weekly service

Church services

Patronal Festival

Dear Farlam folk,

Just thought I'd send you these photos of Farlam church set up for worship this coming Sunday at 10.30am (our Patronal Festival).

We have to maintain social distancing so people will only be able to sit on the upright chairs which have red cushions on (2 metres apart) - not on the bare chairs or on any of the pews or benches. 

The service will just be about 30 minutes, or a little longer. We can't sing and we can't have refreshments or hang around indoors afterwards,
but it will be nice to see anyone who comes!

However, as I'm sure you'll realise, the official advice suggests that those over 70 or those shielding should not attend  services...

In any case we'll have a go at recording some of the service and putting online and emailing out the link once the service is done.

At present we have seats out for 20 people, but we can squeeze some more in if needed. We may get visitors from other parishes as the only services across my six parishes on Sunday are at Farlam and Talkin. 

Please do let me know if you're intending to come, as we need to know likely numbers. Of course households can sit together.

Thank you, hope you're all keeping well,


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Loving God,
as your Son healed the sick
and brought good news to the needy,
be with us this day.

Loving Jesus, as you taught us
to ‘Do unto others as you would have them do to you’,
be with all the medical staff this day.

Loving Spirit,
your gift is healing.
Bring you healing into our homes, our hospitals and our county.
But most of all, be with us this day. AMEN

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Most of our churches will be open during the day for people to go in for prayer or reflection.

Next week I will be praying morning and evening prayer each day, and while the Bishops have instructed us not to invite anyone to join us for that, they want us to make it known that prayer is being said for the parishes and the wider world in this way. I will pray at Hayton each morning at 9am, and then at 4pm each day at one of the other parish churches, so that in the course of the week the office is said at some point in each parish. It would be nice to think some of you, when able, would also pray at the same time, perhaps using the Lord's Prayer.

Letter from Edward Johnsen to the Parish

Dear All,

I'm just making sure everyone is aware that as of now all public worship in our parish churches is suspended until further notice - because of the coronavirus situation. The instruction was given by the Church of England yesterday.

We are also being encouraged not to hold meetings unless they are absolutely necessary. We should receive advice soon from the diocese about the procedures involved in suspending the legal requirements to hold APCMs, if we are going to postpone these. As soon as I have more information of this I will be in touch again. 

Weddings and funerals can still take place, but only with a limit on numbers in the congregation to ensure social distancing rules are not breached. I don't know yet what the extent of that limit is to be. Advice on christenings and the reading of banns is yet to be given.

Those churches which are open daily we would like to keep open if at all possible, so they can be used as places for private prayer - providing 2 metre distancing rules are observed alongside those around general public hygiene and handwashing. I will commit to be in each of the six village churches at least once each week for the offices of evening or morning prayer. When I have worked out a weekly pattern I will let you know, and any who would like to join me - sitting at a distance! - will be most welcome. 

I am in touch with various people in our communities who are exploring ways to support those who are in isolation. There is a meeting at Brampton Community Centre this evening, which I will attend and report back from. This networking and support will be a major focus for us during coming weeks (months?). When I know more I will email round again and ask people to let me know who among us is self-isolating, and who is willing to offer support by phoning, or collecting prescriptions, or helping with shopping. It's hard to know how great the need for this will be at the moment. In some parishes it may be a case of church members getting involved by joining in with schemes led by other groups, but in some it may be that we take more of a lead. The meeting this evening will probably partly be about ensuring that volunteers are somehow registered / authorised. There's a danger is this kind of situation that vulnerable people could be taken advantage of.

There are various options for getting worship and prayer resources out to people by the internet. Good place to look for links to live-streamed services and other devotional resources are the Church of England website and the Carlisle Diocese website. I and my colleagues will be considering what we might be able to offer locally via email, social media etc I would anticipate news bulletins, prayer needs and prayers, and spiritual food for thought will all be on the agenda.

Well that's probably enough for now! Please look after yourselves and each other, and hold this situation in your prayers. For our parishes and networks and families there may be hard times ahead. It is also an opportunity for the renewal of our faith and our service. 

'Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord'.

Take care and God bless,




Unfortunately some radical changes have had to be made to the way we minister as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
All public worship has been suspended until further notice.
Funerals, weddings and christening are to be scaled back considerably:
We are sorry that it will be particularly distressing for families to have funerals for their loved ones held under certain restrictions, but the instructions we have been given are radical. Numbers attending are to be minimised. Services that would have been held in church will be replaced by graveside services.
It is suggested that families consider arranging events or memorial services celebrating the lives of the deceased which can be held later, when government restrictions have been lifted.
Again, we are sorry that weddings can only take place with extremely limited numbers: the couple, two witnesses and the priest. No organist or vergers will be in attendance.
Banns cannot be read as public worship is suspended, but a couple can instead apply for a Common License from the Diocesan Surrogate, and the fee for this will be waived.
Unfortunately it is impossible at this stage to tell when these restrictions will be lifted.
Attendance is to be limited to the candidate, parents, godparents and priest. When the candidate is an infant they will be held at the font by a parent, and the water poured with a shell.

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The joint letter from the Archbishops can be down loaded here