Here is the twenty-fourth of the Church Wardens’ messages to the Parish:
To begin, may we wish everyone a happy Easter in spite of the many continuing restrictions due to the Covid pandemic. As we slowly return to something that resembles normality, may we never forget the sufferings of the many victims and the distress caused to their families and loved ones, and the extraordinary efforts of the medical and caring professions to help them.
As you will be aware, we are opening up both our churches for services this coming Easter Sunday. Sadly, we will have to continue to insist on mask-wearing and social distancing but hope that at least being together rather than communicating via a computer screen will be a move in the right direction. Our Choir and Organist will be there to contribute to our worship but our congregations unfortunately are still not permitted to join in the singing.
Sunday Eucharist services, as on Easter Day, will continue, until further notice, at 9.00am for St Wilfrid’s and 10.30am for the Presentation. Whilst we will not be streaming Sunday services via ZOOM, we will be broadcasting the St Wilfrid’s services live on Facebook, where recordings can also be viewed here:
Our mid-week Wednesday Eucharists will continue, as at present, to be ZOOMed using our normal link at 9.30am followed by our on-line coffee get-togethers:
Meeting ID: 308 355 9074 Passcode: Keepsafe
Talking of ZOOM, we hosted an ecumenical Stations of the Cross last Wednesday involving most of the local Haywards Heath churches. Following its success, we are hoping that further excursions into working together as a group of churches may be forthcoming. Our thanks go to Margaret, Sally and Father John for their contributions towards this experimental but inspirational and significant event.
Finally, we sincerely hope that many of you will be able to join us for our services this Sunday and for those of you who are able to attend Father Mike has asked us to share the following note with you…..
At our service on Easter Sunday we will begin with the congregation outside at the West Door (please no rain) and remember social distancing. I hope that all will do that but if you prefer to take your seat before then that is fine. On the way in please help yourself to a red book. These have not been used or touched for 2 years so all is well. At the end of the service just leave the book on your pew.
I will introduce the service at the West Door and prepare to light the candle from the new fire. After it is lit then I will lead a procession into church followed by the choir. and the congregation will follow keeping the necessary separation. I will sing “The light of Christ” at three points on the way to the stand for the Pascal Candle. The choir will sing the response ”Thanks be to God” each time because unfortunately the congregation cannot sing.
Once I have got to the Pascal Candle stand I will place it, and then waiting until all the congregation is in place I will give the Easter Greeting to which the response is “He is risen indeed, Alleluia”.
Roger will then sing the first part of the Exsultet, the ancient Easter hymn of praise. The service will then continue with the Gloria.
Why all these detailed notes? This year is still very different in many ways, so we need to be clear about how we do what are familiar things.
There are two things that we need to keep in the foremost part of our mind as we gather to celebrate Easter:
When the Pascal Candle is lit, it is signifying that we are once again greeting the Risen Lord and placing Him at the first and centre as we process into church.
Of secondary importance, but still ranking high, it is so fitting that as we return into our church after a very disruptive year we are doing so carrying the sign of Christ alive and present in the world into our church.
I hope and pray that our celebration will revitalise our faith and lead us forward into the next chapter of our church life together.
Lastly I would like to thank our churchwardens together with an unofficial one at the Presentation for all their hard work. We are very lucky to have them.
Finally, do keep safe and we hope that slowly we can start to bring together again our wonderful Church Family.
Arthur and Derek