Archive for Covid 19

Resources while church buildings are closed

Although our church buildings have been closed, the Church remains alive and active in our homes and communities. As we explore the best way to gradually open church buildings in line with current guidance, the following resources will continue to be available…

  • In Tideswell Parish, we pray for our communities, nation and wider world at 12noon every day. Join in from your own home, a simple order of service is available if it would help you.
  • Text prayer requests to 07976 920603, these will be included in daily prayer at the Vicarage
  • Explore reflections on Easter themes on our Facebook Page (St John the Baptist Church, Tideswell).
  • Find out more about our weekly Zoom Service for Tideswell Parish held at 12noon each Sunday.
  • Details of other local, online services can be found at  
  • Prayer and worship resources are also available at especially if you are isolating at home.
  • Ring 0800 8048044 for a free telephone line which offers favourite hymns and prayers with a short daily reflection.
  • Don’t forget resources on the BBC, including Songs of Praise.

Contact the Vicarage for more information (01298 871317) or


Covid 19 Update: Tideswell Church Open Daily

Following recent government guidance, St John The Baptist Church in Tideswell image006will now open every day from 10am-4pm. A welcoming space for anyone needing sanctuary, a quiet moment or private prayer.  Please follow the directions in the building. 

Private prayer poster

Notes from a wandering Curate!

I am delighted to be writing this letter having just started as Church of England Curate in the Parish of Tideswell, as Simon mentioned in last month’s edition.  Firstly I would like to thank everyone who has been so welcoming, and comment what a beautiful area this is, both the people and the landscape.  By the time you read this I hope to have a place to live in Tideswell, albeit still a temporary residence, and be able to meet even more of you and share more fully in village life.

These are certainly turbulent times. I am lucky enough to be starting a new occupation, but others will not be so lucky and may lose their jobs as the recession bites.  Some of us will be mourning relatives who have sadly died, or regretting lost opportunities to see those we love but from whom we have to remain separate, or feeling downcast by the loss of long planned holidays. 

Reflecting on psalm 137, Bishop Libby wrote recently ‘Those in exile so long ago learnt how to be faithful in new ways, and to be ready for when they could return to places they had loved – not back to how things were before, but taking with them the insights and revelations of God’s purposes discerned in a hard place.’  In church life we continue to take small steps out of lockdown into a ‘new normal’.  The virus is still with us, and will be for some time, so we are all affected by the precautions which are led by what has been learnt in the hard months since March.  We must follow public health advice, and that includes wearing a mask in church (unless we are unable to do so).  We do this not because others are a danger to us but because we might, directly or indirectly, be a danger to them.  Looking after our neighbour by trying to limit transmission has other consequences.  For example it means that, since we have returned to a 09:30 Sunday service at St John the Baptist every Sunday, in order to maintain the safety gap of 72 hours between services, we can only hold funerals (or other services) in the main body of the church on Wednesdays, or on Thursday mornings.  (The other churches in the parish are not open for private prayer and do not have services so frequently, so remain more flexible).

In the UK we have not faced an epidemic in our lifetime – or at least not unless we were born before 1919, but epidemics are not new. In fact they have been around from the beginning of Christianity.  In his book ‘The Rise of Christianity’, Rodney Stark mentions a number of epidemics in the Roman empire such as the plague in the 3rd century in which, at its height, five thousand people a day died in the city of Rome alone.  Members of the new Christian religion had a different take on morality from the pagan and other world philosophies around them. They knew they had a God who loved them and wanted them to love others. From love came a desire to serve, and they cared for all their neighbours, Christian and pagan alike, rather than running for the hills to escape death, as many of their contemporaries did..  Cyprian, the Bishop of Carthage of the time wrote: ‘Heedless of danger …[Christians] took charge of the sick, attending to their every need.’  Stark estimates that the death rate in Christian cities was about half that of other cities.  This is inspiring but, please note, I am not suggesting that we should be heedless of danger and flout sensible precautions against the spread of infection.  However I am suggesting that with the Christian message of love we have something far more infectious than COVID 19.  We can proclaim our faith by showing in our daily lives the joy, the peace and the love which comes from our Christian hope.

May peace be with you, Nicola