We apologise that, due to coronavirus and government advice, the church is currently closed.Download Bulletin
"In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice. In recent weeks we have done everything possible to keep our church services running in as safe a manner as possible and we very much regret that this is no longer possible. The absence of Sunday and weekday services does not mean that our church is closed.
Online prayer resources are available at https://www.churchofengland.org, click on Prayer and Worship, then on Join us in Daily Prayer. A Daily Prayer app by Aimer media is available for Android and Apple devices free of charge.
We are also committed to support those who need practical assistance due to being unable to get out, or who just want someone to talk to over the telephone."
Paul's Letter for Holy Week
This is Holy Week
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Whatever else you may do this week make time to read Psalm 22. Read it slowly and aloud. Ponder these words written so long ago, yet words which speak so clearly to us today.
Jesus grew up learning the Psalms by heart. Their poetry contains everything we know. Rejoicing and thanksgiving, love and friendship, celebration and feasting. And the other side of life as well. In the Psalms you will find agony, anger, bewilderment, frustration, grief and bitter tears. The writers of the Psalms knew God well enough to know that sometimes we rail at him in fury. And he listens.
There are many this week who will taste desolation. Those who lose loved ones, who may die alone with no family at their side. Those who cannot attend the funeral of a friend, and I know what that feels like this week. Those who come home from work exhausted, fearful for themselves or their family. Those who see years of work building a livelihood swept away. Those who feel imprisoned in their home without human touch for – well who knows how long?
Our churches are closed, yet the church is not. This holy week we mark key events that are the foundation of who we are. Jesus met with his friends to share a Passover meal. We cannot meet, we sense the bereavement of that loss. But it reminds us not to take this communion for granted.
Behind that supper was the story of the Passover, a time of sickness and death when the people marked their houses so that they might be passed over. Walking round the lanes I notice houses also marked, with rainbows for our NHS. Beyond the supper lay arrest, betrayal, denial, and death. Lives were shattered. Our world was changed.
Christianity is an uncomfortable faith. God is not convenient or safe or happy ever after. We know God through the vulnerability of a baby born out of place. We meet God in brokenness – take this, remember me. We know God when we allow him to kneel at our feet with water and a bowl. And we must allow him. We understand God only when we weep in the dawn and he speaks our name.
These events shape what it is to be the church. I am trying each day to ring people for a conversation. It brings to light the water and bowl life of the church. People sharing food, collecting prescriptions, passing on a bottle of bleach or hand sanitiser. I collected 7 bags for the Foodbank and dropped them off at the distribution centre. Delivering parcels for the Foodbank I heard through an open door as I walked down the path the voice of a little lad, very excited, “I’ve got an Easter egg. An Easter egg! I’ve never had an Easter egg!”
It is getting hard to ring people. Phone lines are becoming more and more engaged. People are ringing each other. Speaking to someone they know who is on their own. The instinct to reach out and support is strong. The desire to look out for someone else is powerful. It is how we will endure this time.
There are many who this holy week will know desolation. But they will never be forsaken.
The Revd Canon Paul Dawson
Wanted Bags for nurses' scrubs.
Nurses are in urgent need of bags to put their scrubs into to enable them to put them through a washing machine without risking infection. A team of ladies are turning pillow cases into drawstring bags suitable for this use. If anyone has any clean unused pillow cases in good condition that could be re-purposed for this use could you please let the Vicar know. If you leave them on your doorstep they can be collected. Alternatively, if you are out shopping please leave them in the grey box by the Vicarage front door. Thank you. 01606 889995
Please note that we are not taking bookings for The Mews at the present time.
We welcome new names of those who are ill to be added to our weekly list for prayer. This is intended for a short to medium term prayer list.
After two months names will be
transferred to the Vicar's long term
prayer list. You can of course request that the name goes back on the list for a further period.
Regular updates would be appreciated about the condition of those who are sick.
Please let the Vicar or Linda Dutton know.
St Mary's church takes its duty and obligation to protect all, extremely seriously. We have adopted the national Church of England's robust procedures and guidelines. You can find out more about the national policies and procedures at www.churchofengland.org/safeguarding.
"If you have any safeguarding concerns or issues of a safeguarding matter then you can find useful contact information at www.chester.anglican.org/social-responsibility/safeguarding"
Our involvement with Whitegate Primary School has enabled us to build relationships with the young people and provide a safe environment within which they can meet and continue the friendships forged at Primary School when they move onto High School.