Tower Update – We are Still Open!

Despite appearances otherwise, we are still open for services and prayer with Covid-19 precautions:

Wednesday 29th July 12.00 – 1.30pm – peaceful reflection/prayer

Friday 31st July 12.00 – 1.30pm – 12.30pm Mass

Sunday 2nd August 10.30am Mass

Tuesday 4th August – 12.00 – 1.30pm – peaceful reflection/prayer

Tower Repair Update

Repairs were attempted from a very impressive ‘Cherry Picker’ but sadly it was just too short! The base had to rest on the sturdy ground outside of the graveyard, meaning that the arm wasn’t able to reach far enough to enable safe access. It was however, tantalisingly colse enough to obtain some informative pictures of the damage – not good.

We are now awaiting the arrival of an even more impressive ‘Cherry Picker’ from Bradford, which is cheaper than scaffolding! All being well, the emergency repairs will be carried out then. It is hoped that a large project to restore the tower and increase the use of the church in the local community will be under way in the near future.

We are Reopening!

Matthew 16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

We will be reopening for prayer first of all, and then Mass from Friday 10th July:

  • Friday 3rd July – 12-1pm private prayer
  • Friday 10th July – 12.30pm Mass
  • Sunday 12th July – 10.30am Mass 5th Sundy after Trinity

Following this we will continue with normal Mass times – Friday 12.30pm, Sunday 10.30am and Holy Days 12.30pm. The toilet and cafe area are still undergoing refurbishment but the toilets are fully functional and availalble! Please use the side door as the tower entrance needs some repairs and is fenced off. We look forward to welcoming back friends old and new.

Come, let us sing unto the Lord: 
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, 
and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God, 
and a great King above all gods. 
In his hand are the deep places of the earth:
the strength of the hills is his also. 
The sea is his, and he made it:
and his hands formed the dry land. 
Come, let us worship and bow down:
let us kneel before the Lord our maker.
Psalm 95 extract verses 1-6

Corpus Christi, Bible Study and St. Peter’s Update

Corpus Christi

This year is of course like no other, and the Feast of Corpus Christi has to be celebrated without partaking in the Eucharist within church. In this short devotional video on the theme of Corpus Christi (below), the Bishop of Fulham speaks powerfully of the vital role the Blessed Sacrament has in our spiritual lives. The film is a joint initiative between The Society and the Church Union and was made in accordance with the Government guidelines in place during the pandemic. It is the final film in a series of eight such films, covering the themes of Holy Week, Easter, Our Lady, Pentecost, praying for the dead and, now, Corpus Christi.

READ MARK, learn and inwardly digest

Chester Cathedral would like to invite you to join in with a course for 12 weeks at 1.10 -2pm on Wednesdays starting on 13 May and concluding on 5 August.

Clergy from around the diocese, including Bishop Keith Sinclair will talk about sections of Mark’s gospel each week and will take us through the whole gospel.

There are two ways you can join in

  1. You can join the sessions live on Wednesdays at 1.10pm on Zoom and ask questions of the speaker.  If you would like an invitation to be present please contact deansoffice@chestercathedral.com, with READ MARK in the subject line, and you will be sent the link to enable you to connect for 1.10pm.
  2. You can watch the sessions on YouTube after they have been recorded on the Cathedral’s Official YouTube channel here – or via links that will be published below.

Read Mark: Session 1/12 – click here to view.
Read Mark: Session 2/12 – click here to view.
Read Mark: Session 3/12 – click here to view.
Read Mark: Session 4/12 – click here to view.
Read Mark: Session 5/12 – click here to view.

You will find it helpful to bring a version of Mark’s gospel for the session.

The speakers are following the sections from here, and some will use the material whilst others may refer to it. You may wish to read it beforehand or afterwards or simply listen to the speakers.

We look forward to joining with you in, ‘READING MARK, learn and inwardly digest’ this summer.

Update from St. Peter’s

Although many churches will be opening for private prayer this week, we unfortunately will not be able to at the moment. This is because the kitchen and toilet areas are being upgraded to provide much better facilities for everyone when we do reopen. We’ll keep you posted on works and any plans to reopen. In the meantime, we have a list of online resources you may find helpful.

An Easter Service for use at Home

Fr Ken has compiled this service you may wish to use on Easter Sunday at home…

Alleluia Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed Alleluia!

Easter Morning Service

On Easter Morning we begin our Service by lighting the Pascal Candle; then we process into Church and after it is placed in the Candlestand  and we sing “The Exsultet”

 Rejoice, Heavenly powers! Sing, Choirs of Angels!
   Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
   Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
   Sound the trumpet of salvation!
   Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendour,
   radiant in the brightness of your King!
   Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
   Darkness vanishes for ever!
   Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
   The risen Saviour shines upon you!
   Let this place resound with joy,
   echoing the song of all God’s people!

The Collect for the Day

God our Father, by raising Christ your Son you conquered the power of death and opened to us the way to eternal life.
Let our celebration today raise us up and renew our lives by the Spirit that is within us .. through Christ our Lord. Amen

READINGS Epistle Colossians 3 v 1 – 4

Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, you must look for the things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on things above, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. 4.But when Christ is revealed — and he is your life – you, too, will be revealed with him in glory.

GRADUAL HYMN   NEH 103

  Alleliua! Alleliua! Hearts to Heaven voices raise,
       Sing to God a hymn of gladness,
       Sing to God a hymn of praise;
       He who on the cross a victim
        For the world’s salvation bled,
       Jesus Christ, the King of glory
       Now is risen from the dead.

       Christ is risen, Christ the first-fruits
       Of the holy harvest field,
       Which will all its full abundance,
       At His second coming yield;
       Then the golden ears of harvest
       Will their heads before him wave,
       Ripened by his glorious sunshine,
       From the furrows of the grave.

       Christ is risen, we are risen!
       Shed upon us Heavenly grace,
       Rain and dew, and gleams of glory
       From the brightness of thy face;
       That we, Lord, with hearts in Heaven,
       Here on earth may fruitful be,
       And by Angel-hands be gathered,
       And be ever, Lord, with thee.

        Allelyua! Allelyua!
       Glory be to God on high!
       To the Father, and the Saviour,
       Who has gained the victory;
       Glory to the Holy Spirit,
       Fount of love and sanctity;
       Alleluya ! Alleluya !
       To the blessèd Trinity.

Gospel  St John 20 v 1 – 9   ( Authorised Version )

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.  So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.  Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

HYMN  NEH 120

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory, thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.
Refrain:
     Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
     Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.
Refrain:
    Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
    Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.
Refrain:
    Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
    Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

Intercessions:

A time of prayer where you can pray for all those who are affected by the current situation. Pray for the world; for the Church; for our country and Government; for our doctors, nurses and emergency services; for your family, loved ones and friends; for those who are lonely or anxious; for the sick and dying; for the departed; and do not forget to pray for yourself and your own needs and concerns.

A prayer for those in authority

Loving God, in Christ Jesus, the servant of all,
you call us to the service of others.
Grant to those who govern the community
the skill to recognise its urgent needs
and the strength to pursue the common good.
Endow us all with patience and courage,
that we may care for the suffering,
feed the hungry, shelter the homeless,
and sustain the needy.Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eternal God and Father,
by your power we are created
and by your love we are redeemed:
guide and strengthen us by your Spirit,
that we may give ourselves to you
in love and service of one another;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all, evermore.                                                                                Amen.

Finish your intercessions by saying

The Lord’s Prayer (Traditional version )

Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.Thy will be done in earth,as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever.    Amen.

An act of Spiritual Communion

At this time, when our churches are closed for public worship, we will not be able to receive Holy Communion physically, which will be a painful thing for many of us. The tradition of the Church has been for people to make a Spiritual Communion when they are prevented from receiving Holy Communion.
St Thomas Aquinas says in this we should have “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and a loving embrace as though we had already received Him”. You can pray this prayer as often as you like, but most specifically at the time when you would normally be present at Mass.
My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
                               (Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament)

  FINAL HYMN  NEH  110

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
now above the sky he’s King, Alleluia!
where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!  

Regina Caeli

During Eastertide instead of the Angelus
Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven, Alleluia.
He whom thou wast meet to bear, Alleluia.
As he promised, hath arisen, Alleluia.
Pour for us to him thy prayer, Alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia.
For the Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia.
O God, by the Resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, you have brought joy to the whole world: grant that, by the help of his mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life; through Christ the Lord. Amen

Some Evening Prayers

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen.  
                                   ( St Augustine of Hippo  354–430 AD)

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by the great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen  ( Evening Prayer – Book of Common Prayer 1662  )

ANOTHER EASTER HYMN  NEH  112

        1 Jesus lives! thy terrors now
Can, O Death, no more appall us;
Jesus lives! by this we know
Thou, O Grave, canst not enthrall us.   Alleluya!

        2 Jesus lives! henceforth is death
But the gate of Life immortal;
This shall calm our trembling breath,
When we pass its gloomy portal.   Alleluya!

        3 Jesus lives! for us He died;
Then alone to Jesus living,
Pure in heart may we abide,
Glory to our Saviour giving.   Alleluya!

        4 Jesus lives! our hearts know well
Naught from us His love shall sever;
Life, nor death, nor powers of hell
Tear us from His keeping ever.    Alleluya!

        5 Jesus lives! to Him the Throne
  Over all the world is given;
  May we go where he is gone, rest and reign with Him in heaven.   Alleluya!

Happy Easter!
Vintage card from OberholsterVenita & Pixabay
Lego model of  2 ladies looking into an empty tomb - a round lego stone is moved aside with an Angel sat atop.
Behold the empty tomb !
Thanks to Legobible and Pixabay

Live Mothering Sunday Services

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is to lead a national broadcast as the Church of England responds to the challenge of becoming a “different sort of church” in the face of the challenge of coronavirus.

The Archbishop of Canterbury leading a service in the Lambeth Palace crypt.

The service, including prayers, hymns and a short sermon, will be broadcast online by the Church of England and broadcast on 39 local BBC radio stations and BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship his Sunday as congregations across the country find new ways of sharing worship together after public church services were put on hold. The service will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday Worship at 0810and all local radio stations in England at 8am and will premier online at 9am on Sunday.

Churches of all major denominations will also be marking a national day of prayer and action this Sunday – Mothering Sunday – particularly remembering those who are sick or anxious and all involved in health and emergency services. 

Meanwhile local churches across the country are streaming acts of worship or sharing reflections online as part of an expansion of digital resources to meet the need for spiritual guidance and support. You can join in Chester Cathedral’s service here.

It comes after the Archbishops of Canterbury and York wrote to clergy on Tuesday advising them to put public services on hold until further notice in response to Government advice to restrict public gatherings to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

But they made clear that, far from having to “shut up shop”, the Church of England will face the challenge by becoming a radically different kind of church rooted in prayer and serving others. This service, recorded in the crypt chapel at Lambeth Palace in London includes hymns sung by St Martin’s Voices, one of the choirs of St Martin-in-the-Fields

In his address the Archbishop will say: “In all of the current troubles, and they are very serious troubles, looking inwards will only reveal the limits of our own resources, and lead to deeper fear and selfishness.

“Acting in love found from God in Jesus Christ will do the exact reverse. As we look out from ourselves in love, we can enable people to find the place of their nurture, not their historic place but a new place where they meet God and find his consolation.

“As we share our consolation the mother love of God will enfold them. As we love the poor, go and give to a foodbank, call on someone who is isolated, do their shopping, pray with and for them from a distance, we will find that we are deeply consoled by our own gift of consolation.”