Stay at home, continue to pray, to love, to care for the vulnerable

The Church of St Matthews Albury whose tower can be seen across our city and bells heard regularly through our streets and across our parks and probably on the mighty Murray is closed as we face the calamity of the Corona Virus. The good news is that our Pastoral Care and our mission to our community remains open.

Thank you to all the wonderful organisations and individuals who make up the caring heart of Albury, we know that in our own ways we are seeking to continue to support the weak, keep in touch with each other and look out for those who need our help. Who are we when we are not at home? And, how can we be the Church when we can’t be at the Church? These are questions that I would like us to answer together, and already there are some surprising and practical answers.

The clergy, wardens, pastoral care team, and the many organisations and individuals that make St Matthews the special place it is are thinking hard together how we can best serve the region where we have been such a land mark for the last 170 years.

We are ramping up not battening down the hatches and doing all those jobs that we need to do so that when St Matthews doors open, we can give the city a big hug and celebrate together. The lockdown coincides with the building of a new ramp to complement the beautiful glass automatically sliding door at the front of St Matthews, looking onto the tranquil garden leading onto the hustle and bustle of central Albury, that is currently unusually quiet and subdued.

The great trees in the Church Yard above the bricked paths and pavilions have been trimmed also for public safety this week. The fountain is playing and glittering in the sun and the birds singing looking forward to the future.

In the meantime, we are taking the best precautions and thank the Government, federal, state and local, and the Diocese of Wangaratta and our new Bishop for their many practical suggestions and expressions of concern.

Our Grapevine, newsletters, website, facebook page, media announcements and new digital street sign are always keeping in touch, but let’s not forget the good old fashioned telephone, boiling a pot, pouring a cuppa, and popping a cork at an arranged time of day, and sharing the experience with friends over the phone.

Songs of Praise on ABC TV on Sundays at 11.30 am to 12 noon is available to view. There are a number of Churches that are ‘live streaming’ Church or
‘videoing’ Church services and making them available on the internet.

Christ Church Cathedral Newcastle
St John’s Cathedral Brisbane
St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne
St George’s Cathedral Perth
St Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney

Let us pray that God will guide us to be imaginative and creative courageous and kind that we may grow as human beings ,value the
people around us and nurture ourselves each other in faith hope and love.

May we continue to serve the neediest in our communities, keeping in contact to avoid loneliness and unhelpful isolation.

Let us pray that we will emerge from this time a different church–one that has learned new ways to be a blessing to ourselves and others.

We are always available and will help in any way we can, but there are some ways you could help. We know that you will want to continue to support St Matthews but we are concerned for everyone’s welfare as the days drag on, and life becomes more complicated being in lockdown.

Can you please ask your children, grandchildren or younger friends to help sort out a direct debit from your bank into St Matthews account, so that you don’t need to worry about stockpiling envelopes and worry about getting them into the office without catching a virus or the contents being stolen.

There are so many stresses at the moment that if you can take away that stress, you will have the peace of knowing that you are helping us to keep active in the community, helping to secure a future but also keeping yourself and others safe.

Bank details are as follows:
St Matthews Church Westpac
BSB: 032736
Account No: 392189

For any assistance, please call Fr Peter on 0417 886 028.
Best Wishes to us all, from us all.
Fr Peter and St Matthews


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