Message from Bishop Philip

Pastoral statement by the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro 

17.3.2020

My friends, I’m sharing this message today not just with the clergy and people of the Diocese of Truro, but with everyone here in Cornwall at what is a very challenging time for us all. 

You’ll be aware of how much has changed in just a few short days. By now you will probably have heard too the call of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to suspend public worship for a season. That will come as a shock and challenge to many of you, but in the circumstances, and following the best medical advice, I’m sure it’s right.

But I want to say very clearly to you that does not mean the Church is shutting up shop! Far from it. Now is the time for the Church of God to rise to this great challenge of our times. I cannot help but feel that this crisis challenges us deeply to be just the kind of Church our God is a calling us to be.

And I believe too that that this crisis challenges Cornwall to be its very best: to express in heart and soul the spirit of One and All.

So to us all in Cornwall I would say – let us be the very best we can be. This is the opportunity we all have to shine, to be our better selves. It’s a great challenge: but let’s rise to it.

And if you are feeling isolated and fearful, remember you are not alone. There are many people standing by you, even if you can’t see them – and our God has not changed: he remains good and faithful and we can trust him and rely upon him. He won’t let us down.

And if you’re working in the public services, our NHS, the emergency services and the caring professions, planning and working to respond in the best way possible to the many challenges we face and who may be very stretched in the days to come: do know that we are cheering you on. We’re deeply thankful for you and are praying for you – and for your families too.

For the Church  – whilst our pattern of worship will change significantly I think our church buildings need to be more open, not less, providing space for people to come and pray and be and socially interact (at an appropriate distance of course). We should use digital media creatively wherever we can and we are working on identifying a few churches in the diocese where live streaming of worship might be possible.

And we need to be the feet on the ground in our communities – identifying those who are lonely and isolated, fearful and grieving and doing all we can, within the constraints that are placed up on us, and without exposing people to unnecessary risk, to show in word and in deed the love of Christ.

Likewise there will be others who will find these times very challenging economically: again we need to do all we can to meet their needs. Let’s keep the foodbanks well stocked up.

So for us as a church this will not be business as usual. But it will NOT be no business, it will be ‘business unusual’. We’ll still be about the business of the Kingdom of God, but in new, different, committed, creative and deeply caring ways.

The big question this crisis asks of us as a Church is this: will we meet its challenge to love and serve and give as Jesus did, for we are nothing less than his Body here on earth? I pray we will and will not be found wanting at this great hour of need.

And to all of us I would say, across Cornwall, in this crisis, let’s be people of prayer. This crisis is bigger than any of us. But God is greater. So we need not be fearful – in the end we can be people of hope, as we become people of prayer: because there is a good future for us, beyond this, a good future that God holds out for us all.

And as this virus is no respecter of borders, I’m going to close with a prayer written by our neighbour, Bishop Robert, Bishop of Exeter. If you’d like to, do pray with me now:

Keep us good Lord under the shadow of your mercy, in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort, knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

And may God bless us all.

Advice about the Coronavirus

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

GUIDANCE FOR PARISH LEADERS

  1. Be aware that guidance is considered on a daily basis and may change. Keep up to date with the latest guidance from the national church, the NHS and the Department of Health:
https://111.nhs.uk/service/covid-19
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-parishes
  • Current advice (1.3.20) is that the common cup and sharing the Peace are permitted. Anybody with symptoms of a cough or cold should avoid shaking hands during the Peace or sharing the common cup. Communion in one kind – wafer only – is still communion.
  • Discourage intinction from the chalice, including by the priest at the consecration.
  • Use tissues to catch coughs and sneezes, throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve and not into your hand.
  • Wash your hands with hot water and soap regularly. If not possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Have tissues and anti-bacterial hand sanitiser (60% alcohol) available near the entrance to church and for the altar team.
  • We recommend simple dated messages that can be posted on social media and used on newsletters, etc. For instance:

4th March 2020

  • Pray for those who are unwell.
  • If you think you might have coronavirus, call NHS 111 for help and advice.
  • Use tissues for coughs and sneezes, and bin them right away.
  • Wash your hands a lot and use the hand gel when you get to church.
  • Sharing the Peace and the common cup is fine unless you have cold/flu symptoms.
  • Please do not dip the wafer in the cup (intinct). You can just receive the wafer – receiving “in one kind” is still receiving communion.

Thank You

The PCC and churchwardens would like to say a big thank you to all those that have helped decorate or clean the church, mow the grass in the churchyard or strim around the headstones, throughout the year. We very much appreciate what you all do to help keep our church and churchyard looking beautiful.

We would also like to thank all those that have supported the church by attending the various fund raising events throughout the year. Without your support we could not continue to maintain and keep the church open.

To our regular congregation, God bless and see you in the New Year.

We wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols

Thank you to all those that attended our service on the 22nd December 2019. The church was beautifully decorated and looked very festive. After the service people were invited to stay for a glass of mulled wine and a chat. The collection went to the men’s and women’s refuge in Truro.

Thanks also to those that helped decorate and illuminate the church.

Reverend Philip Greenhalgh

It is with great sadness that we must say farewell to Reverend Philip Greenhalgh who has decided to retire. He is moving to Dorset to be near his daughter. His last service will be the Remembrance Service at Veryan on the 10th November. We wish him all the best.

Thank You

The PCC and churchwardens would like to say a big thank you to all those that have helped decorate or clean the church, mow the grass in the churchyard or strim around the headstones, throughout the year. We very much appreciate what you all do to help keep our church and churchyard looking beautiful.

We would also like to thank all those that have supported the church by attending the various fund raising events throughout the year. Without your support we could not continue to maintain and keep the church open.

To our regular congregation, God bless and see you in the New Year.

We wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.

Thanks to all those that attended our service last night. We had a full church with people in the transept as well. It was also nice to see so many children and youngsters. After the service people stayed for a glass of mulled wine, a mince pie and a chat. A good time was had.
Thanks also to Louise, Pat and Carol for decorating the church and David for the lighting outside.

Centenary Remembrance Service

Thank you to those that attended our Centenary Remembrance Service.

The memorials had been decorated with three flags:- White ensign, Red Ensign and the Union Flag.  In front of this a vase containing paper poppies bearing the name of each deceased was accompanied by a few white flowers.

Reverend Marian Bond started the service by explaining that there were five extra names in the booklet to what is displayed on the memorials.  Four of these were relatives of current parishioners and the fifth was a young Canadian RAF pilot who died when he crashed his Spitfire into the Rectory field.

After the names of the fallen were read and the Exhortation done, wreaths were laid by the chairman of the Parish Council, Mr David Giles, and by the churchwarden,  then the church bell was rung eleven times and followed by two minutes silence.

The Reverend gave a very moving sermon, telling us about how her father never spoke about his time in WWI.  It was not until many years later that her mother told her about her fathers ordeal and the constant nightmares he suffered.  She reminded us about Edith Cavall, a nurse who was shot by the Germans.  Edith had helped both British and German soldiers.  There was also a brief history of the four men on the WWI memorial.

A list of the men and women who served in both wars but returned was also read out, followed by current parishioners relatives.

A collection for SSAFA and Help for heroes raised £120.

The exhibition on the First World War will remain in the church until the end of November.

Rembrance Service 2018