Lockdown 3 - A Letter from Simon

12 January 2021

Dear Friends

I do hope that despite the current challenging times we face, and the sense of both anxiety and hope that many of us live with, you managed to celebrate the birth of our Saviour and the coming of a New Year and the hope that that brings – albeit in quieter ways than perhaps originally planned for.

At this current time, with, on the one hand the hope of all of us being vaccinated, and on the other the rapidly spreading new strain of Covid-19 and intense pressure on the NHS, I am very much reminded of the verse from St John’s gospel much read over Christmas, ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.’

As Christians we are at all times a people of hope, certain that God is in control and that all shall be well – that He cannot be overcome.  That truth does not however mean that we should not take responsibility for our actions and listen to the advice of others.  With this thought in mind the Churchwardens, myself and the Worship Team met today to review current circumstances, Government and Church of England advice and the thoughts and feelings of members of our community.  As a result of these discussions and much thought and prayer the difficult decision has been taken to close our church as from today to ‘live’ services with worship continuing only online.

Primarily this decision was made to ensure that the church was following the Government advice to ‘stay at home’ thereby reducing to an absolute minimum the possibility of our meeting in person being a cause of the spreading of the new highly contagious version of Covid-19 and causing harm to those most vulnerable to infection.  We will review this decision when the level of Lockdown changes from National Lockdown back to a tiering system.

The digital forms of worship we offer will continue as they did in the last National Lockdown i.e. a Thursday 10am Communion and Sunday 9am and 10:30am services.  A full programme of Lent and Easter services will also be published shortly which can be held online or ‘live’ should circumstances permit.  If for any reason you struggle to access our digital forms of worship do please contact the Church Office and we will gladly provide any necessary help that we can to help ensure that you can join us online or via the telephone.

In addition should this closure of church to ‘live’ services leave you feeling particularly isolated or alone please do contact me or the Church Office – we have a whole team of people, through the wonderful work of Brockcare, who will gladly help.

St Nicholas’ will remain open - with thanks to those who unlock, lock and clean daily - for private prayer and a holy space of quiet reflection and solace.

Thank you in advance for your patience, understanding support and prayers in these difficult days – they are all very much appreciated.

With love

Simon Newham
(Vicar of Brockenhurst)