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Coming Together in Lockdown

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Jun, 2020 04:19 PM

Forming a new benefice of parishes and churches with their own individual characters is something that might need work and prayer, but add in lockdown and you would think it would be harder to encourage a sense of new identity.

But the opposite is true.

The Revd Carol Langford, the Rector of the West Purbeck Benefice which joined together Holy Rood Wool, St John the Baptist Bere Regis and St Laurence Affpuddle explains:

"Ours is a relatively new benefice, we’ve only been in existence in our current form for just over a year and it is likely that we’ll expand again later this year.

"In our first year we had joint Benefice Services together with those who are as yet formally to join us on 5th Sundays and at festivals such as Ascension Day.

"Attendance at those Services fluctuated with some members of churches unable or unwilling to move around the benefice for worship.

"However, the Covid-19 pandemic has changed all that because it has led us to use Zoom for all of our Services which are all Benefice Services.

"Amazingly, as difficult a time as this is, we’ve been blessed that the number of our church members attending has increased, and they stay logged on for the whole Service! We’re delighted with this of course, and it gives us much food for thought as we move forward out of lockdown."

The photograph was taken at Bere Regis by the Revd Sandra Williams, Associate Priest in the West Purbeck Benefice, at dawn on Ascension Day.

Carol says:

"We used it as a backdrop for our Ascension Day Benefice Service via Zoom at 7pm where attendance was significantly increased on the previous year."

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