Welcome to St Thomas & St Mary Magdalene
We will be publishing a message every Monday and Friday from now on: after over a year of daily messages and with restrictions easing, we still feel that some input is helpful and will continue to post new thoughts each week. As before, all previous messages will remain available on our YouTube channel. Keep taking care and remember we are here if you need our help in any way.
Sunday Worship on 2 May
Read the Bible in a Year
Our readings for this week are:
Sunday 2 May : Psalm 102-104
Monday 3 May : 2 Samuel 5:1-10; 1 Chronicles 11-12
Tuesday 4 May : Psalm 133
Wednesday 5 May : Psalm 106-107
Thursday 6 May : 2 Samuel 5:11-25; 2 Samuel 6:1-23; 1 Chronicles 13-16
Friday 7 May : Psalm 1-2, 15, 22-24, 47, 68
Saturday 8 May : Psalm 89, 96, 100, 101, 105, 132
Sunday 9 May : 2 Samuel 7; 1 Chronicles 17
We are Church
Our PCC met on Thursday 4 March and made the decision to reopen our churches for public worship on Sunday 21 March, subject to a continued low infection rate in our area and strict COVID secure measures on reopening. (The previous PCC decision to close for public worship can be viewed here.)
We use Eventbrite for booking into services : visit our Eventbrite page here. We have made a guide to booking places on Eventbrite. If you would like help the first time you use Eventbrite please ring Joanne at the vicarage and she will happily assist you.
We will to continue to livestream our 10.45am service from St. Thomas’ on our YouTube channel each Sunday morning (to easily find the livestream, type, “St Thomas Church Stockton Heath live stream” into the search box on the YouTube website). A link straight to the service will be placed on our websites as soon as possible as well.
All our other midweek activities continue online, as on our regular email bulletin. St. Thomas’ will be open for Private Prayer on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week from 10am – 12noon.
If you have any worries or concerns please contact us – all our details are on the regular email bulletin.
At this time that could be frightening, Isaiah 41:10 helps us if we’re struggling with the present situation. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Yours as always, Michael.
We are continuing to post daily YouTube messages from Monday to Saturday. You can find all of our previous message on our YouTube channel where you can also watch the livestream of our 10.45am Sunday morning service each week. There is an archive of all the previous service videos here. We hope this is helpful!
We have set up an online giving page through the on line giving platform ‘Give a little’ for anyone who would like to help us financially but can’t get to one of our services, or indeed anyone who would just like to be able to give online. This giving platform offers a specially negotiated low transaction rate so more of your money is able to be used for our church. You can find the page here. There is also the opportunity to Gift Aid your donation which increases the value of your donation by 25% at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much to anyone who is willing to support us in this way: your donations will be used to help support the whole mission of the Church to show and share God’s love with all we meet. We endeavour to use our resources to support our local community but also honour our commitment to serving God’s purpose of showing His love around the world, without boundaries. Each year we donate 10% of our disposable income to other charities or aid agencies – both locally, nationally and internationally – where their aims and objectives align with ours and whose work seeks to spread the message of God’s loving care. Our website gives additional information about our work.
We know that anyone who has to arrange a funeral for a loved one at present is experiencing something very different to our normal practices. Following Government and Local Authority guidelines, funerals are restricted to very close family only, in extremely limited numbers. It is hard for wider family and friends who can’t be there, and for whom there isn’t an opportunity to say a proper goodbye. We are offering all families the chance to have a Memorial Service once we are allowed to recommence normal worship in our churches, and we hope that people will take up this offer. In the more immediate situation, the Church of England has produced a short reflection for you to use at home at the time of the funeral so that you can feel connected with the service taking place. You can find it here. We hope that this is helpful, and please remember that our clergy and ministry team are always available to talk on the telephone and support you.
If we cannot come to church because of Coronavirus, we can still be worshipping community in our own homes.
First be constant in prayer. Across our Deanery all the clergy are praying every day at 9.30am. Perhaps make this your prayer time too? Our community, country and world need our prayers for healing: be united in your home with thousands of others. Pray especially for all who work in our NHS and emergency services. The Church of England provides services of prayer on its website every day. To access these Daily Prayer resources, please click here and choose the service you’d like to follow. Each morning our clergy will be using the ‘Morning Prayer (Contemporary)’ service at 9.30am so if you’d like to unite with them you can do so. If you’d like to follow along on your smartphone, there is a Daily Prayer app which you can download (iOS / Android).
Look regularly at our church websites as we’ll be updating as new information becomes available.
You are not alone. Our Pastoral team are ringing households in isolation on a regular basis and volunteers will shop and get prescriptions for you. If you’d like to get in contact, you can leave a message on the vicarage answerphone 261396.
Look out for and care for each other. Not least, we urge you to follow the government’s advice if you are in a high risk category: please act selflessly in the common good, setting aside your own desires to get out and about, and acting responsibly to protect those who are less robust than you. Little acts of kindness still make a difference: you can ring or text your friends and neighbours even when you are staying inside your own home.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
|We believe in God, who has created and is creating, who has come to reconcile and to make all things new. We trust God, who calls us to love and serve others, to seek justice and to resist evil, to proclaim Jesus, crucified, dead and risen; our judge and our hope. In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us: we are not alone. Thanks be to God|
St Thomas’ Church
St Mary Magdalene Church
|Church of England logo reproduced by permission of the Archbishops Council.|
|Our church has adopted the Church of England’s safeguarding policies. Contact details for the Chester Diocesan Vulnerability and Safeguarding Officer and further information about these policies can be found on the Diocese of Chester safeguarding webpages here. Contact details for our parish safeguarding coordinators are displayed in each church.|