Mark’s group will continue to look at some saints, this time saints who are ‘linked’ to Germany, not necessarily German saints, and not necessarily canonised, but who are celebrated on festival days in the Church of England. He would like to share with you a basic biography of a few of these personalities, namely: Alcuin, St Elizabeth of Hungary, Tyndale and Margery Kempe. After each talk, there is a chance to share views of these theological figures, as well as to meditate and draw lessons from their example in our own lives. The sessions are about an hour long. These Lent talks and thoughts will be on Tuesdays (23 February, 2 March, 9 March and 16 March at 7pm via Zoom). Please email Father Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested and he will send you a Zoom invitation.
Issue 77 of our parish mag, Becket News, is out. It’s turned out to be a bumper issue with a distinctly Christmassy theme that somehow suits the dusting of snow many of us have received this week. There are plenty of other subjects covered, too, such as safeguarding, racial diversity, the Church Recording Project and, of course, our new Chaplain designate.
Our Archdeacon, Ven Dr Leslie Nathaniel, has written us a pastoral letter encouraging us to persevere through the Covid-19 pandemic, moving forward with confidence towards Easter. You can read the full text here.
Why are we making such a fuss about a virus? Surely we don’t really need to close the church!
Covid-19 is a highly infectious disease that in severe cases causes acute breathing problems and even death. Although older people, especially those with existing medical conditions, are most at risk, Covid can hit younger people badly, too. Not everyone with the virus develops symptoms, but they can still infect other people without realising it. If we’re not careful, a church service could become a way of passing the virus on to lots of people. It’s up to us to do all we can to keep others safe, and so that’s why the church is closed at the moment.
Some people don’t believe Covid-19 is that serious, comparing it to seasonal flu, and there’s a lot of misinformation and conspiracy theories on the Internet. If someone asks you for a source of reliable information about the virus, you could recommend the public health information from Hamburg’s health ministry (in English). If they’re interested in learning about the science, you can refer them to insidecorona.net, a website operated by the University of Hamburg’s Coronavirus Structural Taskforce.
In view of new, tighter restrictions on church services, the churchwardens have taken the decision to extend the closure of the church until at least 14 February 2021.
The text of the 19 January desicions of the Ministerpräsidentenkonferenz (in German) can be found here.
Last December the Diocesan Synod discussed a paper on racial justice called “Breathing Life”, one of the authors being our former chaplain, Fr. Leslie Nathaniel. In preparation to the discussion an interview with the BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) / People of Colour advisers to Bishop Robert in our diocese was published: The Revd Augustine Nwaekwe, Chaplain in Ostend-Bruges & Knokke, and The Revd Smitha Prasadam, Chaplain at St Alban’s, Copenhagen. You can find the interview here.
Since August 2020 members of our community in Hamburg have met to share and discuss their experiences, with a strong focus to “heal racism and embrace diversity”. In December we started to educate ourselves by watching a series called “Conversations on Race” offered by King’s Cross Church (KXC) in London. If you’d like to jump on board please reach out to Valerie Müller, Madeleine Herring, Monica Emilia or Yotin Tiewtrakul.