This is the Capel and Ockley PCC page for the latest COVID-19 information

General GuidanceCOVID-19

The Church continues to be alive and active, but our buildings have closed.

CofE COVID-19 guidance document: click here

A selection of appropriate prayers: click here

Daily COVID-19 newsletter from the Diocese

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COVID-19 Briefing 26/05

Reading Luke’s retelling of the Parable of the Sower in Morning Prayer this morning, I was reminded of the original meaning of the word ‘broadcast’: that ‘broadcasting’ began as an agricultural term, referring to the practice of scattering seeds rather than placing them neatly in drills or rows. As the Parable itself demonstrates it was hardly the most careful way to go about it: a great deal of seed would inevitably fall by the wayside, only to be parched, choked or gobbled up by passing pigeons. But the more broadly the seed was cast, the greater the chance of a good proportion of it taking root and bearing fruit. Along with the centrality of good pastoral ministry during this Covid crisis, our churches are increasingly waking up to the opportunity to cast more broadly, rather than merely drilling the congregation or neatly sowing the seed of God’s Word along the rows of chairs or pews. In particular, the many broadcasting platforms (to use the word in its modern sense) have given us extraordinary opportunities to reach out to a much broader audience than before, around 24% of the British population according to a recent poll. It would be easy to be cynical… Read More

COVID-19 Briefing 21/05

The Humbling of Humanity Covid-19 has caused an extraordinary change of behaviour in just a few months throughout the whole world – even the rich and the powerful.  We once thought we could do anything and that our destiny was in our hands, now we are dazed and deeply uncomfortable with the uncertainty that Covid-19 has imposed on our way of life.  We thought we were in charge; now we don’t know who is in charge. We have been humbled, profoundly humbled. But it is Ascension Day – through the year we celebrate the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus and today his ascension to the right hand of God, where he reigns sovereignly.  God has placed all things under his feet – everything – “all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” Who is in charge?  Jesus, the Lord reigns. It is the common experience of many churches that more people are asking First Order questions – ‘Why am I here?’, ‘Who am I?’, ‘Who is in charge?’ etc. We should not be surprised when our delusions are stripped away, that… Read More

COVID-19 Briefing 19/05

As the volume of talk of going back to normal increases I wonder whether this could drown out the quieter volume of those voices which are asking, “do we have to go back to normal?” Do we have to go back or can we instead find what God may be preparing for us as we move towards normal? What is it that we have prayerfully discovered should, and in some cases must, be left behind? Many people, especially those who are not regular members of church communities, are learning new ways of prayer which aren’t centred on a building; new ways of prayer which can be alone but at the same time, gathered with others; new ways of experiencing the kind of praying left behind with childhood and now surprisingly inspiring and nurturing. How will we respond to what we are discovering? Many have been discovering new ways of working which are actually more life giving – in that there are fewer hours spent commuting and more hours at home with ourselves or with others. Some have discovered that in their workplace there were practices that were just always done and that they are not being missed at all. We’re… Read More

COVID-19 Briefing 14/05

Bishop Andrew’s Sunday Sermon is available here. Supporting Sialkot – May Appeal – can you help? We are asking churches and people across the Diocese of Guildford to help support orphanage staff and clergy in Sialkot Diocese in Pakistan, as they weather this Covid-19 storm. Pakistan has had many fewer cases of Covid-19 than here in the UK, but the virus is still hitting the country hard, with lockdowns and a ban on all public gatherings. Sialkot Diocese – and all of its work with churches, school and community projects – is run on a shoestring, and is hugely dependent on income generated from its nine schools; all of which are currently closed. Mental Health Awareness Week Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week and resources will be shared daily by the National team including seven reflections and culminating in a mental health focused service next Sunday. In Surrey there is a new virtual wellbeing and mental health interactive hub to enable Surrey residents to access a range of mental health and emotional wellbeing sessions virtually from the comfort of their own home. Surrey Virtual Wellbeing is designed to become a one-stop-shop where those who require mental health or emotional wellbeing support can… Read More

COVID-19 Briefing 12/05

Welcome to the Parish Briefing. In the Diocese of Guildford, and in particular within our churches, chaplaincies and schools, we are seeking to stay in close touch, even though touch is exactly what we are prevented from doing. We send a 4pm update twice a week, on a Tuesday and Thursday, with the latest national and diocesan guidance, and signpost what we are doing locally. You have been added due to the role you have in a parish. You can unsubscribe at any time at the bottom of one of these briefings. In last Wednesday’s Morning Prayer we heard about the so-called ‘tent of meeting’ which was pitched ‘far off’ from the makeshift campsites which characterised the Israelites’ forty years in the wilderness. Whenever Moses went there to worship, we’re told, all the people would ‘rise and stand… at the entrance of their tents and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent’ (Exodus 33:8). And there ‘the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend’. ‘Tents of meeting’ don’t have to be physical structures, of course – tents, tabernacles or temples. Elsewhere in the scriptures we read of a whole diversity of… Read More

COVID-19 Briefing 07/05

How does a parish mark the end of a vicar’s ministry in their midst? The people of Solva saw us out of the village with a traditional bunfight and some kind speeches. But it was their gifts which I remember most: a generous cheque, and a broom tree. Whilst I know next to nothing about horticulture, I had heard of a broom tree before. It was later that year when I was reading 1 Kings 19 that the penny dropped. Having heard that Queen Jezebel is outraged with him, Elijah is terrified and runs for his life. After a day’s journey in the wilderness, he’s exhausted. He collapses under a broom tree and asks God that he might die. The lovely people of Solva had, unbeknown to them, given me a prophetic gift. For me, being in ordained ministry is the most exciting, fulfilling and joyous calling that I could ever imagine. I have never doubted that God has called me to serve him in this way and I praise him for the immense blessings that I’ve received through it. But there have been times when I’ve run for the broom tree too. Just like those occasions as a lifeboatman when… Read More

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