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Letter from Mike - December Church Closure

A letter from Mike to the Parish

Dear Church Family, 

So much has happened in the last week, we were in Tier 2 and hoping to have a more relaxed Christmas, then we find ourselves in Tier 3 on Saturday only to hear later in the day that we would be in Tier 4 and that the more relaxed Christmas rules were being changed. What is clear is that the new Coronavirus variant is spreading quickly and more easily than previous strains and the scientists don’t yet know why. 

With all of this uncertainty, and having talked with the ministry team and churchwardens, it is wise for us to review our plans for Christmas services. All of our plans have been made by trying to manage the risk of people contacting Coronavirus while attending church, as we don’t fully understand the risk it is no longer wise to gather people, in person, for services at St Andrew’s. At my request our PCC has resolved to suspend congregational worship in church until such time as we can understand and manage the risk again. 

I am sure many of you will share my disappointment at this change so close to Christmas. The decision has not been taken lightly but has been taken with the hope that by acting now in a responsible way we are hastening the possibility of returning to church for worship in the ways we are used to. 

During this time all of our services will be broadcast on the church YouTube Channel. This includes our special service on Sunday December 27th to celebrate with Peter and Jenny Vickers, however as the celebrations are now further curtailed, I promise that when conditions allow we will host a celebration Sunday for Peter and Jenny where we can all gather with them in church and afterwards in the church garden. 

Now at this time of increased isolation from one another I ask you to remember that the very first Christmas Day was the most simple imaginable. Jesus was born into a world that was even more chaotic than ours, yet his birth proclaims and renews the promise that God is with us no matter what comes along. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and that will never change. With that in mind let’s do all we can, in ways that are safe, to support others in our families and friends, and beyond, remembering those most isolated and who stand to lose most by the changes being made. 

Wishing you a blessed Christmas in the midst of so much change. 

Rev Dr Mike Branscombe 

Vicar – St Andrew’s Cobham

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Our services are being streamed on YouTube. No account needed (unless you want to contribute to the comments, any Google or Gmail account will do the job).

Our YouTube channel can be found here.

We recommend that you bookmark (or save as a Favourite) the St Andrew's Church page in YouTube in your browser.

Lonely? Need a chat or prayer?

Are you feeling lonely? Maybe self-isolating or simply missing your usual social activities? Wanting someone to chat to? Or worried about someone or something and would like to pray with someone about it?
Cobham Churches are working together to provide a line you can call, whether simply for a chat or for prayer.
Call 01932 910184 
or you can email

For urgent needs or prescription collection, call Community Coronavirus Care on 0800 307 7111

Monthly Prayer Diary

The Prayer Diary for St Andrew's can be downloaded - click here. The monthly prayer diary can be kept on your fridge or in your bible to prompt you about the things to pray about with the life of St Andrew's.

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