Coronavirus Resources

UPDATE 2nd December 2020

2nd Sunday of Advent   -  Sunday 6th 10.30am

You are invited to a Livestream of Mass for the 2nd Sunday of Advent at 10.30am  with Fr Darrell presiding.

The service will take place on the website www.zoom.us  or via the App if you have downloaded it.

Contact the Parish office on 01344 884686 or office@all-saints-ascot.org for the link to the Livestream.

A copy of the Order of Service can be seen here on Friday.

If you are unable to login to Zoom to view the service, you can join in by phone.   Contact the Parish Office for further details.

 

8.30am Sunday Mass at All Saints' Church will resume from 6th December.

The church is now open each Sunday for a service of public worship at 08:30 and will then be open for private prayer from 12 noon until 3.30pm. 
 If you would like to attend public worship, you will need to contact the Parish Office to book a place(s). It is helpful to book places as early as you can so that we can arrange seating.
In order to comply with the Government’s track and trace policy, when booking, you will need to provide your name, address, and a contact number. Given the fact that places for public worship are limited, if you do book a place, please do make every effort to attend as it is highly likely that we will sadly have to inform some people that we are full and that therefore they cannot come.  Having secured a place(s) you then realise you cannot come, please do let the Parish Office know at the earliest opportunity so that your place(s) can be made available for others. Face coverings are now required to be worn by all those attending a place of worship, remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus COVID-19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.

 

The church is open for individual prayer on Sunday afternoons 12 noon to 3.30pm.

To comply with government regulations and ensure everyone’s safety at this time please note -

Persons entering must observe social distancing regulations in the church and when entering/leaving through the porch.

A maximum of 6 people are allowed in the church at any one time.

Persons entering must wear face coverings unless exempt.

No food or drink to be brought into church.

Persons are to wash hands, or use hand sanitizer (available in porch and church), before entering.

Please take care not to touch surfaces in the church unless necessary.

Check-in using the NHS QR code (poster inside church)

 

 

Oxford Diocese -  Church at Home service.

Oxford Diocese will continue Church at Home services for the foreseeable future, as there will be many among us who need to isolate for many more months to come.

See https://www.oxford.anglican.org/coronavirus-covid-19-2/livestream/  for details on how to access the livestreams/YouTube services.

 

Advent Compline
There will be a service of Compline online via Zoom on Mondays 30th November, 7th, 14th, 21st December at 7.30pm. Compline is a short service of quietness and reflection before rest at the end of the day, so it is an opportunity to step outside all the pre-Christmas busyness for a while. See the weekly email or contact the Parish Ofice for login details. A copy of the service sheet can be found here.

 

The Men's Breakfast group continue to meet weekly. For the time being meetings take place on Zoom on Saturday afternoons at 2pm. Contact the Parish Office for the Meeting ID and Password if you have not already received them and would like to join in.

 

Youth Confirmation

Youth Confirmation Classes have been postponed until the New Year.

 

 

Music during Communion

We have been blessed with the variety of music supplied by our choir and musicians during our Zoom services and the accompanying images and videos. If you'd like to listen again to these we have made some available via Dropbox at this link.

 

The Posada

During Advent Mary and Joseph will be  travelling around the Parish on their way to Bethlehem (the church). Look out on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/allsaintsascot to see where they are each day.

 

 

 

 

 

Will Christmas be cancelled?

Brian Sibley, author of Joseph and The Three Gifts, has become a regular member of our Sunday Zoom service.  Here he reflects on how even the events of the first Christmas were a source of disruption …

‘Will Christmas be cancelled?’ That’s the new fear. As the Covid pandemic continues to rampage across the world – a contemporary manifestation of those centuries-old terrors from the death-dealing dragons of legend to the unleashed horrors of the monster movie – the headline writers are shifting the focus for our anxiety from the personal to the communal, identifying the threat as being not simply to the vulnerabilities of individuals but to a concept – as invisible as the virus itself – which, in some measure, we all buy into: Christmas.

At its mildest, this new apprehension is recognition of the fact that Christmas 2020 won’t be ‘normal’, won’t be ‘like it should be’. But, then, what ‘should’ Christmas be like? Is it simply an emotional, nebulous concept owing its potency to the romantic imagination of Charles Dickens and Norman Rockwell, to the snow-and-holly imagery of the Christmas card and the cosy, fireside-snuggling lyrics of the seasonal songbook? 

And, if we are honest, how many of our Christmases have been what they ‘ought’ to have been, or even what we hoped they might be? How many, down the years, have had their personal Christmas ‘cancelled’ by war, sickness, loss or separation? How often have even the most perfectly planned (and purchased) festive gatherings been marred by sudden tragedy or petty squabble? And let’s not forget that anxiety and stress about Christmas celebrations are a strictly First World problem and one that, in truth, is no further from your doorstep than the rough sleeper huddled in the doorway of your local, socially-distancing (but still seasonally bedecked) supermarket.

At best, for most of us, Christmas 2020 will be ‘disrupted’. But it is worth remembering that the events of the first Christmas were also a source of disruption – trivial or transformative – in the lives of every person in that tale we know so well. It was the case for the thousands of families forced to travel many miles to meet the demands of a foreign bureaucracy, just as it was for the minor Roman officials coping with the hassles of a difficult job in an alien land.  

And, among the crowd that thronged the narrow streets of that ‘little town of Bethlehem’, there were the momentously disrupted lives of a young woman given the unsought, but gladly undertaken, task of motherhood, and the faithful man upon whom was laid the burden of caring for her and desperately seeking a safe place for the child to be born.

There was upheaval, too, in the lives of others: the inn-keeper given the choice between turning away unwanted visitors or the less convenient option of offering compassion and humble hospitality; the shepherds, their honest, simple understanding of their sheepfold-narrow world turned upside-down by dazzling visions way beyond their ken; and the sages, those seers rich in wisdom, setting out on a transcendental quest in search of new learning at, as the poet noted, ‘just the worst time of the year for a journey’; or, even that unsympathetic figure, the terrified king, sleeplessly pacing the marble corridors of his palace, angst-ridden by ancient prophecies that might portend his dethronement by a mere child.

To all of which must be added the astounding, over-arching, cosmic intervention by the Creator: reaching out through time and space and plunging His hand deep into the human-disordered turmoil of His world in order to change, forever, the very nature of the relationship between God and man.  

Indeed, the gospel that had its birth that night would become, by its unequivocal message, the single most revolutionary source of disruption across millennia: confronting, challenging and transforming societies, cultures and the destinies of individual lives without number.   

What then for us, in this year of our Lord 2020? Will Covid, like the mean-spirited Grinch, steal Christmas? Inevitably and indiscriminately, this Christmas will find each of us where and how we are: rich or poor, well or sick, happy or sad, with others or alone.  

But then that is exactly how He who gave the day its holy name came into the world two thousand years ago and still comes to us anew – not just on December 25, but on any day, at any time, in any place. That was and remains the promise of Christmas and it is why Christmas cannot and will not ever be cancelled.

 

Brian Sibley is author of Joseph and The Three Gifts: An Angel’s Story, available now in hardback, priced £9.99. He dramatised the celebrated BBC radio adaptations of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, and is the author of many books on fantasy films and literature, and biographies of C. S. Lewis (Shadowlands), the Rev. W. Awdry (The Thomas the Tank Engine Man) and legendary Tolkien filmmaker, Peter Jackson.
https://dartonlongmanandtodd.blogspot.com/2020/10/will-christmas-be-cancelled.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

In October 2020 the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, wrote to all the clergy, every chaplaincy and school, and all the people in the Diocese of Oxford about the immensely challenging winter ahead.

Living well through the next six months - Living with COVID-19 will be hard for everyone this winter. The Prime Minister has asked us all to observe the Rule of Six. There are lessons and challenges that Christians can draw from this number to help us live well in these times.

Bishop Steven's Letter can be found at https://www.oxford.anglican.org/six/

 

 

A series of reflective podcasts by Bishop Steven has been published online. A new series of podcasts for the autumn: comfortable words.

The title is taken from the opening verses of Isaiah 40-55 (and also for a well-known part of the Prayer Book liturgy for Holy Communion). Each episode will begin from a passage of scripture taken from this part of the Book of Isaiah which begins with the unknown prophet’s call:

“Comfort, O comfort my people says your God
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and cry to her….”

The focus of the songs in Isaiah 40-55 is helping God’s people to sing the Lord’s song in a strange land. I hope and pray the podcasts will be helpful to the Church across the Diocese of Oxford and more widely as we find our voice again in the midst of the pandemic.


Episode 8   Lamb of God

Three times now, the unknown prophet has sung to us of the servant of God. The fourth song is a reflection on the suffering of the nation and the way God will raise up his people again, no matter how difficult the circumstances or how far we have fallen.

How are we to hear these words afresh today as we walk through the pandemic, as we re-assess our lives and the life of the church and the life of the nation?

Episodes can be downloaded from Bishop Steven's blog at https://blogs.oxford.anglican.org/series/my-extraordinary-family/

 

Pathways magazine

The latest edition of Pathways is out now. Issue 5 focusses on the climate emergency and it’s a digital-only edition, download the PDF or read the articles online here.

 

 

Thoughts from a Cloistered House - Canon Dr Grant Bayliss writes about spiritual communion for Anglicans here.  What can we do when we cannot physically partake of the bread and wine at communion?

 

 

The Ministry team have compiled a Prayer Walk  for the local Ascot area in Lockdown. It's a Litany for an imagined walk from All Saints’ Church down to Ascot High Street then back along Winkfield Road and Windsor Road. This can be prayed while sitting quietly and imagining the landmarks one passes on the route.

The Prayer Walk can be seen here.

Please pass a copy on to any neighbours who will be unable to access the sheet for themselves.

 

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Copies of Sunday sermons

Sunday 4th October can be seen here.

Sunday 11th October can be seen here.

Sunday 18th October can be seen here.

Sunday 25th October can be seen here.

Sunday 1st November can be seen here.

Sunday 8th November can be seen here.

Sunday 15th November 2020 can be seen here.

Sunday 22nd November can be seen here.

Sunday 29th November can be seen here.

 

 

Funerals - The Church of England has produced a simple reflection that can be used at home on the day of a funeral you can't attend. It's so difficult when you can’t go to a funeral, whether for family, friend or neighbour. Many are facing this in the current crisis, so this short reflection has been specially written by a vicar for you to do at home, alone or with those who share your home. You might ask others to take part at the
same time from their home
It is available to see here.

 

 

 

The Ministry team has compiled a 'Worship at Home'  Booklet which can be downloaded here

If it is not possible for people to worship together, the various Church of England apps for Daily Prayer and Reflections are a wonderful resource and unite us in prayer.

Alongside them, we have crafted two simple acts of worship, particularly geared to those who are isolated or housebound, or who are unable to attend church.

Bishop Steven of Oxford has suggested that we say Psalm 23 The Lord is My Shepherd every day during the COVID-19 crisis.  This is included in the text for Morning Prayer on page 4.

Fr Darrell has suggested that, also during this time, we could take the opportunity to develop a pattern of regular Bible reading.  During the Morning Prayer (on page 5), you may like to re-reread through some books of the Bible, possibly starting with one of the Gospels: Mark or Luke, Matthew or John.  You could then read another Gospel or move on to the Acts of the Apostles; and then to one of the Epistles or Genesis and Exodus.

You may wish to pray morning and evening prayers with the Ministry Team. One of us will be praying on most days between 09:00-10:00, around 19:00 and around 22:00.

 

 

Bishop Steven has suggested that we pray through Psalm 23 at 11am each day.

 

 


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