Message from Nick Garrard, Rector, on church closures and new arrangements


From March 24th all our church buildings will be closed until further notice. We are complying with Government instructions and the Bishop’s request with great sadness but also determination to help protect our most vulnerable people and courageous, compassionate NHS workers. Although churches cannot be visited or used for services, our churchyards remain open as usual. 

We have received a wonderful response to the Mothering Sunday service video posted on YouTube. We will continue to post a weekly act of worship, with links kindly provided by village websites and the Rockland Churches Facebook page. If you would like the words of the service to follow or use in your own way, please phone 01508 538014, or e-mail nickgarr39@aol.com to join our circulation list. The services will be filmed in the Rectory Barn, where we also maintain a prayer tree. If you would like us to hang a message on the tree, please contact me or Helen and we will write your words on a luggage tag and place it for you.

Recently there has been discussion about how to support people who aren’t yet on social media. If you would like to join Facebook but not sure how to, our daughter Eve will take you through step by step over the phone (01508 538014). 

Despite the building closures and other restrictions, church life continues in other ways. At home, members of the Christian community are praying, caring and ready to listen. Our ancient church buildings stand as signs of hope in the landscape. They have weathered many storms. They have been through civil wars, famines and pandemics and a Reformation. They will still be here after coronavirus has abated. The word ‘church’ comes from a Greek word meaning ‘house of the Lord’. Our churches remind us that in Jesus, God has made his home among us and will never leave us. I look forward to the time when we can welcome you back into your church. In the meantime, may I share some words from an Irish blessing with you:

May the road rise up to meet you. 

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face, 

the rain fall soft upon your fields 

and until we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of his hand. 

Information received from Nick Garrard, Rector of Surlingham

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