In compliance with government directives the St Andrews church building will remain closed until restrictions are eased to reduce the risks of coronavirus infection transmission. But this does not mean that the Church is closed. The St Andrews community continues to gather using internet technology and to hold the community of Alford in prayer during these difficult times. Details of ‘live streaming’ of services and how you might participate in these or other small groups will be published shortly.
May the Peace of Christ be with you all in these stressful times.
Revd Mike Blake
Online worship: ‘From my home to your home’
March 20, 2020
As announced yesterday, the Scottish Episcopal Church will begin broadcasting weekly Eucharistic services from our media channels from Sunday (22 March) onwards.
The services will be held in private with no congregation, in line with SEC guidelines following government advice to suspend church services as part of the national effort to halt the spread of coronavirus.
The first service, led by the Most Rev Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, will be broadcast from his home, to your home. The service from the tiny Chapel of St Duthac, at the Bishop’s House in Arpafeelie, will be available for all to access on the SEC website from 11am on Sunday.
Churches join together in call for National Day of Prayer
March 19, 2020
Churches have joined together in Scotland to sign a letter commending the Call for a National Day of Prayer in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Signatories include the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Scotland, the United Free Church, the United Reformed Church, the Baptist Union of Scotland, the Methodist Church, the Society of Friends (Quakers), Congregational Federation in Scotland, the Salvation Army, the Church of the Nazarene, and Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Taking place on Sunday 22 March, people of faith are being encouraged to light a candle and place it in their window at 7pm.*
The letter asks that we “join in prayerful solidarity with this witness”, describing the candle as “a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, the source of hope in this life.”
The following prayer can be used when lighting the candle:
For all that is good in life, thank you,
For the love of family and friends, thank you,
For the kindness of good neighbour and Samaritan stranger, thank you.
May those who are vulnerable, hungry or homeless, experience support,
May those who are sick, know healing,
May those who are anxious or bereaved, sense comfort.
Bless and guide political leaders and decision-makers, with wisdom,
Bless and guide health workers and key workers, with strength and well-being,
Bless and guide each one of us, as we adapt to a new way of living.
And may the light shining from our windows,
across road and wynd, glen and ben, kyle and isle,
be reflected in our hearts and hands and hopes.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Coronavirus – Suspension of Church Services
March 17, 2020
The College of Bishops continues to follow closely the developing situation in relation to coronavirus. The rapidly changing picture brings about changes on an almost daily basis. The College continues to hold in its prayers the clergy and laity of the Scottish Episcopal Church and the people of Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole.
At this time, the College offers further guidance as follows. It should also be emphasised that in a rapidly changing situation, the guidance that follows must be regarded as subject to any public health guidance or direction, which must take precedence.
Advice issued last night by the Scottish Government is to the effect that church services should cease. Consequently, the Bishops ask that all gatherings for worship, including small gatherings such as house groups, should be discontinued until further notice.
Church buildings can be kept open as a place for people to come and pray. However, if a church is open for private prayer, notices should be clearly displayed asking that visitors wash their hands on entry to the church.
The province is working on plans to make worship available online. The bishops encourage participation in the broader Eucharistic life of the church in this way and emphasise the such online involvement is a form of participation in the Eucharistic community, even though participants cannot physically partake of the bread or wine.