We were very pleased to be able to reopen the church again in July, starting with Morning Prayer, but have been able to celebrate Holy Communion again every Sunday at 10.30 a.m. since 19 July. Because of the corona hygiene regulations, communion is in one kind only (bread).
We were happy to welcome our first locum after lockdown, Revd Dr Nick Fisher, to Hamburg in mid-July. Fr Nick was with us until mid-September and we are very grateful to him for coming over from the UK to conduct services and take part in the life of our community. He was followed for four Sundays by Canon Mark Dimond who is based at St George’s Anglican Church in Berlin – and we are very much looking forward to his return to Hamburg as locum in January next year. We would also like to thank Revd Dr Maija Priess from the Finnish Church, who is conducting services in October and can always be counted on to help in an emergency.
On Rembrance Sunday, 8 November, Canon John Newsome, the Area Dean, will be taking the service.
For four weeks from mid-November, we welcome Bishop Trevor Mwamba, originally from Botswana, but now living in Berlin where his wife, Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba, is Botswanan Ambassador. The good news is also that Bishop Trevor will be coming to Hamburg for our important Christmas services.
So this long vacancy period, exacerbated by the corona pandemic, does have a positive side-effect. We have met and continue to meet friendly, dedicated, interesting priests at St Thomas à Becket!
In order to comply with corona pandemic regulations, the service is shorter than usual, and face masks must be worn at all times. The congregation should not exceed 30-35 people, and there is registration at the door, where there is also hand disinfectant. There will be no refreshments after the service.
Unfortunately no singing at all is possible yet and, in view of the fact that infection numbers are on the rise again, we would be grateful if those of you who have returned from holidays in risk areas waited for two weeks before coming to church, even if you have had a negative corona test. We do want to keep each other completely safe! Thanks for your understanding.
Feeling anxious or lonely?
If you are feeling anxious or are in isolation and need to talk to someone, please get in touch with either of the churchwardens, Susanne Hergoss or Madeleine Resühr. They are supported by a team of volunteers who are available for a chat. You can find their phone numbers on our contact page. They are also available via email at covid (at) anglican-church-hamburg.de
Our church online
While services are suspended during the coronavirus pandemic, our locum chaplain Fr Pete Wright is working with members of the congregation to offer services online. He will continue to do this until our next locum arrives in mid-July. We have listed links to services here.
Other church services online
BBC Radio 4 broadcasts Sunday Worship in English every Sunday morning. To find it, go to bbc.co.uk and search for “Sunday worship”. It can also be found on the BBC app iPlayer Radio. (The BBC Sounds app doesn’t work outside the UK.) Radio 4 also broadcasts the Daily Service on weekdays.
Services are also being live streamed on the Church of England website and many churches are streaming services regularly. For example, Canterbury Cathedral is offering Morning and Evening Prayer daily as well as Sunday services online and St Martin-in-the-Fields in London is streaming Sunday and weekday services.
Resources from the Church of England
Making a Spiritual Communion
The term ‘Spiritual Communion’ is used to describe the means of grace by which a person, prevented for some serious reason from sharing in a celebration of the Eucharist, nonetheless shares in the communion of Jesus Christ. The Book of Common Prayer instructs us that if we offer ourselves in penitence and faith, giving thanks for the redemption won by Christ crucified, we may truly ‘eat and drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ’, although we cannot receive the sacrament physically in ourselves. A form of words for making a Spiritual Communion can be found on the Church of England website.
Public health information for Hamburg in English
Public health information from Hamburg’s health ministry in English can be found here, though the daily press release updates are available in German only.
There is a telephone hotline set up with the following number: 040 / 428 284 000.
If you suspect you have been infected with COVID-19, call 116 117.
Two members of our congregation have kindly offered to provide face masks. Please email us at covid (at) anglican-church-hamburg.de if you need one and we will get you in touch. In the meantime you can use a scarf to cover your nose and mouth.
Corona Hardship Fund Appeal
We are aware of a number in our community who are experiencing extreme financial hardship at this time. We are appealing to those who can, to make a special donation to the church account so that some financial support for the purchase of basic necessities can be provided.
Donations made to the church account marked ‘Spende – Hardship Fund’ will be used to provide provisions for those in very urgent need.
For anyone who donates regularly to the church, this amount will be added to the annual donation for the annual tax (Spende) certificate. For others, a Spende certificate can be provided for amounts >€100 if name and address is provided.
Questions about this appeal can be sent to email@example.com.
Thank you for your generosity.
A prayer for all those affected by coronavirus
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Source: Church of England website)