Pastoral statement from Rev. David Poyner 18 March 2020

You will be aware that, following instructions from the Archbishops, we have suspended all public services in Billingsley church. This does not mean that the church in Billingsley is suspended. The church building is closed, but the churchyard remains open if you wish to visit it as part of your daily exercise; to pray or simply sit and enjoy its peace (whilst maintaining social distancing!). You may like to reflect on the experiences of past worshippers here. In 1208, all church services (including funerals) were suspended for 5 years as part of a dispute between King John and the Pope. Between 1349 and 1351, around half the population of the entire country died in the Black Death. Some of the faithful departed have experienced far worse than what we face!

That of course, does not make the present any easier to bear. If you have any prayer requests or just want to talk, please email or phone me (or, if you want, post prayers/thoughts on our facebook page, We are also looking for practical ways to help those who are isolated; please see the separate statement about this. The church is here to serve just as Jesus came to serve; we are concerned for physical, mental and spiritual well-being of all.

There are no simple answers as to why pandemics such as this one occur. All we know is that at the heart of our faith is a cross on which God allowed himself to be hung, but somehow through that act, he released the full power of his love into the world and that love will overcome all  in its way. God’s love does not depend on services being held in a building.


David Poyner, Assistant Curate., tel 01562 68638