Pastoral Letter from Ruth 20 March

From the Manse

                                                                                                                       Friday 20th March 2020

Hello Friends

When I underwent my ministerial training in 2000, I learnt about lots of aspects of ministry, mission, prayer and of course ‘How to run a Bible study’; however the tutors failed to equip me on how to minister during a pandemic!

So it is with sadness that I write this pastoral letter to tell you that, with immediate effect, our church building will temporarily close and that all public services, activities and meetings will stop until further notice. This does not, of course, mean that the church ceases to be, for you and I are the church and we continue to be a family even though we can’t meet in person for a time.

The spring sunshine is bringing the spring flowers to bloom, reminding me of life in its abundance; however the COVID-19 pandemic has gripped our community and changed the way we are church.

These are challenging times, yet we worship a God who will give us strength and courage to face whatever lies ahead of us.

Having discussed with Elders how various aspects of church may look, we have come up with a ‘plan’, which will hopefully enable us worship God, gather in prayer, care for one another and nurture our faith.

Sunday Worship

There will be three ways to worship with us:

  1. The United Reformed Church produces ‘Daily Devotions’ which can be posted directly to your email address each morning and can also be found on our church website. In addition to this, during this time of church closure the Daily Devotions team will be providing a weekly Sunday audio service, which can be emailed directly to you. A link to this service will also be uploaded to our church website on Sunday morning.
  2. Every Sunday morning I will issue from the Manse a 15 minute video, with subtitles, in which I will share with you prayers, a Bible reading and a reflection. This will be uploaded to the website each Sunday while the church is closed.
  3. Finally, for people who have no access to a computer, I will be sending out a transcript of my short service, which will include the prayer, the Bible reading and the reflection.

You can access all if you wish, and hopefully you may encounter God through these various ways.

As Easter approaches, we will be celebrating communion, but more on that as the future unfolds.  We will also look at hosting an online Bible study after Easter.   

Pastoral Support

I know that you are very aware of our church family’s needs, and over the coming weeks the Elders and I will contact you to check how you are.  However, if you would like to talk to me directly, my number is in the church directory.

Even though I will not be physically seeing you for a while, know that I hold each one of you up before God, fully aware that the Holy Spirit will be my guide.

Prayer Requests

If you have a specific Prayer request, the Prayer circles are now fully running so please contact the prayer circle co-ordinator who will respond to your request.


Even though we are ‘social distancing’ or in ‘social isolation’, we live in technological age, and so there are various ways to keep in touch,

  • phoning (for people who have no computer)
  • messaging
  • WhatsApp
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Church website

Updates will be posted on the church website, Facebook page, and Twitter account to enable the church to maintain contact, and to encourage and support you in your own discipleship.

Your Involvement

As we go through this experience, we invite you to continue to exercise your spiritual practices.

  • Worship with us on Sundays.
  • Pray regularly for the health of the community and all the things for which you would pray.
  • Connect with people – phone them, email, text, just to let others know you are thinking of them.

I have no idea how long COVID 19 will affect our daily activities and church life; however, know that God brings hope to those who are anxious, peace to those whose life is in chaos, wisdom for those who need clarity and love for those who feel lonely.

In these times, I hope you’ll participate richly in these opportunities for gathering and serving, and for the healing of God’s world.

I will write to you if there any changes. I send you my love and prayers and want you to know that I will miss you all.

Until we meet again, may God hold us all in the palm of his hand.

God bless,

Ruth xx

Links to Resources

Church website:

Church Facebook page:

Church Twitter account:

URC Daily Devotions:

Fleet URC Virtual Worship Page (for Ruth’s weekly video address and a link to the Sunday service):

Please also keep checking the Church website for our latest church news:

Click the button below to download a PDF of this letter:

Pastoral Letter from Ruth 20 March 2020

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