Updated 24 July 2020 at 11.58am
St Saviour’s Church building continues to be closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This closure includes the church office, Link, and halls (apart from St Saviour’s Pre-school).
We are delighted to be able to offer opportunities for private prayer by prior arrangement. We are able to welcome individuals or small family groups into St Saviour’s for a time of prayer or peaceful reflection, especially for those who are bereaved and wanting to ‘light a candle’ and say some prayers. If you or someone you know would like to avail themselves of this provision, please contact our vicar, Andy: telephone 01202 425978, text mobile 07759 063367, or email the office.
As the situation continues, some of our staff team are on furlough (with full pay) as follows:
- From 1 April: Kevin Vaughan
- From 5 July until 26 July: Jez Ferguson
- From 27 July until 16 August : Caz Gatehouse
- From 17 August until 6 September: Jez Ferguson
Please note that our children’s minister and youth minister are still able to keep in contact with their groups.
Please see below for further contact details.
General advice and precautions
Follow the government advice to ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’.
If you have a recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature, please do not come to St Saviour’s and click here for NHS guidance.
St Saviour’s services and events
These are some of the steps we are taking to help prevent the spread of infection:
- The church office is closed and staff who are not on furlough are working at home.
- All our services and events are suspended or online.
- All our groups and meetings, including children’s groups, are suspended.
- Our Wednesday evening Furnace and Sunday evening Core groups are meeting online. Check the events calendar for details.
Our priorities are to ensure our congregations, staff team, and other church visitors are as safe as possible, and to offer help where we can within our local community. We continue to pray, to love, and to care for the vulnerable.
Is there any pastoral support?
We have a team of fit and able people contacting the most vulnerable in our church family. We also have a team of six who are able to respond to some practical needs. See contact details below if you need to access this help or if you are able to offer support.
Our children’s minister Caz Gatehouse is keeping in contact with children/families from Kidz Ablaze and Messy Church, and is providing materials. She can be contacted via her email. Follow her on Instagram at st.stavioursparents.
Similarly our youth minister Jez Ferguson is keeping in contact with our young people and providing materials. He can be contacted via his email. See his regular video ‘Thought for the day’ on YouTube. Also follow him on Instagram at st.saviours.youth.
How can I pray?
Most importantly we pray in the crisis and keep our focus on God.
United in Prayer is a 24-hour prayer chain across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland between April and June 2020. All Christian denominations, churches and networks are invited to join together in prayer for our nation, uniting in prayer for healing, restoration, and revival. To find out more, to sign up for a prayer slot in the prayer chain, and to access prayer resources, visit United in Prayer’s website.
We are currently observing a weekly call to prayer – lighting a candle and praying every Sunday evening at sunset throughout the crisis. This call originated from the Presidents of Churches Together in England, including the Archbishop of Canterbury. On Sunday 22 March they called for a national call to prayer, focusing on the needs of our world and our country. It is an opportunity to pray earnestly for the government and its advisers, for medical staff and other key workers, for the sick and the bereaved, and for those who are fearful and lonely. We hope everyone will join us in praying in our own homes. Find out more here.
How can I be prayed for?
We also include a prayer list in our regular newsletters, so please email the office if you would like your name to be added. If your prayer request is for family or friends, please ensure you have their permission first.
How can we help each other and our community?
We are concerned to support our more vulnerable and isolated members at this time, as well as our neighbours and wider community. Please consider telephoning those you are aware of to keep in touch and keep open lines of communication.
Follow the link to volunteer for the BCP Council’s Community Response to COVID-19, Together We Can, and please be praying for all their efforts.
There is temporary pause in recruitment of volunteers for the NHS – find out more here.
Please continue to support the work of St Saviour’s Church financially. More information about giving can be found here.
Indeed, let us be unceasing in prayer and praise, take opportunities where we can to share our faith, to reach out to our community, and to show kindness to others.
How can I keep connected?
We are using our website, Facebook page and group, and other social media to offer prayer, support and help, and encouragement through this time. If you are on Facebook, make sure you ‘like’ our FB page. You can also ask to join our FB group. Please check regularly for:
- News updates
- Encouragements to pray
- Creative ways to help us keep our focus on God
Please feel free to use the Facebook group to encourage one another, and contact Clare if you have further suggestions.
Contacting St Saviour’s
As our office is closed, during this crisis, our emergency contact numbers are as follows:
- Revd Canon Andy McPherson – by answerphone 01202 425978, by mobile 07759 063367, or by email email@example.com.
- David Thompson – by mobile 07736 300875.
- BCP Council Covid-19 Community Response Helpline is open 8am-8pm, seven days a week, for people in vital need of food and essential household items. Telephone 0300 1237052.
Sunday worship online
A worship playlist by Phil Smith, including one of his original songs ‘I couldn’t tell you’, is available on our YouTube channel here.
The latest sermons from our online services are posted on the Sermons page here.
Prayer for the day
A prayer for each day from the Church of England
Lectio 365, a daily devotional app to help us pray the Bible each day