A message from Dave the Rector
Updated 27/3/30 with info of take away businesses operating in Malvern and new details of local organisations offering support for vulnerable people.
A video message from our Rector to our communities recorded on Monday 23rd March just before Boris’s announcement of the ‘lockdown’. Some details obviously have changed as the church building is now closed, but the emails and contact information is still operating (A message will be left on the church office phone as to where you need to call instead). Further details in the information below. Stay safe everyone.
These last few days have been extraordinary days and we have entered an extremely uncertain and strange time, which none of us have experienced before. Many people are afraid, there is much anxiety and stress and we are all trying to learn to live lives differently and work out how to do that.
As the Rector of St Andrew’s & All Saints I want to assure you that we as a church – your church – are here more than ever before (even though our buildings are now closed) and are doing our very best to serve with the rest of you, our precious communities and people at this time. Things are moving so rapidly that our plans continue to emerge, but I wanted to outline what we are currently seeking to put into place and we will contunually update this as the support develops.
Supporting those in self-isolation and the most vulnerable
- We continue to encourage all of us to look out for neighbours and care for those around us at this time. We encourage you to use the Good_Neighbour_Network_Card that has been produced by local people in the area to do this.
- The local council and Worcestershire County Council have got some helplines and websites that you can access for further support, and we are directing our volunteers to offer practical help through these:
- If you need local support, please contact Community Action on 01684 892381 or Age Concern on 01684 560666 who are coordinating the local support.
- Good SAM (NHS Volunteer responses): www.goodsamapp.org/NHS
- Worcestershire.gov ‘Here2Help’ page www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help a local phone number will be provided soon.
- Malvern Hills Coronavirus page www.malvernhills.gov.uk/community/coronavirus-covid-19-update
- If you are in the Malvern Wells, Wyche & Upper Welland there is a special contact helpline set up: Tel 07401 289 223 and email: email@example.com and a Facebook group for residents in this area: Malvern Wells, Wyche & Upper Welland here
- We are particularly here to offer pastoral and spiritual support in addition to the work of these other organisations. If we can help in anyway then please do contact Dave the Rector on 01684 565490 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you as soon as we can, and support as best we can within the resources we have available.
- What we can all do is phone someone and keep in touch with people – many elderly or those self isolating will be very grateful for a call at any time, just to keep spirits up. So let us make this a time for really caring and talking to those around us. Once we are through this crisis, we will be so much more ‘community’ than we are at the moment.
- There is some fantastic community support out there which we are very keen to promote. The Railway Inn, next to All Saints in the Wyche, is not only offering takeaway meals for £5 via drive through currently, but it is also offering 100 free meals each week for vulnerable people in our communities which will be delivered to your door. If you are vulnerable and self-isolating and would like to take up this offer, or if you know someone else who is, then please email Allison at email@example.com or phone the Railway Inn on 01684 578859.
- There are several traders in Barnards Green offering take away and delivery services. You can access them the details here: Barnards Green Traders Association
- Other takeaway service in Malvern operating can be found here: Cafe-Restaurant-Pub-Takeaway-and-Home-Delivery-Services-for-Malvern-Hills. Do support out local businesses through this crisis.
Pastoral & spiritual Support
- We are aware that this time will be a difficult time for so many, and the need to talk and know someone is there for each of us is going to be very important. We are looking at setting up some extra phone lines where people can just ring to talk to someone from one of our churches for company and pastoral support. We will let you know more details of that, but for the meantime, if you need to talk about anything then please phone the church office number (01684 576582) and you will be redirected to another number to ring for further support.
- Prayoneforme@standrewsandallsaints.org : We are committed to praying for our communities at this time and want to offer you the chance to email in or phone in any prayer requests that you have in the coming weeks – we’d love to pray for you. We’ve created a new email for this: firstname.lastname@example.org or if you are not on email, you can telephone in your request to the church office. At noon every day, the clergy and many of the congregation are praying (now from our homes) for Malvern, our nation and our world at this time. If you would like to join us remotely, by praying wherever you are at noon each day then the prayers we will be using are here: Noon prayer at the time of coronavirus
- Sunday Services: Whilst we are no longer allowed to gather for services, as a church we are now running 2 services a Sunday online (pre-recorded services). These can be accessed on our new St Andrew’s & All Saints online page where the Sunday services (with children’s group material too) will be uploaded at 8:30am every Sunday morning. We’d love you to tune in and join us – you would be really welcome!
- Why not #TryPraying yourself? If you have never prayed much before there is a lovely resosurce called ‘Trypraying’ which can be download as an app for free here. This gives a 7 day guide invitation to ‘try praying’ for those who don’t normally pray. It might be a good time to try it out?
We’ll be adding more to this as we go on, and would love to hear from you of any other things that you think we could support the community with at this time. At St Andrew’s & All Saints we believe that there is great hope in the midst of this crisis and whilst there will be many things in the coming weeks that we don’t understand or have the answers to, what we do believe is that God is here, in our midst, for each and every one of us, offering his love, his comfort and peace, whatever the next few weeks might hold for us.
A video clip that I have found really useful in times such as these is this clip of Archbishop Justin Welby, who himself a few years ago lost a child, speaking personally about suffering, Justin Welby on Suffering. I pray that in this time, even though we may not find answers to all our questions, you may find you are able to honestly talk to God and find for yourself that ‘God is there’ and ‘find yourself embraced in arms of love which are more powerful than you are.’
I end with the words of Psalm 121 – often known round here as the Malvern Psalm:
“I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
God bless you, look after each other and know that your church is here for you at this time.
May you know God’s protection and is peace
With our love and prayers,
Rev Dave and all at St Andrew’s & All Saints.