It is with sadness that Ali and Carol in discussion with Graeme have agreed that it is the right time to bring the weekly HomeChurch online / telephone service to a close.
For 7 months Ali and Carol have felt blessed through being able to serve the parishes by providing online weekly worship and fellowship, and believe that it has been a blessing on all who have joined in on a Sunday morning. They also hope that HomeChurch has helped to bring the congregations of St. Bartholomew’s and St. James and Shred closer together, as they have witnessed new friendships and support networks being forged across the 3 churches. From ‘filling a gap’ during 2 national lockdowns when our church buildings were closed, HomeChurch has become a spiritual support for many who were forced to shield at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic and might otherwise have felt isolated from their Christian community. New people also joined our worshipping community as HomeChurch enabled them to respond online to some of the social media posts made available through our website and social media accounts, like Facebook. It has also been wonderful to have so many people, including some who would not normally have the confidence to speak in public, lead prayers, read from the Bible or share their favourite poems and insights.
Ali and Carol, with Joanna and Graeme, will be considering how best to support anyone unable to attend Sunday worship in our church buildings, and would appreciate any feedback about how online gatherings can be part of our worshipping and discipling community in the future. In the meantime Carol and Ali look forward to a break from preparing and leading weekly services and for the opportunity this gives them to discern God’s vocation for them as this wonderful project comes to its natural end.
If you’re interested in trying out new forms of worship online but are daunted by the huge range of materials available, Carol would like to recommend: Pray as You Go: simple daily reflections lasting around 10 minutes in the Ignatian tradition which you can also access as an app on a smartphone or tablet
Ali would like to recommend: Monastic Living: an extensive website run by the Northumbria Community through which you can access a huge range of prayer resources and other material, including online retreats in the Celtic tradition
The Church of England also provides a range of prayer forms and Sunday services which can be accessed from their website and there is an excellent app for reading the daily prayer offices, which Graeme uses regularly, or a shorter version you can listen to: Church online
Ali and Carol want to once again thank everyone who supported them with HomeChurch, they continue to pray that you will grow ever closer to God and keep discovering new ways to learn about the liberating Gospel of Christ.