In accordance with the advice from the Diocese in Europe, the Church of England, and as a result of the “Estado de Alarme” announced by the Government of Spain, All Saints’ has suspended public worship until further notice. We do not know when this situation will change, but hope and pray that it will not be too long before we are able to worship together again, with our new Chaplain, the Revd Ron Corne, who had the misfortune to arrive one day before churches were closed! Here is a message from Fr Ron, written as he arrived here in Puero de la Cruz.
Last week my plane was held at Gatwick Airport on the runway for 45 minutes there was certainly a feel of uncertainty and rumour, the beginning of something most of us hadn’t truly realised would actually change the face of the entire world was about to take place. Very soon the experience of arriving in Puerto to take up the Chaplaincy of All Saints with a service of Licensing on 22nd March was all gone, simply no service no chance of meeting all the really lovely people of all Saints, no party, no praise no hugs no joy! The church closed, the Island in lockdown and not a soul to be seen except workmen in the park, the odd police patrol and single dog walker. A priest without a visible people and a world so changed that in Venice that waters are now running clear and fish can be seen for the first time in living memory.
The world is a changed place… This is bound to be scary and at first people are fearful of the unseen virus as it wreaks havoc throughout the world. But wait a minute, that can’t be right! We are Christians and we carry within us an inner joy, an inner peace and a delightful countenance as we belong to Jesus, God is our heavenly Father!
Jesus says Matthew 10:29:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care, but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
You are so valuable that Christ gave his very life for you!
Therefore Read Psalm 103…prayerfully and in joy!
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The best way to avoid loneliness and getting depressed about it all is to praise God!
To pray for others as well as for yourself and to have that countenance that brightness in your face as Moses experienced when he met God face to face is to meet God in your prayers and worship.
I will be offering my prayers every morning and evening for the world our homes and including each person from All Saints’ that you may be kept safe uplifted and given what you will need and much more over the weeks to come.
Revd Ron Corne.