Coronavirus: Newark Parish Church announces all public worship suspended due to covid-19 outbreak following Archbishops of Canterbury and York's advice
All public worship in churches across Newark and Sherwood have been suspended due to coronavirus.
Churches, including Newark Parish Church, will stop all worship and activities in the building, and the church will be closed to the public, in line with national guidelines.
Online worship will be available, and the church is offering resources for people to worship at home.
The Rev David Pickersgill, priest in charge of Newark Parish Church, said the pandemic was an unprecedented time in the nation’s history and that the disruption to our lives hadn’t been experienced since the three-day week in the 1970s.
He said: “This is a very unsettling time for all of us, especially for those who are in the most at-risk categories, and their loved ones and friends.
“The announcement that the Church of England is suspending all public worship feels to me like the breaking of a wave. We perhaps expected our routines and patterns to change somewhat, but worship for me is one of those things which roots and centres my life.
“It feels that, by closing the doors on our worship, this virus has suddenly and unexpectedly touched something very close to the marrow of my being.
“Of course, it’s entirely right and necessary, but not easy.
“We will be publishing resources for prayer and worship online, and also sending them out in paper form to those without access to the internet. I would greatly encourage you at this time to spend time in prayer, whether that’s new for you or something you already do.
“And, if you find it hard to pray, allow the prayer of others, including myself, to carry and uphold you. Allow us to pray for you.
“We have a future hope. We believe in a future glory. This is not a vain or a false or an empty hope, but a certainty as strong as the God we believe in. I commend this hope to you.
“May we know and experience it more and more strongly as we go through this uncertain time.
“We are still a worshipping community, a church, even while our worship is less visible.
“As our Archbishops have said, in this time we will become a different sort of church. As we relate, and pray and live according to God’s love, outside the boundaries of our church building, may we know a new freedom, and may we experience a new grace.
“I’ll speak to you over airwaves, and I look forward to seeing you again in person, back on the shore, once this wave has subsided.”
Information on online worship is available by adding your email address to the parish church’s mailing list at office@stmnewark
All staff will be working from home and the church has promised to maintain regular contact with their congregation, especially those most at risk of the coronavirus.