Church of St John the Evangelist

COVID-19: The Church continues to be alive and active, but our buildings are CLOSED

The Food Bank is also no longer running from the Church, contact supplyteam@burgesshillfoodbank.org.uk, now operating from the Salvation Army Hall in Cyprus Road still on Tues and Thurs mornings.

We are seeing a huge increase in the number of people falling sick with COVID-19. We must distance ourselves from one another and prevent the spread of infection in order to save lives.
Therefore, as well as public worship being suspended, this and all church buildings in the Church of England are now closed.
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 stjohnsbh.admin@icloud.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.”
To protect the vulnerable amongst us, please do not leave your home except for essential trips.

Church Services and all our Clubs and Meetings have been Cancelled:The Spire Cafe, Concerts, Sapphire Stroke Club, Forget me not Cafe, CAMEO Meetings, Bridge Club, House Group Meetings, Pastoral Care Group Meetings and visits, Photography Club, Toddler Group, IT Group, Sussex Oakleaf Groups, Stitches Sewing Group, Lent Course, Bell Ringing, Choir Practice

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.

www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/our-services/advice-and-support/easyexercises-to-do-at-home

  • 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

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

Daily Prayer

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!

www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer

 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 sdandofandf@hotmail.com 01273 835277

Revd Elaine Dando evd.macrina@btinternet.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: stjohnsbh.admin@icloud.com

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.

The Collect

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.

  Find us on Facebook here  

Safeguarding

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

Organ appeal

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.