Keeping worship going while social distancing
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is rapidly changing the world we live in. It’s an extraordinary time and each of us will have our own response to it. Amidst the disruption and chaos we can hold onto one truth: “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46).
Church services held within our church buildings may be cancelled for the foreseeable future, but that does not mean church is cancelled. Church is wherever we set it up and for the time being we will be online.
Every Sunday we host two services online for you. The 9.30am service is a traditional service with hymns for you to sing along to, so please warm up your vocal chords! The 11am service is a contemporary style with songs led by one of our worship leaders and a time of prayer.
You can also listen to the traditional service by tuning-in to the Faith Matters programme on Marlow FM at 9.15am on Sunday mornings. Tune-in at 97.5FM or find it online.
Please also join us for a virtual coffee after either of our services. Every week we have series of breakout rooms using the Zoom platform that cover a range of themes – church specific, newcomers, parents etc. When the service is over, just go to the link provided at the end or click here. Everyone is welcome! Unfortunately you do have to provide your own coffee though, sorry!
All services are available to view after the event in case you cannot see them at the advertised times. You can find them and previous services on our sermon talks page.
In accordance with the latest government guidance, we recently opened the church in Marlow Bottom for private prayer. Having learned from this, we are now able to open some of our other buildings. All Saints Marlow, St Mary’s in Marlow Bottom and St John the Baptist Church in Little Marlow will now be open for private prayer on the following days and times.
All Saints Bisham
Sundays, from 3-5pm
All Saints Marlow
Tuesdays, from 10.30am-1.30pm
Fridays, from 4-7pm
St Mary’s, Marlow Bottom (Lantern Community Church)
Wednesdays, from 4-7pm
Saturdays, from 9-11am
St John the Baptist, Little Marlow
Thursdays, from 11am-1pm
Sundays, from 2.30-4.30pm
If you would like to, please come to any of our church buildings to pray within these set times. If you visit any of our church buildings to pray, please follow the instructions closely for your own safety and for others.
During July, we will hold some public services in the existing times when our churches are already open for private prayer. These times are displayed in the table at the end of this email. The reason for doing this is the onerous cleaning regime involved in opening our buildings.
Our first two public services of worship will be on Tuesday 7 July at 10.30am in All Saints Marlow and on Wednesday 8 July at 6.15pm at the Lantern (St Mary’s). These services will be short, simple, liturgical services of prayer without taking holy communion.
Since our church buildings were closed at the end of March and we have been holding services online, our income from Sunday collections has declined to zero, not to mention the loss of fees from renting buildings and hosting weddings. This has left a gap in our finances for 2020. If you were a regular giver but not signed up to one of our giving schemes then please do consider doing so now.
If you’re enjoying the streamed services, but missing the more prolonged times of informal sung worship, this is for you. Join Gill and the band on Wednesday at 11am for a different worship song each week or on Wednesday at 6pm as she leads us for 30 minutes of live worship from her lounge. Visit our YouTube channel to watch them live or on demand.
Three ways to stay connected to the church family through the week:
Beginning of the day
Download lectio 365 to your phones or ipad. It is a devotional app that we can listen to together.
Middle of the day
End of the day
Have you ever tried compline? It’s also known as night prayer and is a simple traditional way to end the day in words that will quickly become familiar. Visit the Church of England website to find out more.
If you’ve missed any of our daily devotionals, you can download or stream an audio version of them on demand through a range of podcast channels using the links below. We also plan to add Sunday services to our podcast channels.
We think that Small Groups are central to the community life of our church outside of Sunday gatherings, currently virtual gatherings. We believe scripture teaches that the Christian life works better in community. Small Groups are also an important place where we can relate our faith to all of our lives, the things we do and face every day.
The brochure for the next term, including what the different Small Groups are, when the take place and how to join, can be downloaded here.
There are a variety of groups and actvities taking place for children and young people. At the moment we are running:
We are also posting a selection of resources on our children’s work Facebook page.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, we will continue to care for those who are in need – especially our older members and those with health conditions. If you are not sure who to contact or how to access pastoral support, we have set up a special hotline, just phone 07492 562366 or email email@example.com.