Litherland and Orrell Hey Team Ministry
Incorporating the churches of St John and St James, St Paul's and St Philips

 

 

 

19th March 2020

Dear Friends

We are sorry to announce that, in response to coronavirus, all church services are suspend until further notice.
We recognise this is a very difficult and worrying time for many people.  We are not writing so you will
panic or worry but to remind you that we have a God who loves us and who has total power over all things.
When something as momentous as this happened it causes us to stop and consider the things which are most
important.  At this time perhaps the best things we can all do is to turn to God, to ask his forgiveness and to
pray to Him.  Please be assured of our thoughts and prayers.  We are trying to work through this but this is
unknown territory.  Do please keep in touch and share your ideas with us so we can learn how best to serve
and support the community.

Prayer
The Archbishops have suggested that we open the church daily for personal prayer.  We have decided that
all three churches will be open this Sunday between 10am and 12 noon for personal prayer.  During the
week, the following churches will be open for personal prayer:
Monday - St Philip's
Tuesday - St John and St James
Wednesday - St John and St James, St Paul's and St Philip's
Thursday - St John and St James
Friday - St John and St James
If you do attend, can we ask that you follow all the necessary hygiene rules.  Please wash your hands as
you arrive and leave the building.  Please follow the social distancing rules.  If you are over 70 or have
any underlying health issues, you should not attend.  The clergy will continue to pray the Daily Office every
day.  If you would like to follow this, you can download it free to your smartphone or tablet.  This can be
found at www.chpublishing.co.uk/apps/daily-prayer If you do download it, bring your phone to church and
 you may be able to say the Daily Office too.

Communication
We want to try and keep in touch with as many of you as possible electronically if we can't meet with you
physically.  We intend to do this by a few methods.
Phones - We are going to try and connect with as many of you as possible through our mobile phones.  If
you have a modern phone, how about downloading Whats App?  We have set up a Litherland and Orrell
Team Ministry page (L&OHTeam Ministry).  Through this we will be able to communicate to a lot of
people in all three churches very quickly.  If you want to be part of this group please text Andrew on
07510 222374 with your name and mobile number,  The Whats App page will be live from today.  It may
also be possible for us to stream a Sunday service to you through Whats App.
Facebook - If you are on Facebook, we have a Team page Litherland and Orrell Hey Team - St Philip's,
St Paul's, St John & St James.  Look out for information on this page too.
E-mail - we will try and communicate via email too.  For this to work we need to know your email
addresses.  Please can you ensure the clergy lead at your church has your email address?
St John and St James contact Andrew at revandrew61@gmail.com
St Paul's contact Ravi at ravisangra@hotmail.com
St Philip's contact Alan at alan.finch@talktalk.net
Websites - St John and St James www.stjohnandstjames.org
St Philip's www.stphilipslitherland.co.uk

Worship
Sadly we will be unable to hold public acts of worship in our churches for some time.  However,
there are many resources that can help us continue to worship Jesus.  For example:
BBC Radio Merseyside have a worship service as part of their Sunday Daybreak programme at 8.30am
BBC Radio 4 has a Prayer for the Day at 5.40am daily, and a service at 8.10am on Sunday.
BBC 1 on Sunday at 1.15pm Songs of Praise
There will also be live streaming of services from the churches below.  If you go through website
www.AChurchNearYou.com and type in the church name, you should be able to find the link to their
live feed:
All Hallows by the Tower
Buckingham Parish Church
St Nicholas Church, Canvey Island
St James' Church, Clitheroe
St Mary's Kent
We will try and notify you weekly of acts of worship on the radio and TV, and any other suitable links.

General Information
There is a great concern economically that businesses could go out of business due to a lack of cash flow.
As we write this letter, we have been given no advice or guidance from the National Church as to how
we as a church manage our continued expenditure during the church service suspension.  Until we do,
can we encourage you to keep on giving to your local church through this period?  Please continue to
use the envelope system or the direct debit payment.
In these days of uncertainty and fear, we have the unique opportunity to show Christ's love for each and
every person in action and by Christian compassion.  We can do this by caring for our neighbours either
through just knocking on a neighbour's door today and speaking through it, to check they have all they need
while keeping ourselves at a safe distance, or giving people a call or text.  As one of our colleagues has
said, 'Fear breeds fear and eventually distrust and hate.  Yet during these times we can show Christ's
love to be stronger.  Caring for those in self and enforced isolation will not give you the virus, but
will care for Christ as he lies naked.'  These people are people in need.  We as your clergy are here for
you too.  If we can be of help at all please don't hesitate to call us.  Our phone numbers are at the
bottom of this letter.

And finally "Candle in the Window" - 7pm this coming Sunday
The Archbishops have called for this Sunday to be a day of prayer, and they are encouraging us all to
light a candle and place it in our windows at 7pm on Sunday 22nd, "as a sign of solidarity and hope
in the light of Christ that can never be extinguished".  This has caught the imagination of many people,
including many who are not yet Christians, and we encourage you all to do it and to ensure that as many
possible from our community know to do it too.  Please be careful where you place your candle -
we don't want the net curtains of the nation to go up in smoke!

Remember the actions we do to protect people are actions of love.  Keep calm, keep praying, keep
your eyes focussed on God's light and the storm will eventually pass.  God bless each and everyone
of you.  Stay safe.  Stay in communication with each other and keep calm.  For fear breeds fear and
we have a God who has defeated it.
With every blessing on you all.

Rev Canon Andrew Stott - Tel: 0151 928 4817
Rev Ravi Sangra - Tel: 07958 783684
Rev Alan Finch - Tel: 0151 928 3919 Mobile: 07801 836498