This will continue for the time being, led by Revd James Pettit, or other Priests within our team as needed.
The recorded sermon from our neighbouring parish of St Richard’s is also regularly available on our Facebook page, and a weekly service with a wide variety of musical input from local musicians is available if you contact our other neighbour St Peter’s.
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.
A prayer about the Coronavirus outbreak
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For those in isolation
God of compassion,
be close to those who are ill, afraid or in isolation.
In their loneliness, be their consolation;
in their anxiety, be their hope; in their darkness, be their light;
through him who suffered alone on the cross,
but reigns with you in glory, Jesus Christ our Lord.
For those who are worried/social cohesion
Loving Jesus, you are compassionate to those in need
and heal the sick in body and mind.
Look kindly on those who are fearful at this time.
Help us all to put away all thoughts and actions
that separate us from you and from one another.
Give us grace to live our lives
confident in your promise that you are with us always.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to care for the sick,
and to assure the isolated of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
For those who are ill
we entrust to your unfailing and tender care,
those who are ill or in pain,
knowing that whenever danger threatens
your everlasting arms are there to hold us safe.
Comfort and heal them, and restore them to health and strength;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
For hospital staff and medical researchers
give skill, sympathy and resilience to all who are caring for the sick,
and your wisdom to those searching for a cure.
Strengthen them with your Spirit,
that through their work many will be restored to health;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
From one who is ill or isolated
O God, help me to trust you,
help me to know that you are with me,
help me to believe that nothing can separate me
from your love revealed in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayers for when you can't get to church
Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your disciples, ‘I am with you always’.
Be with me today, as I offer myself to you.
Hear my prayers for others and for myself,
and keep me in your care.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
From St Patrick’s Breastplate
Prayers for when you can't get to church cont.
I am giving you worship with all my life,
I am giving you obedience with all my power,
I am giving you praise with all my strength,
I am giving you honour with all my speech.
I am giving you love with all my heart,
I am giving you affection with all my sense,
I am giving you my being with all my mind,
I am giving you my soul, O most high and holy God.
Praise to the Father,
Praise to the Son,
Praise to the Spirit,
The Three in One.
adapted from Alexander Carmichael,
Carmina Gadelica (1900)
Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
The ‘Jesus Prayer’
After a time of prayer:
Be with us, Lord, in all our prayers,
and direct our way toward the attainment of salvation,
that among the changes and chances of this mortal life,
we may always be defended by your gracious help,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O good Jesus, hear me:
hide me within your wounds
and never let me be separated from you.
From the wicked enemy defend me,
in the hour of my death, call me and bid me come to you,
so that with your saints I may praise you
for ever and ever.
Short passages of Scripture for reading and contemplation
Psalm 27 The Lord is my light and my salvation
Psalm 46 Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 91 He shall cover you with his wings
Psalm 139 O Lord, you have searched me out and known me
Isaiah 43 (esp vv.1-7) Do not fear, for I am with you
John 14 Do not let your hearts be troubled
A prayer for when a friend is ill
Dear God, (name of friend) is ill.
They are not allowed to go to school or come over to play.
I’m sad because I miss them.
They must be feeling miserable and lonely as well.
Please be close to them.
Please be with the people who are looking after them.
Please help them to get better and to know that you love them.
A prayer for the world
God of love and hope,
You made the world and care for all creation.
But the world feels strange right now.
The news is full of stories about Coronavirus.
Many people are anxious because of it.
Many people are anxious that they might get ill.
Many people are anxious about their family and friends.
Be with them in their worries and help them to find some peace.
We pray for the doctors and nurses and scientists who are working to discover the right medicines to give hope to those who are ill.
Thank you that even in these strange and worrying times,
you are with us.
Help us to look for the signs of your goodness and love towards us.
A prayer at bedtime
Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the World, we pray
That you, with steadfast love, would keep
Your watch around us while we sleep.
Tonight we pray especially for (names family or friends who are affected by Coronavirus) and the people of (country or place which is affected by Coronavirus). Give skill and wisdom to all who are caring for them.
A prayer remembering God is with us
Lord God, you are always with me.
You are with me in the day and in the night.
You are with me when I’m happy and when I’m sad.
You are with me when I’m healthy and when I am ill.
You are with me when I am peaceful and when I am anxious.
Today I am feeling (name how you are feeling) because (reasons you are feeling this way). Help me to remember that you love me and are with me in everything today.