Dear Friends of St Botolph,
I pray you are all keeping healthy and safe. All is well at St Botolph’s as we continue to work mostly from home. Those of you who watch and listen to our on-line streamed services will have noticed that I celebrated Wednesday’s Eucharist this week from within the church for the first time in many weeks. Last week, the Church of England in London lifted its ban on priests using their churches for services. This has made streaming from St Botolph’s possible again. The services can be found on via the link on the homepage of our website http://www.botolph.org.uk/ At present, priests are allowed in the church alone or accompanied only by a member of our household. This is the first stage in the reopening of churches.
The next stage, stage two in the planned opening of churches, is to have the churches open for private prayer, and as an open place for individuals to come and light a candle or just sit in peace. This stage will be very welcome, particularly as St Botolph’s church is and has been an important place of sanctuary to all in need for many centuries in the City. The Government’s current timetable states that this will be allowed to start from 4 July. This stage will require Government legislation and, as I am sure you appreciate, all timescales are rather fluid at present.
With musical input from our Director of Music, Iestyn Evans and one of our singers, Becky Hardwick, we will have hymns and anthems (recorded off site) at our regular Wednesday services from 27 May. However, this will start with our Ascension Day service at 1.10pm next Thursday, 21 May.
If you have someone, or a situation which you would like me to include in my intercessions during any of our services, please email me or call me to let me know.
Mhairi, our Administrator and Paul, our Verger and Property Manager are well and working from their respective homes. Tommy, our caretaker is visiting the church regularly to ensure everything is in order. By the welcome intervention of the Corporation of London and various agencies, members of our regular homeless community have been found accommodation. It is the sincere intention to try to ensure that those who have been found somewhere to live will not be forced into a life of homelessness after lockdown.
I continue to keep our dispersed and loyal community of St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate in my prayers, looking forward to the day when we can once again come together physically as one community. In the meantime, may God bless you, your families and friends with his love and grace.
Fr David Armstrong
London EC2M 3TL
020 7588 3388