Vicar's Update

Re-opening of St Mary's Church

Dear Friends

It has been good to keep in touch with so many of you through our services on Wednesday morning and now on Sunday evening on Zoom through Pew News and the Pilot during the current Covid 19 lockdown. We have learnt much about new ways of keeping in touch with you all and reconnecting with those of you who have found it difficult to get to church. No doubt we will continue to take forward beyond lockdown what we have learnt about the use of online services.

As you know, the Government is gradually easing Covid 19 restrictions and announced on Friday that churches may now open for private prayer from Saturday 13 June, subject to observing guidance on hand sanitisation and social distancing. I am delighted, therefore, to be able to tell you that St Mary’s will be open for private prayer and meditation from Tuesday 16th June. We will be open every day except Friday. We do hope that you will be able to take advantage of the opportunity to use the church once again.

We have completed a detailed risk assessment which you may find on our website. When visiting the church please observe the guidance on hand sanitisation, social distancing and where you may sit in the church. This will be displayed prominently on the church door.

Sadly, it is likely that it will be some time before we can once again worship together as the body of Christ but let us give thanks for this small step towards that goal.

Finally, we ask for your continued prayers for everyone at this time, confident that with God’s help we shall come through this crisis with increased faith and unity.

May the peace of the Lord be with you.

Revd Mark Philips  -  Rector

Letter from the Vicar

The Church continues to be alive and active, but our buildings must close


Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of new government instructions on Monday evening, I am sorry to say that the Archbishop has instructed that all churches are now to remain closed. Therefore, as well as public worship being suspended, ours and all church buildings in the Church of England are now closed.
 This is a very sad step, but one which is vital for the safety and wellbeing of us all. We look forward to being able to open our doors again once restrictions have been lifted.
Our worship of God and our care for each other continue but cannot be done in our church buildings.

Please remember that we are here for you. If you have any concerns, wish to talk, or would like someone to pray with you, please feel free to call me (01305 262477) or email -

or contact Pene Kennedy (01305 251422) –

While our churches are closed, you might like to set aside a time or a place in your home for prayer and reflection. On the Pew News, (which will be emailed weekly Saturdays to everyone on the church Electoral Roll ), there will be a simple format for Morning Prayer. It is a daily office from the Northumbria Community, and I encourage all of us to join in with it. We shall be saying it at 9.15 every morning, but you can of course say it whenever you like.

Alternatively, you might like to access daily internet prayer resources, such as the Scripture Union’s website

Please be assured that our thoughts and prayers are with you and all in the community.

“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.”

May the peace of the Lord be with you

Revd Mark Phillips


Vicar's Update

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