Fr David S Fisher B.Th (Oxon), SCP Rector of Carshalton
9 January 2021
I’m now writing further to my recent pastoral letter and in light of the Major Incident declared yesterday by the Mayor of London. In light of the fact that the levels of infection across London continue to rise, it is clear that we need to reduce contact with others as much as possible to bring the numbers down. The three Diocesan Bishops across London (London, Southwark and Rochester) have been in consultation and last night Bishop Christopher issued a Pastoral Letter to the clergy, encouraging us to move to online only worship for a short time if possible. As a consequence, we will now move to the Sunday Mass being online only; as with the lockdown in November, we aim to have an organ and cantor and a server each Sunday for a Mass which will be streamed from church, live at 10am. We will continue to live stream Compline during the week and I will continue to say Mass in church on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, when the parish will be prayed for. Many places of worship across London, of all faiths, have already taken this painful but necessary decision. We will continue to be open for any occasional offices which may come in, operating within the national guidelines.
To close the church building, even for a few weeks, goes very much against the grain for me. However, with the rising infection rates across London, it does seem to be the sensible approach for a short period of time. We will keep a close eye on the data for the whole of London as well as for Sutton in particular, as well as seeing how the vaccine is rolling out and review the situation every couple of weeks. If you are offered the vaccine, I would strongly encourage you to take it, both for your health and well-being, and also as part of our journey towards returning to the community life that is so important to us.
We have heard a great deal about light in our Gospel passages in recent weeks and with the rollout of the vaccine across the country there is certainly light at the end of this tunnel; it’s my hope and prayer that we will be able to return to a degree of normality before too long.
If there is anything I can do for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. In the meantime, please do share this information with others.
With my love and prayers, as ever
The Church Office, All Saints’ Church, High Street, Carshalton, SM5 3AG 020 3952 0485 firstname.lastname@example.org
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