LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONA is Huddersfield Parish Church’s new blog series that we’ll be keeping updated with posts from various members of our church in the coming days and weeks. We hope it will help you to stay connected to the church and to each other in this time of physical distancing as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Today’s blog post comes from Mike, one of our Churchwardens
Warden’s blog, stardate 4/4/2020 (Day 16)
We have a new Vicar! This is good news indeed.
Revd Rachel Firth was licensed as our vicar last night in an unusual, but very nice short service, which was carried out by Bishop Jonathan using Zoom, a kind of video conferencing program. Those who took part were Rachel and her husband Simon, The Bishop, Archdeacon Anne and the two wardens as representatives of the church.
The service began with an opening prayer and the collect, then a reading chosen by Rachel (which I have detailed below), followed by a short address by Bishop Jonathan. Then came the legal aspects. Rachel had to say the Declaration of Assent, the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Canonical Obedience. The Bishop having heard these then signed the appropriate papers, including The Deed of Institution, which he then read out in full. The service was then completed with the blessing of the new minister.
The wardens and Rachel have had a “staff meeting” of sorts this morning to discuss the plans for Holy Week and afterwards, and how to allow all within the church family to have access to resources which will be useful for the next few weeks. We are mostly using the internet and social media, but are trying to produce some booklets for those who do not have access to the internet. Please look out for these as they will be arriving through the post early next week. We are trying hard to include everyone, although this is difficult, and we ask that everyone who is in contact with others makes sure that they keep people up to date with what is going on and points them in the right direction for information. The most important source of information on the web is on the HPC website and the HPC Facebook page. Do please check these out regularly.
I hope you are able to move through Holy Week to Easter at home. We are all missing the fellowship at church, but are able to have church come to us in our homes through the media and we aim to provide some direction in the lead up to Christ’s Resurrection at Easter.
I’ll finish with the reading from Rachel’s licensing service:
Luke 1.46-55 – Mary’s Song of Praise
And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’