We are following the current guidance issued by the Church of England, in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For information, please go to https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches
Permission has now been given to open our churches for private prayer and services. Because the COVID-19 virus can settle on surfaces for up to 72 hours we cannot yet return to normal opening. Full details of opening times and services are listed below.
Funerals and weddings may now take place in Church with appropriate social distancing and no more than 30 people.
Helmsley Church is now open for :
Private prayer :
Wednesdays 10am–noon and Saturdays 1pm– 3pm
From Sunday 12th July the weekly pattern of worship will be:
8.00am Holy Communion (BCP)
9.30am Holy Communion with music
Also, now every Wednesday 9.30am Holy Communion (BCP)
Our services on Zoom will continue on Monday - Friday at 10am,
Sundays at 11am - please note the new time.
Our churches re-open for Private Prayer and Services
The Church of England and Diocese of York have given comprehensive guidance for re-opening our churches for Private Prayer and services. Here are some of the salient points:
Holy Communion is permitted in one kind. The bread for the congregation will be covered whilst it is consecrated. Communicants are encouraged to sanitise their hands immediately before receiving. The host will be given without touching the recipient’s hands. Communicants are asked to stand rather than kneel at the altar.
The two-metre ‘rule’ applies for public worship except in situations where closer contact cannot be avoided. Individuals and family groups must be two metres apart.
Single use service sheets will be employed. We cannot use prayer books or hymn books because of the risk of transmission.
While those at extra risk and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should be advised of the risks of attending public worship, a decision to do so is theirs alone.
There can be no singing apart from a lone cantor. The organ can be in use.
The Helmsley Herald is available on the website for now.
What a difficult time this is! I have been signing much of my correspondence off with ‘I hope you are surviving if not thriving’. I wish this for all our readers in the confidence that it is possible to make the best of a bad situation, and as many are, do good things for families and community. At the same time we mourn those who have suffered and died from Covid-19 and we pray for all our key workers and decision makers.
I have been deeply frustrated that our churches have been closed, even for private prayer. But the preparations to reopen our churches just shows how difficult it would have been to keep them open with Covid-19 able to settle on surfaces for up to 72 hours. To begin we will open Helmsley Church on 17th June for two hours each on Wednesdays (10am – noon) and Saturdays (1pm – 3pm).
Many of us ask, how could God allow this virus to happen? The Pentecostal preacher might declaim from the pulpit: “You ask why? Why indeed! God is chastising us for our sins! Don’t we read in Genesis 6,5 that God sent the Deluge because ‘the Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become’?!”
We may see vengeful aspects of God in the Old Testament but this is not way of his son Jesus Christ. His way is the way of love. Yet we do not know and cannot know the whole mind of God. As Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) writes: "The ultimate peak of human knowledge of God consists in grasping that we do not know God. For then we realise that what God is, surpasses all that we understand of God".
Because we cannot know the mind of God we inevitably tend to see him with human attributes. Hence we can see him as both as an implacable father figure and someone who loves unconditionally, often at the same time.
But to get us beyond this we have to listen to the voice of God in the silence of our hearts. The theologian Paul Tillich (1886 -1865) speaks of God as “the ground of our being”. Rather than blaming God or feeling that Covid-19 (or any other human suffering) is God’s wrath might we not listen to our own inner voice and find God there. And we will certainly find God in the many acts of love and self-sacrifice that are being shown during this period.
Let us travel in hope, knowing that God is with us, although often hidden, so that in the end we might come to His eternal joy, both in this world and in the life to come.
Very best wishes
Tim Robinson, Vicar
01439 770983 firstname.lastname@example.org
Services and online worship can be found at:
If you or people you know who might like to join us by ‘phone here are the details:
Ring: 020 3051 2874 Meeting ID: 335 003 2015 Password: 625893
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake.
Helmsley Parish in the Diocese of York
Helmsley's parish church, dedicated to All Saints, dates back a thousand years and more. The present building , built on Norman foundations, was dedicated in 1838. Helmsley Parish also includes Anglican churches at East Moors, Rievaulx and Sproxton.
On Sundays in Helmsley there are two well-attended services and a regular midweek Holy Communion. Locals and visitors alike, of all traditions, are always very welcome to all our services. After Sunday's main 9.30 am service at Helmsley there is an opportunity to meet one another over refreshments.
Helmsley Church is open every day as a place of interest and for private prayer from 9am - 5pm (summer) and 9am - 4pm (winter). St Columba's Chapel, in the south transept, has votive candles to aid people's own particular prayers.
A Christian church has existed in Helmsley since AD 200, according to the 19th century wall-paintings in the north aisle. Certainly there was one on this site by the time of the Norman Conquest. (There's a 10th century hog-back tombstone in the porch and an entry in the Domesday Book of 1086.) The present building's splendid chancel arch, one of the largest in Yorkshire, dates from the 12th century (as does its counterpart over the entrance). Otherwise the handsome present day building is largely the result of major restoration in Victorian times, with the stained glass as well as the murals from this period too.
All this variety of history and interest makes Helmsley Church a very special place to visit and worship in. More information about our other churches is elsewhere on the website.