top of page

4th Sunday of Easter, 3rd May 2020

Thought for the Week - Hugs

During the Government at the daily press briefing this past week a member of the public asked – ‘when can I hug my grandchildren again?’ As we move into the seventh week of lockdown this question is so moving in its simplicity and because of the lack of a clear answer.

Physical contact and touch is so important – from birth onwards we know how vital it is to be held. How can we live well through this time without the touch we used to take for granted – the handshakes, pats on the back, the hugs?

So many of the Easter stories tackle the idea that Jesus’ resurrected body was not a ghostly apparition but a real person of flesh. Thomas is encouraged to touch Jesus’ wounds, on the road to Emmaus the disciples know Jesus as he breaks bread and eats with them, on the shores of the lake Jesus cooks and shares a fish breakfast with his friends. Jesus death and resurrection point to a new way of being with Jesus but it still includes a physical encounter.

This virus means we’re required to keep away from each other. And while this physical distancing is a sign of our love and care, a way of saving each other’s lives, we should try not to let this turn into a fear of all physical contact. As we move into another stage of lockdown we will still not be able to freely touch one another. How can we stay positive about our physical selves, not fearing our bodies or seeing each other simply as virus transmitters, remembering we are human beings who need touch to survive and thrive?

You don’t need to be told to contact those you love using phones, video calls and all the other fantastic ways we have of keeping in touch. I also want to encourage you to take care of yourself as a physical being, a body. You might do this with a nutritious meal, a brisk walk, run or bike ride or a warm bubble bath. Also try and get a hug at least once a day if that’s possible and safe. We must respect the power of this virus to damage and kill, follow the guidelines to prevent the spread, but let’s try not to start to fear our bodies or one another. Just as Jesus’ resurrected body revealed the strength and power of love over death, it is through one another that we too can know God’s love, a love we need to show and share now, more than ever.

Revd Canon Rachel Wood


Coffee Morning

Our Online Coffee Morning was a success, and we will be keeping it going. Join us online between 10:30am and 11:15am on Tuesdays. Go to ‘Events’ on our website: to RSVP and get a link to join via Zoom. 

If you don't already have Zoom, you can get it for free on your computer, tablet or phone. You should download it now from

New Daily Hope Phone Line

“Daily Hope” offers music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of a telephone line. The line – which is available FREE, 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind. You can select options to listen to Prayer During the Day and Night Prayer updated daily, and a recording of the Church of England weekly national online service. A section called ‘Hymn Line’ offers callers a small selection of hymns, updated daily.

Christian Aid Week:

Is coming up fast: May 10th -16th. There will be no house-to-house collections this year but please consider donating as you would usually. Our service next week will reflect on the work of Christian Aid and do watch out for reflections, activities and ways to give which will be posted on our church Facebook page during the week. 

Christian Aid are also running a family friendly quiz live on their Facebook page - Quiztian Aid, hosted by Rev. Kate Bottley and celebrity guests - this Saturday, May 2nd at 7.30pm. 

100 Club:

April winners: £50 Julia Jones, £30 Alison Telfer, £20 Carole Lax. Cheques will be issued as soon as lockdown is lifted.

Gift Aid and Planned Giving

Please contact Rosie Tate if you would like a Gift Aid statement regarding the tax year just ended, or if you have any questions regarding Planned Giving during lockdown. (; 0191 297 0869). 

Mental Health Resources

Recognising how impactful the coronavirus and isolation can be to our mental health, The Church of England has provided some mental health resources, including tips for dealing with loneliness, daily reflections on various issues, and links to support providers. You can access the resources by clicking here.

A message from Tina Tompkins:

Thank you to all my friends at St Mary's for their prayers and concern for me over the past few weeks.  I am feeling much better and my strength is picking up, but I am in full lockdown with no visitors until the end of June, so I welcome telephone calls!’

Congratulations Audrey & Norman

Another piece of good news to share, Audrey and Norman Searle are now great grandparents. Their granddaughter, Alexandra, gave birth to a baby boy Louis on Monday 27th April. Mother and baby are both doing very well. Congratulations to all!

Your Prayers are requested for:

Martin Cooper

Enid Havard

Catherine Connors

Lottie and Daisy


Kathleen Dales

Rest in Peace

Ursula Deller

David Moorhead

Ada Avis

Norma Smith

Ken Adams

Anniversaries of death

Pam and Des Fletcher

William Dorey

Don’t forget, you can still add names to the list by emailing or phoning as usual, but don’t forget you need to get the person’s permission before adding them to the sick list.

Do let Dot & Carol know if you or others are celebrating any special event or anniversary so that we can put this news into our future email letters. 

You can do this by leaving a message on the church office answerphone 0191 251 4216 or emailing us at


bottom of page