Being Church at Home

From the Revd Jane Isaac

Being Church at Home, Sunday 9th August 2020

Greetings from the ministry team to everyone and – whether you come to church once a week, once in a while or once in a lifetime – welcome to Being Church Together: At Home. 

 First of all – thank you for your readiness to cope with the necessity of wearing face masks in church.  You’ll be aware that face-coverings become mandatory in places of worship from today, 8th August, and you can read the advice church leadership teams here.  if you’re joining us in church tomorrow morning you’ll notice that those of us leading worship do not need to wear face-coverings, so long as we’re ‘appropriately distanced from the congregation’.  With the first of our post-lockdown weddings coming up this month, it comes as a great relief to discover that brides, grooms and officiants do not need to wear face-coverings during weddings!  The full guidance document can be read here: National C of E guidance about face-coverings

from Matt on Twitter,  22nd July 2020

Church opening times for private prayer  Thank you to those of you who have let us know that for the past couple of weeks the church doors have occasionally been open before 11.00am and closed later than 1.00pm!  Now that the pace of life in the parish and for our volunteer openers and closers is picking up again and with ministry team summer leave underway, inevitably our time schedule will be just a little elastic.  Core opening hours continue to be between 11.00am–1.00pm at both St John the Baptist, Shedfield and St Nicholas, Wickham.

How about a Zoom Café – a kind of online Café Church?  Or a benefice Zoom quiz night? Or a Zoom coffee together?  If you’d be interested in hosting, or joining, a Zoom get-together, do let one of the ministry team know and we’ll look forward to making a Zoom get-together happen if we possibly can! Meanwhile, if you’re self-isolating or shielding at home, please be reassured that the ministry team is especially committed to continuing to making worship as inclusive of those unable to join us in church as we possibly can, which is why the ‘Being Church at Home’ services will be posted on the parish websites for the foreseeable future.

The Right Revd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells
Many of you will remember Peter Hancock, who was vicar of St Wilfrid’s Church, Cowplain, and Archdeacon of the Meon before he became Bishop of Basingstoke. He is now Bishop of Bath and Wells, and his diocese has this week shared the news that he is due to have treatment for leukaemia. He will step back from his role there and faces a challenging few months. You can read the details here, and you may want to remember Peter, Jane and the family in your prayers.

Sunday worship online: Being Church at Home

Sunday is the ninth after Trinity and Trinity 9 readings are used in today’s morning prayer service, prepared by Revd Ruth.  Our online Sunday morning service – shared by those at home and those in church and prepared by Jane – has a Mothers’ Union focus to mark a real highlight in the Mothers’ Union year – Mary Sumner Day.  Mary Sumner founded the MU over 140 years ago and her vision for its members – Christian care for families rooted in faith and action – is as relevant today as it was in 1876.  A short biography of Mary Sumner can be found at the end of the service.

Public worship this Sunday, 9th August

Sunday morning service at St Nicholas Church, Wickham: 10.00am–10.45am (you will be able to come into church from 9.40am).  Friends from St John the Baptist, Shedfield and further afield are very welcome.  Mary Sumner Day is the focus for our worship in church as well as at home, and we are delighted to have MU banners from both Wickham and Shedfield on display.  Musical accompaniment to worship will be provided by John Mansfield, Adrian Jordan and Annabel Shipley.

What else is available this week? 

This Sunday’s diocesan digital Eucharist will be led by the Ven Jenny Rowley, Archdeacon of Portsdown. You can watch it live from 9am on Sunday on the diocesan Facebook page (and later on the diocesan website and Youtube channel). Find out more (and download the order of service) here.

This week’s national CofE online service will be led from Christ Church, Cambridge by the Revd Dr Lee Gatiss, Director of the Church Society (from 9.00am on Sunday at

And finally…  Enjoy this photo of some of the first Mothers’ Union members, pictured at Alresford Place in 1860.   I’m guessing that Shedfield MU won’t be quite so thoroughly insulated from the sun when they get together in small groups  on Sunday afternoon to celebrate Mary Sumner Day with individually wrapped cream teas!

With love and the assurance of our constant prayers for you all, from the benefice ministry team – Jane, Juliet, Ruth and Stephen

(1) Colossians 3.1–4, 12–17
‘Faith is the foundation of family life’ (Mary Sumner)

(2) John 20.11–18
The founder members of Mary Sumner’s ‘Union of Mothers’

Spiritual Communion

A service of Spiritual Communion for use during the coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has made it necessary for the Church of England to suspend all public acts of worship. Using the national Church of England’s recommended liturgy as its guide, the ministry team has prepared this short act of Spiritual Communion for you to use at home.