Being Church At Home

Here in the United Benefice of Shedfield and Wickham, the ministry team is taking up the Archbishop of Canterbury’s challenge to find new ways of sharing worship now that public church services have been put on hold for the duration of the coronavirus crisis: welcome to Being Church at Home.

From Revd Jane Isaac 

Being Church at Home, Sunday 31st May 2020

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

Being Church at Home is growing!

To make sure that as many people as possible know about how easy it is to share in Being Church at Home news and services, why not forward this week’s email to friends and family who might not know that Being Church at Home is happening?  That way, they’ll have the choice of accessing one of the parish websites directly themselves or contacting us so that we can add their email address to the mailing list: either

Revd Jane (

or Adrian (

This is a whole new way for us to be church together and the ministry team really appreciates your feedback and suggestions on how things are going: keep them coming, please!  Some of you have particularly liked the YouTube hymn clips – and human nature being what it is, some of you haven’t liked them at all; some of you have appreciated the variety of hymns old and new – and some of you haven’t, and that’s ok!  Enjoy joining in or scroll straight past the links or say or pray the words to yourself: the choice is yours. 

Understandably, regular churchgoers have asked why we can’t provide our own organ accompaniment.  Well, for the time being the national CofE Covid-19 regulations don’t allow for that because we can’t go into church to play the organ for other than routine maintenance, let alone record anything.  And I’m also aware that for those of us who are less accomplished singers or new to hymn-singing, it’s good to join in with other people, albeit people on screen!  Who knows how things will develop over the weeks and months to come – a benefice online music group perhaps?  

Speaking of singing, here’s advance notice of a Royal School of Church Music special online event planned for Music Sunday on 14th June: ‘The Big Music Sunday Service’ at 6.00pm.

The team at RSCM write: ‘There’s plenty of time to download, circulate and learn the music so that you can join in the singing on the day, as we bring choirs and singers together across the world.

Our theme this year is celebrating the powerful role of music and musicians in the life of the church. Specifically we want to use The Big Music Sunday Service as an opportunity to shine a spotlight upon the faithful musicians of your church community. This specially designed service, led by the Very Reverend Dr John Hall will take place on our YouTube channel and include music by John Rutter, Margaret Rizza, Charles Villiers Stanford and the specially commissioned anthem, Hymns and Psalms and Songs, by Thomas Hewitt Jones.

Each musical item will be sung or led by a different choir, and there are plenty of opportunities for you to sing along in this new way we have developed since lockdown. Whether that is with the windows wide open, or behind closed curtains, join with us on this special day. To find out more and download the music, click here.’

Today’s worship: see Being Church at Home at /

This Sunday the Easter season comes to an end and we celebrate Pentecost the birthday of the Church, and often still known as Whitsunday. Here in the United Benefice of St John the Baptist, Shedfield and St Nicholas, Wickham we have two special services for today: morning prayer, prepared by Revd Ruth and a service from Revd Jane including hymns, prayers and Jane’s reflection – what do golf balls, pebbles, sand and a cup of coffee have to tell us about the times in which we’re living and the Holy Spirit?  Watch the YouTube clip to find out!   

Worship this Sunday from around the diocese

Bishop Christopher, with Revd Sally Davenport, will be joined by participants from across the diocese who all have a role in health care – including Dawn Banting, lead chaplain of Queen Alexandria Hospital in Portsmouth, and Nigel Hartley, CEO of Mountbatten, on the Isle of Wight – for a Eucharist service that will include hymns, gospel readings and prayers of intercession. Watch live on Facebookat 9.00am, or catch up later on the diocesan website or YouTube channel. 

Thy Kingdom Come (TKC) season draws to a close at Pentecost – the global prayer initiative that’s encouraged Christians around the world to pray for people to come to know the love, hope and peace found in Christ.  Join worshippers from across Portsmouth diocese for a special service to mark the end of Thy Kingdom Come 2020 in south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

We’ll find out how our churches and church schools have been caring for others during the pandemic and exploring some of the creative prayer that has been happening around the diocese over the past 10 days. The service will feature different styles of worship, a reflection by Bishop Christopher and bible readings – including verses from Isaiah read by our own Stephen Campion!   The service will be live on the diocese’s Youtube channel and Facebook page at 7pm on Sunday 31st May and available to see later on the diocesan website.  Enjoy a preview by clicking here:

Other benefice services coming up…Ruth’s prepared a new cycle of prayer during the day, which will be available from tomorrow on the parish websites – a really useful resource if you’re using this less-busy-than-usual time to get into the habit of regularly pausing for prayer.  And next week our Book of Common Prayer (traditional language) Evensong for June will be online, along with links to evening services in different traditions. 

And finally… later on, enjoy some out-takes from Jane’s Sunday reflection!  Go to

With love and the assurance of our prayers today and in the week to come, from the benefice ministry team – Jane, Ruth, Juliet and Stephen

Coffee and Spirit – Revd Jane Isaac

Garden outtakes

Hymn for the Day

The hymns we sang at school and Sunday School are often the hymns that stay our favourites right through our lives – All things bright and beautiful andLord of the Dance are far and away the most popular hymns at weddings and older folk enjoy The Lord’s my shepherd when we sing it in church. Hymns are far too good to save for church!  They often have fantastic tunes and great words that can say in a few verses what the longest and most finely-crafted sermon never manages to say so well. And it’s good to sing, sometimes especially good when you can really give all you’ve got without worrying about anyone else listening to you or whether or not you know the words!  That’s why I’m encouraging you to have a look at the Royal School of Church Music’s Hymn for the Day webpage  by clicking on the button.  The RSCM does fantastic work in supporting church musicians, organists and choirs, but Hymn for the Day is for everyone.  There’s a backing track and the words of the day’s hymn: have a go today! Revd Jane.