Pew News - 2020 March 22

Update 25 March 2020

Church arrangements update


Prayers and intercessions for individuals during the coronavirus outbreak

Church of England liturgy and prayer resources

Church of England Guidance for Parishes on the coronavirus outbreak (March 2020) - this includes FAQs, digital resources, and more.

Online resources for worship from the Church of England


Pew sheet as at 22 March 2020

This is a longer version of our normal pew sheet to support parishioners during the global coronavirus outbreak.

Services and church opening times

Sunday 22 March 2020 - 4th Sunday in Lent  (‘Mothering Sunday’)

There will be no services on the above date.

Church opening

The Parish Church of St John the Baptist Westbourne is, however, open through the day. Visitors are welcome.

Build a cairn

At the moment we are building a cairn in front of the entrance to the chancel - feel able to add a stone!

Virtual service from the crypt of Lambeth Palan

More details and links on this page below in the section 'Opportunities for Prayer'.

These are unprecedented times in which services of worship are suspended. We hope that you will find ways of expressing your Christian faith in the meantime. On this day there will be broadcast the first ‘virtual’ service led from the crypt of Lambeth Palace by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. The service is to be broadcast at 8am on Sunday 22 March 2020 on 39 BBC local radio stations. Why not tune in, if you can, with a whole nation?

Join in prayer at 7pm

Or join a nationwide expression of prayer on Sunday evening, 22 March 2020: lighting a candle and placing it in your window where it may shine within and upon the world’s darkness, at 7pm. (Do be very careful with the curtains, though!)

This is part of a National Day of Prayer and Action to pray for healing. The initiative had been announced by presidents of the ecumenical grouping Churches Together in England (CTE): the Archbishop of Canterbury, the RC Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Moderator of the Free Churches, the CTE president for the Orthodox Churches and the CTE Pentecostal president.

More on the lighting of candles at Chichester Cathedral, 22 March 2020


Hymns and readings from our postponed services on Mothering Sunday

Sadly our own popular 09:30am Mothering Sunday Service, and the later one at Woodmancote Church, cannot proceed. You might be interested to view the hymns that would have been sung on these occasions.

St John the Baptist 09:30am

397  Let us with a gladsome mind
W637 Seek ye first the kingdom of God
A&M 136 Fathers and mothers   (Bunessan)  (which is the tune for Morning has broken)
264 (omit v5)   All things bright and beautiful
475 Ye holy angels bright

Woodmanote 11:15am

86 (omit vv4,6)  My song is love unknown
364  God is love, let heaven adore him   (Abbots Leigh)
95  When I survey the wondrous cross
285 For the beauty of the earth

Perhaps you would like to look up one or more of these songs and read the words, or sing them wherever you happen to be.

Collect for Mothering Sunday (for you to pray at home)

God of compassion,
whose Son Jesus Christ, the child of Mary,
shared the life of a home in Nazareth,
and on the cross drew the whole human family to himself:
strengthen us in our daily living
that in joy and sorrow we may know the power of your presence
to bind together and to heal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Our leading reading for the morning of 22 March 2020 was to have been the following from Exodus 2: 1-10

Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a Levite woman. 2 The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was a fine baby, she hid him three months. 3 When she could hide him no longer she got a papyrus basket for him, and plastered it with bitumen and pitch; she put the child in it and placed it among the reeds on the bank of the river. 4 His sister stood at a distance, to see what would happen to him.

5 The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, while her attendants walked beside the river. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid to bring it. 6 When she opened it, she saw the child. He was crying, and she took pity on him. “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said. 7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and get you a nurse from the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you?” 8 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Yes.” So the girl went and called the child’s mother. 9 Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed it. 10 When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses,[a] “because,” she said, “I drew him out[b] of the water.”


The Rector, Revd Andrew Doye writes

This story has been recognised in recent years as one which celebrates the ingenuity, courage and love of women. That is something we can celebrate with open eyes in our contemporary world, and down the rungs of history.

We hear in the story of a mother who is scared for the well-being of her male child (read further around this passage to understand the full context). She acts boldly, shows great resourcefulness, and is prepared even to surrender her own guaranteed contcat with the child to enable his savekeeping.

We will hear (again if we read back into the story) of imaginative and even heroic midwives amongst the Hebrews, who covered up truths for the greater truth of the love of the ones to whom they were pledged in care.

And we hear of a woman of this foreign land, in which the Hebrews dwelt, a princess no less(!), perhaps a would-be mother, who showed pity and compassion and ensured the safe rescue of the baby from among the reeds. The word for basket here is the same as that for ‘Ark’ in the story of Noah. Again, by God’s grace, a water-borne vessel becomes the vehicle by which God’s saving love is known.

Each of these women was, in their own way, brave. Each of them thought cleverly: we might say, outside of the box of expectation. Each of them was motivated by love: even, love-at-a-risk. For love will often endure risk in order to serve its object.

On Mothering Sunday we honour women across the globe and across the wide expanse of time who have loved, with courage and imagination; who may have given themselves in the cause of love. We honour our own forebears: mothers, and grandmothers. We are thankful.

And we recognise in human virtues an echo of the love of God: that self-giving love; that creative love; that love that exceeds principles, structures, convention, and embraces you and me in something both life-giving and life-honouring. We are moving in Lent, this its fourth weekend, to the greatest expression of Love: seen in the events of Holy Week and Easter.

In these present days, as I write; in which a world’s busyness is put at rest through the rude and fearful interruption of a virus, which has turned life as we know it upside down: we are challenged to the core in many ways. Where will we find resolve and courage? Will love persist in us? Can we continue to think of others, generously, and even to our own disadvantage?  

All this week, polticians have been forced to make a blinding succession of swift decisions. All this week, threat has been apparent. All this week, those who would understand the situation are left reeling, as the circumstances change with bewildering speed.

In such times, we need not only courage; not only love; not only generosity; but a still centre, which can yet be ours in the eternal faithfulness of God. The One in whom all courage, love and faithfulness will find their deepest root and their truest shape, as we seek to know the way ahead.


News of recent days

Schools have been instructed to close to the majority of pupils, although term is not over for some children including those of families in which a parent is a key worker.  Nor has term finished for school staff who are required to stay at their tasks and work with flexibility and imagination in these pressing times.

Shops have faced shortages through hurried buying and the interruption of supply chains. The panic of individual has threatened the well-being of others. Public policy has been hard to come by, and hasn’t always arrived at a sustainable position. And yet good regard has been had for at least some of the people of this land whose needs are great.

In Westbourne, we have learned of groups of individuals wanting to make a difference: to put help and love where it is most needed. We commend the efforts of local groups who are seeking to mobilise volunteers or to express their own desire to help. If you or others around you need identifiable help contact the Rector who will seek to bring this to the attention of those who might assist.

And yesterday, in our own churchyard, we had a tremendous response from people wanting and willing to work hard: to make that place a brighter better community resource; to share human company; and to affirm community in all its best ways. Thank you!

For our prayers: for families of those who have died this week, for those who are unwell, and for those who are particularly vulnerable at this time.


Opportunities for prayer

Making best of the opportunities for prayer in the absence of our regular services, several suggestions for you this week.

Lent 2020 - Church of England’s LiveLent ‘Care for God’s Creation’: sign up for daily emails of and reflections at

The Church of England, through Church House Publishing is making completely free the use of its Daily Prayer App. We may have more access details next week, but in the meantime you can find this online.
- UPDATE: Link to Church of England Publishing apps including Time to Pray (now available free). This links has details of how you can download the app on Google Play or Apple store.

Or why not subscribe to some Daily Reading notes through Bible Reading Fellowship. New booklets are presently available for current subscribers, and were yesterday set out at the back of the Church.  Sample copies of booklets are also available in the welcome area in St John the Baptist Church for new subscribers. If you have any questions or wish to take out a subscription, please telephone Dennis Farr.

On Sunday 22 March 2020, the Archbishop of Canterbury will lead a service for Mothering Sunday is being livestreamed at 9:00am. [Update: it is available for replay on YouTube using the play button on the picture below or at this link (opens in a new window)].

From this Sunday, every Sunday morning service performed by the Chichester Cathedral clergy will be livestreamed from the Cathedral’s website. To watch from home, visit before 10am and follow the link to ‘Worship’. This will direct you not only to the livestream, but provides other information including prayers for personal use at home.

This is a wonderful time for looking out for one another; and also for being positive and encouraging where this is possible. As one of the pupils from year 6 at Westbourne Primary School has reminded us this week: “try and spread happiness wherever you go.”


Help us keep in touch with you 

We are highly dependent upon electronic means for sharing information with parishioners at present.  Please ensure we have up-to-date email details. Please let us know if there are others wanting this service, whose details we do not yet have. Please let us know if you do not wish to be contacted.


News and Events

Not so many, understandably, at present, but continue to watch this space!

Prayer: more ideas in our section above. Do visit the parish church to say a prayer, if you are able to do so.

Rector: The Rector’s day off remains Fridays.

Westbourne Magazine is being printed this week. Copies will be available by the end of the week (as long as the printer machine behaves). We shall endeavour to distribute Magazines as usual - but full details will be available next week. Please support the magazine in this period.

Christian Aid collection - the charity has advised House to House collections cannot go ahead in May 2020, which is a great sadness. We shall be looking in this parish for other ways in which we can appropriately support this excellent charity in the months ahead.

Revision of Electoral Roll  - the churches’ Electoral Roll is being revised. If you would like your name to be added, please complete one of the forms by the north door in church and pass to me via the ‘B’ pigeonhole. Closing date for receipt of new forms is Sunday 5 April 2020. If your name is already on the roll you do not need to fill in another form. Many thanks. Margaret Bristowe. 

The Parish Giving Scheme has moved its office to 76 Kingsholm Road, Gloucester GL1 3BD. Please uodate your records. Helpline: 0333 002 1260  email:

This is a good time to review your form of giving if you are someone who has until now given regularly in the plate. Without services taking place it is clear that means is unavailable, whilst we would in any case prefer not to be handling notes (and coins) unnecessarily and cannot guarantee the continued availability of bank counter services for paying-in. We encourage supporters of our churches to arrange their giving through PGS, who are presently inviting that best contact with them is initiated by email.  (Again, fuller details in subsequent news sheets for those who might find it difficult to pursue this means without further advice).  


Updates on dates for your diary

The date for the presentations is provisional. The other two dates have had to be postponed.

‘Still .. bothering God’  (in one shape or another). A series of inspiring evening presentations on 28 April, 5, 12 & 19 May 2020 at 7.30pm in St John the Baptist Church. Mark your diary and do join us. The respective speakers, all ‘retired’ from their earlier work, will be Revd David Prior, Revd David Lindsay, Rt Revd Ian Brackley and Mrs Lou Scott-Joynt.

Thursday 16 April 2020 - Fellowship Supper at the Westbourne Café –  HAS BEEN POSTPONED until a later date. Sorry!

Chilli Supper in support of ‘Christian Aid’ on Saturday 9 May 2020 - also postponed.


Contacts for St John the Baptist Church & Woodmancote Church

Rector: The Revd Andrew Doye​​​  01243 372867

Rectory email: ​

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