COVID-19: The Church continues to be alive and active, but our buildings are CLOSED until further notice from The Church of England.
The Food Bank is also no longer running from the Church, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, now operating from the Salvation Army Hall in Cyprus Road still on Tues and Thurs mornings.
Our worship of God and our care for each other continue but cannot be done in this building.
The churchwardens of this church can be contacted in an emergency by telephoning Colin Squires 07903 158815 or Mandy Thomas-Atkin 07530 076208 or emailing email@example.com
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . . . Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
Church at Home –Some spiritual resources during the Covid-19 pandemic
You are not alone St John’s is a family. We pray for each other and care for one another. As a church community there is no ‘distancing’ or ‘isolation’. We are the church, not the building (although we dearly love it). We are ‘open’ and we are still a worshipping community.
Self-care But this is a stressful time for all of us. So we need to take care of ourselves, body and mind as well as spirit. Some suggestions:
- Take breaks from watching the news – too much doesn’t help!
- Do some simple physical exercising – the RVS offers good accessible guidance with videos.
- Eat healthy balanced meals and get plenty of sleep
- Read that book you’ve never got round to, or listening to music, items or plays on the radio
- Make lots of time for any hobbies
- Connect with others, particularly if you need help, on the phone or by email or social media
Please Beware of Scams – be wary of offers of help from those you don’t know. We have had several recently. Phone people to see if they have contacted you via email, and don’t download attachments until you are sure. Better safe than sorry!
A retreat at home Because of the circumstances, we now have time and can leave aside the busyness that normally distracts us from prayer. Where is God? Closer than we often realise, and this can be our opportunity to refresh that awareness.
This might happen by getting into a simple rhythm of daily prayer. But ‘prayer’ does not have to be a formal saying of set words. You might start the day by saying the verse of a well-loved hymn or making a very slow sign of the Cross to remind how much you are loved by God through Jesus Christ.
Have a coffee and look out of the window at God’s world.
Read a passage from one of the gospels, or some other part of the Bible. The psalms are especially good because they cover the whole range of human emotions. Read, stop and mull the words over, let them sink in and then perhaps read again. Speak to God, or let God speak to you in the depths of your heart.
Prayer at home
Christene, one of our Sunday morning Children’s Church leaders has been making YouTube videos which we post on our Facebook page.
During this time when we can’t worship together there are also lots of craft activities, songs, stories and acts of worship that you can take part in that have been developed by the Diocese of Chichester including live streaming of services. A few of these links are below.
In the meantime we wish you all well and pray that we will be back together soon. Take care of those that you love, your friends, neighbours and those who may be in need of our help at this difficult and uncertain time. With best wishes from the Children’s Church team, St Johns
One excellent resource is Pray As You Go with a short input for each day. Based on Ignatian spirituality, it is very accessible: www.pray-as-you-go.org
Perhaps this would be a good time to learn, or return to Christian meditation. The Centering Prayer is simple and works well for many people. www.contemplativeoutreachuk.com
Several people enjoy the daily reflections from the Centre for Action and Contemplation. This multi-denominational group (Director: Richard Rohr) produces a daily reflection: www.cac.org
Most Sundays there will also be something on BBC radio / television. There are a number of national online
resources https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/church-online including
weekly streamed services and daily audio.
Also Videos on https://www.chichester.anglican.org/videos/
Let Holy Communion – the Eucharist -come into your home
The Eucharist is at the centre of our worshipping community at St John’s but at present we are unable to share around the table of the Lord. However, if you can, set aside some time during the time of our main act of worship to pray with and for the rest of the community, together with our neighbours and friends.
When it is not possible to receive Holy Communion, we can all be united through making a spiritual communion. Copies of a form of worship will be provided online. Here is a lovely prayer to help you.
Good Loving Jesus, we know you to be present in the breaking of the bread. Through you, may we recognise God’s love shining on us. May I too know myself to be held safe and sure.
As I cannot receive you through the sacrament, come spiritually to me that I may know myself to be wholly in communion with God now and forever. Amen
Based on a prayer of St Alphonsus Liguori
Morning and Evening Prayer and Compline are part of the pattern of worship open to everyone every day. You can download a free app. Just one thing – sometimes the readings can be very long, so it is quite acceptable to perhaps do just the Old Testament Reading at Morning Prayer and the New Testament at Evening Prayer. Don’t be afraid to cut some of the other responses etc which are optional. You can choose the traditional or modern options. Make it work for you!
The Bible Society offers an excellent daily Bible meditation which is another good way to interact with the Scriptures www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/daily-reflection
The Roman Catholic Daily Prayer contains an Office of Readings usually with an early Christian reading (which can be rewarding) as well as a Biblical one. www.universalis.com
Helpful Phone Numbers and Email addresses
If you would appreciate some spiritual support Deacon Stephen MacCarthy,
Fr Stephen Dando or Revd Elaine Dando are available or if you have any practical needs, to update us on members of the church family, or just want to talk please contact any of them on
Deacon Stephen MacCarthy SSMacCarthy@aol.com 01444 248520
Fr Stephen Dando firstname.lastname@example.org 01273 835277
Revd Elaine Dando email@example.com 01273 835277
and they will get back to you as quickly as possible.
Do also keep an eye on this website for updates to the situation.
Parish Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org
O Great Love, we thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from the knowledge of our deep connection with you and all creation. Help us become a community that shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world knowing that you hear more clearly than we can speak; we offer this prayer through Jesus Christ, your Son, Our Lord. Amen.
Spiritual Communion For those unable to attend the Eucharist at this time
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The Collect for Purity
Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord, you are the bread of life.
May I hunger after the heavenly Food
you give for the life of the world,
so that I may live in and through you, the Source of the fullness of joy; Jesus Christ, Our Lord Amen
The Gospel – John 15: 9-12
Jesus said, ‘As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.’
Take some time to pray silently for your family and friends, for the world at this time, and yourself, giving thanks for the blessings of your life.
Act of Reception
In union, dear Lord, with the faithful who long to gather around your holy table throughout the world, I offer you thanks and praise. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, I ask you to dwell spiritually within my heart. I unite myself to your love and embrace you in that same love. Let me never be parted from you. Amen.
May the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my body and soul unto everlasting life. Amen.
Thanks and Praise
I thank you dear Lord, that in great love you gave yourself for me upon the cross. Strengthen me, that I may show this knowledge in all that I do, knowing that nothing can separate me from you. Amen
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord
Welcome to our Church
We are a community of ordinary people, seeking to love and serve God and our neighbours. Through our worship and outreach, we are trying in a variety of ways to show God’s deep love for all people and to care for those in our part of Burgess Hill.
St John’s is an inclusive church within the Diocese of Chichester and is part of the Anglican family of churches. It is the oldest Parish Church in Burgess Hill, open since 1863 and situated in the town centre. We seek to keep the church open as much as possible during the day and all are welcome to enter for peace and quiet, to light a candle, to pray, or simply to look around.
The Parochial Church Council of St John’s Church are deeply committed to the safeguarding, care and nurture of all who come to our church, particularly children, young people and vulnerable adults. Please click on this link to see details of our Parish Safeguarding Policy and Parish Safeguarding Officer
Our Church houses the magnificent three manual pipe organ built by James Jepson Binns. Sadly, the condition of our beloved pipe organ has deteriorated over time. We have now approached the point where a number of notes are no longer playable, mainly due to wear of the key action, water leak damage and various tonal alterations made since 1950 – meaning the organ can no longer be used for concerts or by external musicians. An estimate from a respected organ restorer which gives an overall cost in the region of £135,000 for the recommended work.
For more information on the appeal and how you can donate click here.
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