Updated advice for church services – face coverings will be compulsory from 8th August

Wear a face mask

We have been preparing to restart public services to a limited extent in our churches. Following the government’s advice, we had made the wearing of face coverings a matter of personal choice, although it has always been strongly recommended when you are indoors with people you don’t usually meet.

However, following today’s announcement from the Prime Minister, it will no longer be optional – you must wear a face covering unless you are exempt.

While this new rule only comes into effect next Sunday, may I strongly advise you to wear a mask this week already if you are planning to attend church. We will be keeping the services short – approximately 30 minutes – to minimise the risk and to reduce the inconvenience some experience when wearing a mask.

Update on church closures (15th May 2020)

On Thursday last week (7th May), clergy were allowed back into their churches for prayer and to record services. As yet, this applies only to clergy, and I cannot yet make the churches available for private prayer—let alone services—but the opening has begun. I will let you know as soon as we are allowed to open them up for more people.

I am trying to get into each church at least once a week to pray, so you may see me around, or hear the bell rung (this is not possible in all the churches because some of the bells were left “up” and need to be checked by a proper bell-ringer before they are used).

We do not need churches to pray or meet with God, but I hope you are encouraged that the buildings are once again at least partially being used for the purpose for which they were built.

Blessings

Matt

17th May Services

The services for this Sunday should be online shortly. This week I have recorded a slightly informal communion service, and a said matins (traditional language service). The sermon is the same in each.

You can download them directly from the links below, as well as paper copies of the texts if you want them (all the world you need will be on the screen).

Matins: video, service sheet

Communion: video, service sheet

Readings and sermon

They are also available on youtube again. Just look for Oldbury Benefice, and hopefully they will appear shortly.

Blessings

Matt

10th May online services

Dear all

This week’s online services are available. This time from three places.

You can go to the “Online Services” section of this website, click on the link for 10th May and then on the text under the small video picture. Then click on the larger picture of the video to watch.

You can download the usual quality versions from this website (right click, and choose “Download as…” or “Save as…” :
Communion
Family Service

Or you can view the videos in Youtube at:
Communion – https://youtu.be/5jviFRRQYYk
Family service – https://youtu.be/yKVsLTZTfZY
Youtube allows me to post larger quality versions which you can watch on more devices like Apple TV, but there are sometimes problems because of the songs (I do have the licences to show them, but Youtube doesn’t know that).

They are all the same, so just choose one option!

3rd May 2020 service

The Sunday service will shortly be online to watch.

A couple of comments. First, it is just one service this week, and I wasn’t able to get too much child-friendly material for the topic that I could use (for copyright reasons). So I have also posted a link to a child-friendly version of the Gospel story if you want it.

Secondly, at the end of the service, there is a brief pause, and then another 8 minutes or so of sermon. Please feel free to stop before this if you wish, it is just some extra material that felt too long for the service, but which some might want to watch as well.

Blessings

Matt

Good Friday meditation

I’m sorry that I won’t be able to sort out a service for tonight to remember the Last Supper. There are plenty of services around which I hope you feel able to make use of.

However, Linda has put together a meditation (download here) which you could use tomorrow either on a walk or in your home, to help us think about the love of God which took Jesus to the cross. It would be great if you could join us in this.

The cross will be up on Cherhill Down between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Please use it to help you reflect, but it is not intended as a gathering point. If it is on or near a walk you would normally make, please do pause and think, but only briefly and by yourselves. Please do not make a special trip to visit it – it does not count as an essential trip. I hope that many of you can see it from near where you are, and that it helps you to know it is there.

With love

Matt (and Linda)

Palm Sunday service

A reminder that services are now available via the “Online Services” page. However, if you prefer to download the video to watch offline, please use the links on this page.

This week there is just one service, but there is a pause partway through, so if you don’t want to stay for communion, please feel free to stop there.

If you would like the full service of Holy Communion, please click here. There is also an order of service to download and print available here, but everything you need is also on the screen.

If you struggle to hear my sermon, you can find a similar text here.

I hope you find something you can use.

With love, Matt