Church at Home and in the Community

Crofton Parish are regularly reviewing government and Church of England advice regarding the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. As a multi-generational church, we face particular challenges in wanting to ensure that our more vulnerable members are kept safe. We are also trying to keep ‘open’ in some way to be able to keep serving our community.

We recognise that we are all in a “trust moment”, where we need to learn anew how to walk with Jesus as we go through these uncharted times. What this means will be different for each of us depending on our individual situations, but we can be assured of Jesus’s desire to be with us. Like the Psalmist we can say:

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Psalm 56 v 3 NIV UK

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Worship Services

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York announced on the 17th of March that public worship would be suspended. Crofton Parish is following this request, but we are trying to put in place alternatives to bide us over these times. These will undoubtedly feel different to your normal church experience; do pray that God, through His Spirit, will meet with you and all others in our Parish community and help us all to experience His encouraging presence and the fellowship of “meeting” with His local church community.

Therefore:

  • All services at St. Edmunds are suspended.
  • The Holy Rood 6:30pm Ascent and Causeway services are suspended.
  • The 10am Holy Rood service will be streamed online (see below).
  • On Monday and Friday evenings at 8:45 a service of Night Prayer will be streamed.
  • The Thursday morning Communion and all the other mid-week groups that meet at Holy Rood are suspended.

Holy Rood Church at Home – Sunday at 10am Online Service

Each Sunday at 10am an act of worship will be streamed online. This is for you, whichever church or service you normally attend. For the time being the services will be led from their homes by a small group of our clergy and worship team.

The services will be streamed on the church’s Facebook page. See below for details about how to watch. Most weeks there will be a Church at Home resource pack to compliment the service. You may like to download and print out part of this before the streaming starts.

View the Resources for the Church at Home Services

As well as being able to watch live the service will be available to watch later (or watch again!). We would, however, encourage people to watch live if possible to maintain the sense of meeting together as the body of Christ. We will endeavour to make the audio of the talks available as normal so you can listen at any time.

Our worship leader, Kathryn England, is creating a playlist of worship music videos to go with the Church at Home services. These are available on the Parish’s YouTube channel. We hope that these are helpful and assist your time with God both on Sundays and through the week.

View our YouTube Channel

The Night Prayer Service

There will be a Live Stream of a Night Prayer (Compline) service twice a week on Monday and Friday evening at 8:45pm. This is a spoken service giving a chance for prayer and reflection.

See below for how to access the live stream on your PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

Night Prayer has many responses for the congregation – which is those following online. The order of service (liturgy) can be found on on our Church at Home resource page.

View the Resources for the Church at Home Services

If you cannot join live, the service recording will be available on our Facebook page so you can watch it when convenient. We do encourage you to follow live if possible to enhance the feeling of being part of the body of Christ at this time.

Accessing our Facebook Live Feeds

You can view our Facebook Live services either through Facebook directly or from this website. You don’t have to join Facebook in order to see the services live, but there are many advantages to joining so we recommend you do; you can always cancel when things get back to normal! It is also worth joining Facebook so you get any news updates.

You can view the services on your PC, laptop, tablet or smart phone. Click the button find out how.

View our Facebook Live Stream

Families & Children and Youth

Like our adult groups all groups for Families and Children, and Youth are suspended. So unfortunately our Sunday Groups, Little Fish and Family Fun Afternoons have ceased for the moment. We are trying to keep in touch electronically and to provide resources for families and young people. See the resources>>>

If you are not already a member, do join the Crofton Kids & Little Fish Stubbington Facebook group.

Alpha at Home

Alpha is a short course examining the ideas at the heart of Christianity. It’s for anyone who has ever wondered “Is there more to life?”.

We normally hold Alpha at church, but, during lockdown, we will be showing Alpha at Home on the Holy Rood Facebook page, on our YouTube channel and on this website.

The sessions will be first shown on Thursday Mornings at 11am and will last about an hour (although you could watch them later if this is not convenient for you). There will be five sessions starting on April 23rd. There will be the chance to make comments and ask questions whenever you watch.

View the Alpha at Home on Website

To find out more and to ask questions and make comments on sessions email alpha@croftonparish.org.uk

If you miss a session, or would like to see one again, you can do so on our video watch again page.

Watch Previous Alpha Talks Again

Tuesday Night Bible Study

The Tuesday Night Bible Study is a chance to delve deeper into the Sunday Church at Home theme. The studies are broadcast on the Holy Rood Facebook page , on our YouTube channel and on this website.

The studies start at 7:30pm and will last around 45 minutes.

Watch the Bible Study

Most of our home groups are meeting using Zoom and other video conference systems to discuss the Sunday sermon and the associated Tuesday Night Bible Study. If you are not currently a member of a home group email homegroups@croftonparish.org.uk to talk about joining one.

If you miss a session, or would like to see one again, you can do so on our video watch again page.

Watch Previous Studies Again

The audio recording of the study is also on our sermon catch-up page.

Listen to a Study

Contacting the Parish

We are operating a virtual Parish Office from 9am to 12 noon Mondays to Fridays. This is to handle phone calls and emails only; the actual office is closed.

email: office@croftonparish.org.uk or phone: 07856 016032.

Holy Rood and St. Edmund’s Opening

Following the government announcement on 23rd March, both St. Edmund’s and Holy Rood Churches are closed to visitors until further notice.

Asking for, or Offering, Help

We know that during this difficult time it’s possible that at some point you will need practical help in some way and at other times its possible that you will be able to offer help. We have set up a dedicated, regularly monitored email address to receive you requests for help or offers to help. The email is help@croftonparish.org.uk.

Please do contact us if there is something we can do.

It may be that you would like prayer for yourself or someone close to you. Prayer requests can be sent to prayer@croftonparish.org.uk.

Home Groups

Meeting together in home groups is also suspended. We do hope that home groups will continue to have fellowship, and provide support for each other, even if it is through social media rather than meeting physically together as a group.

This might be the time when you would like to join a home group, contact Sue and John Elgie by emailing homegroups@croftonparish.org.uk.

Getting Up-to-Date Information

Crofton Parish are using a number of communications channels to keep in touch with our parishioners.

  • this website, as you are reading this we’ll presume you know about it!
  • the Holy Rood Church Facebook page. Access this in the same way as you get to the service live stream. Facebook is good for timely updates and its ability to notify you when additions are made, making it very suitable for getting information out quickly – something that’s important in these quickly changing times.
  • through the Parish email list. You are on the email list if you feel you belong to the Parish and have joined the Congregational Database. Emails with news and encouragement will be sent out regularly. If you are not on the Congregational Database and would like to join you can complete this form>>> and return it to the office (preferably by scanning or photographing it and emailing to the office, or drop it into the Parish Centre letterbox).

There are some in our congregations who are not online. If you know someone in this situation could you print out the Parish emails and post it through their door? (Remember they are probably social distancing.)

Giving to the Parish

This is going to be a difficult financial time for many – it may be for you, and it will be for the Parish. We understand if you need to reduce your giving for a while, contact you bank if you give by standing order or Parish Giving if you give through their scheme.

The Parish cannot easily make significant reductions in its expenditure, much of which goes to staff salaries and covering the costs of our clergy. We know that some will have to reduce their regular offering, there will not be a collection in church and the income from the hire of room in the Parish Centre is likely to cease. Please consider if you are able to increase your giving through a one time gift or by starting or increasing your regular giving. If you usually put you gift into the offering bag on Sundays, could you give in a different way? See our Giving page>>> for how to make an online gift or to set up your regular gift, or contact you bank to change a standing order or Parish Giving to increase your gift through them.

Baptisms and Weddings

Baptisms and weddings are normally times when family and friends gather together and celebrate either a new birth or the love between two people; these large celebrations are not possible with the current restrictions If you have a wedding or baptism planned at either of our churches we will contact you to talk about the options you have.

As we do not know when the recommendations regarding self-isolation and social distancing will be lifted, we therefore are not currently taking new bookings for weddings or baptisms. However, if you would still like to have initial discussions about a wedding or baptism do email occadmin@croftonparish.org.uk and we can have a phone or email conversation.

Funerals

The Church of England has looked carefully at how we can continue to offer a Christian funeral while protecting those attending, taking and facilitating the service. We will continue to offer funerals, but there needs to be significant changes, particularly in the number of people who can attend. We appreciate that this will be very upsetting for some.

For the time being Portsmouth Diocese (the area of the Church of England we belong to) are involved in the organisation of all funerals; this is to ensure there will always be a minister available to plan and take a funeral, even if the local minister is self isolating for any reason. You will find that a funeral director will initially contact the diocese before approaching the Parish. However, you can are still welcome to contact the Parish directly if you wish.

In summary, the guidelines for holding funerals say:

  • that planning will be conducted by email or phone rather than personal meeting
  • that only immediate family should attend the funeral; but even then, not if they are in the most at risk groups
  • that social distancing should be kept at all times, this includes handshakes and hugs
  • there should be no gathering after the service.

We will try to work with you to try and alleviate the issues these guidelines cause, so it could be possible for those who wish to attend to view the service over the internet, receive a video of the service or attend a memorial service at a later date.

If you are organising the funeral of a loved one, we are acutely aware of what a difficult time this will be. We will do our best to explain any changes or delays which may be an inevitable consequence of the current restrictions – for example, to the burial of ashes – but we are here to support you and to ensure a Christian funeral and burial can still be provided.

Contact the office by email at office@croftonparish.org.uk or phone on 07856 016032 for more information. Portsmouth Diocese can be contacted on 023 9289 9697 by email at funeralministry@portsmouth.anglican.org.