Updated 23rd March 2020
Following the directive from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, St Martin’s Church Dorking, along with all parish churches and cathedrals in the country, has suspended public worship for the time being. However… the Church, both locally and nationally, now has the opportunity to become a radically different kind of Church—one rooted in prayer and practical service to the wider community.
The clergy here at St Martin’s Church will endeavour to continue the pattern of daily prayer and the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist, but behind closed doors - this will not be public worship that everyone can attend, but rather an offering of prayer and praise for the benefice, for the town, for our nation and for the world.
We understand that, in times like these, it's more important than ever that we unite as a community and we will endeavour to be accessible whether by telephone, social media or email… our digital channels; please use the website and social media to stay in touch.
Moreover, in the coming days, we expect to be working with the other churches in Dorking to deliver practical pastoral care to those in need during this pandemic, and we will post further information here as it becomes available. So I join with our archbishops in urging the faith community to be at the forefront of providing practical care and support for those most in need during the crisis. Being a part of the Church of England is going to look very different in the coming days and weeks, with our faith lives characterised less by attendance at a church building on a Sunday and more by our prayer and day-to-day practical service to others.
In these coming days we have a real opportunity to demonstrate that we are truly a Church for all… not just a Church for ourselves.
For further information please see www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/news/archbishops-call-church-england-become-radically-different-public-worship
The faith community here at St Martin’s, and in the rest of this benefice, will continue to hold in its thoughts and prayers all who are being touched by this pandemic, in any way whatsoever:
“God of healing and hope, in Jesus you meet us in our places of pain and fear. Look with mercy on those who have contracted the new virus, on any who are vulnerable, and on all who feel in danger. Through this time of global concern, by your Holy Spirit bring out the best not the worst in us. Make us more aware of our interdependence on each other, and of the strength that comes from being one body in you. Through Christ our wounded healer. Amen.”
[Prayer by The Revd Dr Sam Wells; St Martins-in-the-Field, London]