A Message from your Vicar Designate

Saturday March 21st

Dear Friends,

Although I haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting most of you, I hope that I may address you as ‘friends’, especially at this very difficult time for us all.

Some of you will know that I was due to be licensed to the Cranmer Group on Monday 23rdMarch, but that this has had to be put on hold since Clare, Esther and I are self-isolating at the moment. We hope to move into the Benefice as soon as possible, but in the meantime I’ll do my best to be in ‘virtual’ contact with as many of you as possible, as your ‘Vicar Designate’.

I know this is a time of great worry for many of us – for ourselves and our loved ones, especially those who are ill – and of great strain on many in our society, particularly those in our Health Service. Our lives look unimaginably different from only a few days ago. 

Like all churches, we in the Cranmer Group have had to suspend all Sunday services and other gatherings, in all our buildings, until further notice.

However, as our Archbishops have said, “This does not mean that the Church of England has shut up shop. Far from it!”

First of all, I know that many of you are already heavily engaged – both through our churches and through other local networks – in supporting one another, especially the most vulnerable. Thank you so much for all you’re doing in this way, extending the love of Jesus Christ to each other.

We’re looking at what we can do to have all our churches open for times of private prayer and reflection, making sure that we follow hygiene and social distancing measures – do please keep looking here on the Benefice website and on local church noticeboards for when our churches will be open.

We’ll also be doing our best to have “virtual Sunday services” over the coming weeks. We’ll start with sermon transcripts, and prayers, here on the website, and then hopefully move to podcasts of sermons and prayers too – look out for more details! The BBC is also increasing its radio, TV and online output of Christian services from this weekend – join in at home. It’s likely more programmes will be added over time but, as of today, they are:

Sunday 22nd March
8.00am – BBC Radio Nottingham – Sunday Worship (led by the Archbishop of Canterbury)
8.10am – BBC Radio 4 – Sunday Worship (again, led by the Archbishop)
1.15pm – BBC 1 – Songs of Praise

And we can all of course pray wherever we are, for one another; for those serving us at this time of great need; and for the speedy ending of this Covid-19 pandemic. The Church of England has already issued some prayer resources; we’ll be putting some more for you to use, on this website over the coming days.

The leaders of all UK churches have called for this Sunday, March 22nd, to be a Day of Prayer and Action. Come together with us to pray, as we hold our nation and world before our Heavenly Father.

I’ll especially be praying at 9.00, 10.15 and 10.45 – the times of what would have been our services across the Benefice this Sunday – and at 7pm, when everyone across the UK is called upon both to pray, and to place a lighted candle in their window, as a sign of solidarity and hope. Do join us in prayer, and placing a candle in your window, at 7pm this Sunday – and encourage your friends and neighbours to do the same!

Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Followers of Jesus Christ live their lives in the knowledge and daily experience of his love and hope for everyone – the light of Christ that can never be extinguished. 

Even in these seemingly dark times, may each one of you, and all whom you love, know the light of Christ shining brightly in your lives.

God bless,

Rev. Tim Chambers

4 Replies to “A Message from your Vicar Designate”

  1. Hi Tim
    A warm welcome to you Clare and Esther.
    Sorry the licensing service didn’t happen, but hope you can move in before long.
    May God grant you patience as you wait
    Jo and Gill Napper

    1. Thank you for your kind words from earlier in the week, Jo and Gill – sorry I have not replied before now, but it’s all been a bit manic, to say the least! I hope that you may have found the podcast from this morning’s ‘virtual service’ (or the written version, should you prefer).
      I look forward very much to meeting you both when we can all get out and about again.
      In the meantime, best wishes, stay safe, and God bless,

  2. Tim

    I fall into the category of you probably won’t know my name but may well recognise my face! I was in the same group as Miriam and Hannah on Real Life last year and we are still in touch.
    I am not technically a parishioner of yours as I live in Screveton but I do[did] try to get to Hawksworth church on the 4th Sunday of the month when I could.
    I am delighted that you have now been licensed , your arrival is an answer to prayer, and whilst you face challenging circumstances I know God has guided you to the Cranmer Group at this time and I look forward to supporting you where I can.

    Kind regards

    Edward Hine

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Edward – I most certainly do remember you from Real Life! You’ll be so welcome to continue worshipping in Hawksworth church once we’re all back open – I look forward to meeting you again there. In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy the Sunday sermon recordings on the Podcasts page of the website.
      Best wishes, stay safe, and God bless,

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