Pandemic – Lynn Ungar –

Reflective thoughts at this difficult time – how to make the most of a bad job, perhaps!

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath –
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Centre down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)

Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has become clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise the world your love – for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – update

Advice updated 16/III/20

The AVC is following Government and Church of England advice on precautions to avoid infection by Covid-19.

We are trying to steer a sensible path between keeping people safe and continuing out ministry and mission as the Churches of the AVC

The Archbishops have issued updated Covid-19 advice – which can be found HERE.

The main points are:

In light of the continued increase of Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom, it is now necessary to suspend the administration of the chalice as well as physical contact during the sharing of the peace, blessing or “laying on of hands”.

We therefore advise that all priests should:-

• Offer Communion in one kind only to all communicants i.e. the consecrated bread/wafer/host, with the priest alone taking the wine; • suspend hand-shaking or other direct physical contact during the sharing of the peace;
• suspend direct physical contact as part of a blessing or ‘laying on of hands’,

Ask those attending services to wash their hands as they come into church.

Ensure ministers of the Eucharist wash their hands before and after distributing communion.

Suspend catering (teas, coffees etc.) where multiple people touch mugs, utensils and foodstuffs. (Our current practice is to have refreshments after services, to make sure that only one person, who has washed their hands, is serving, and that there are no foodstuffs which can be touched by multiple people.

We will also be making arrangements to keep in touch through or Pastoral Visitors with people who may be asked to self-isolate.

We will, of course, follow all of that clear advice.

One of our main concerns is that people should not feel under pressure to do anything, or attend anything, with which they are not happy. Everyone has differing medical needs and levels of risk assessment.

If, over time, we’re told not to have Services in Church, we will arrange for the Services to be streamed, and for contact to be kept in other ways.

Thank you, everyone, for your help and support at this difficult time.

Any queries via the Church Office, 01425 653163 or Church.Office at Fordingbridge.com (replace the ‘at’ with ‘@’).

Best Wishes, Gary.

Revd Canon Gary Philbrick, Rector of the AVC.