Parish Letter

The Parish of St Peter & St Mary New Fishbourne
and the Parish of St Mary the Virgin Apuldram

The Revd Canon Moira Wickens
Rector of Fishbourne and Priest in Charge of Apuldram
The Rectory, 31 Caspian Close, Fishbourne, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 8AY
Rectory Tel (01243) 920346 E-mail
Church Office (01243) 784283 E-mail

5th January 2021

Update from the Rectory
Dear all,

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on Monday, you will know that once again we are now in another National lockdown. The new variant of Covid is proving to be extremely contagious, the rate of infection grows day by day and without doubt is very serious. Even the strict tier 4 restrictions have failed to get it under control.

I am aware that many of you are feeling anxious and afraid, possibly more so than during the first lockdown, and that is perfectly understandable and ok. Please be assured that you are not alone, and that you are all in my prayers every day. One of the ways that can help us cope with whatever we might be feeling is to voice the emotion, either to ourselves or to a trusted friend. This will ensure that we are not overwhelmed, and although it may not change how we feel it does help us to feel more in control rather than the fear control us.

We are all in this together, and like before we will get through these tough few weeks, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. But for now we are asked to continue caring for each other, and ensure that we ourselves and those around us are kept safe, which means we must all do our bit.

In the light of this current lockdown, and in consultation with members of the PCC, I have made the very difficult decision to suspend services in church for the time being. Surprisingly, given that we are told to stay at home, worship is allowed to continue, but only with further restrictions put into place, people would have to be kept at an even greater distance from one another and all doors would have to be wide open to name but two.

Added to this, those who are classed as vulnerable, (i.e. over a certain age), or those with underlying health conditions are advised not to attend services, (I’m afraid I fall into this group).

Our churches are so beautiful and intimate, but that is where the difficulty arises. You have all been amazing in recent months so that we have managed to create and maintain a safe place, but the lack of space in each building means that we cannot fully adhere to the new restrictions. I know some of you will feel very sad about this, but my main priority is as always to keep you safe, I would rather endure a few tough weeks than to put any of you at risk so that in the fulness of time we can truly celebrate together. Therefore, because we cannot open safely then we will sadly close the doors for a while, continuing with our online services, and if you need to talk, please call me on 01243 920346.

With much love and prayers,