For those caught up in tragedy and disaster, O Lord our God,
source of all goodness and love,
accept the fervent prayers of your people;
in the multitude of your mercies look with compassion
upon all who turn to you for help;
for you are gracious, O lover of souls,
and to you we give glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.
I am delighted to say that we are able to resume Sunday services in all three churches in the benefice. Things will look a bit different, and the style of service will not be quite as it used to be, not initially anyway. But we will be able to sit in the same building and worship together for the first time since March 15th.
We shall return to the pattern of service times we used previously, with this Sunday (5th July) being the first Sunday of the month we will have services in Otterbourne at 9.30am, Hursley also at 9.30am, and Compton at 11am. At the present time the services will not include communion.
Once we have received and digested the Church of England guidance, we will apply this to our local situation and will resume communion services as soon as it is practical and safe to do so.
For more detailed information, please click on the Benefice Service heading above.
We are now allowed to open the churches for private prayer only. Initially, it has been decided to open the churches in the benefice at particular times of the day, so that the buildings might be discretely supervised and surfaces cleaned after each visit. When you visit one of our churches there will be someone in church to welcome you, guide you to an area where you will be able to sit quietly and also answer any questions you may have.
The following are the current times of opening, but it is hoped that as more people volunteer to supervise, we may be able to offer more times.
Compton – Wednesday from 9 am to 10 am, Sunday from 11 am to 12 noon
Hursley – Saturday from 10 am to 11 am (from 27th June)
Otterbourne – every Monday to Friday from 9 am to 10 am.
Please check the News page regularly for updates on changes to these times.
It seems that we have been given permission to open our churches only for private prayer from today. However, we will need to find a way that we can do that safely while following all the necessary guidance for cleaning and social distancing. Each church will need to find its own way to do this, but it is likely that we will offer specific days and times so that the churches can be supervised and so the cleaning limited to where people will go – otherwise the whole church would need to be comprehensively cleaned every day, which is not something we have the manpower to do.
Further progress updates will be posted on the website once we are in a position to move forward.
To join our service for the First Sunday after Trinity, click on the Benefice Service heading at the top of the page and follow the link. The service will also be available on Zoom.us at 10 am. Details can be found on the Benefice Service page.
As you may have heard, places of worship are set to reopen for private prayer from next week.
As a result of this, in the House of Bishops Recovery Group plans are being made to enable us to comply with the guidelines. As for Sunday services, we await words from the Recovery Group. I will keep you informed when I hear something concrete.
The churchwardens of the benefice are discussing what steps we will have to take in each church to safely open for any form of worship, and to be ready with what we need to have on hand. The virus has not left us, and we can’t forget that. We will continue to keep the website updated with any important information.
To join or listen to our service tomorrow, please click on the Benefice Service heading above and follow the link.
If you would like to join a live service using zoom.us at 10 am on Sunday morning or 5 pm Sunday evening, then please send an email requesting the link at .">.
There are various networks of members of the congregations telephoning each other. If you would like to join one of these networks for a regular chat, please do not hesitate to contact William who will put you in touch with a group.