From the Vicar: The Church Still Functions

Please see the updated version of this post dated 24 March 2020.

18 March 2020

Dear Friends,

Whilst all public acts of worship have been suspended until further notice, it doesn’t mean the church has stopped functioning. At my Induction Service as Team Rector of the Berkhamsted Team yesterday evening, Bishop Michael, Bishop of Hertford, challenged us to find new ways of “being church” in these extraordinary and unprecedented times. To be ‘generous, joyful, imaginative and courageous’, in all our actions.  These times challenge us as people and require us to ask fundamental questions of ourselves.

Photo of Clergy at John Russell's installation as Team Rector
The Revd John Russell’s Installation and Induction Service at Great Gaddesden. From left to right: Gill Moore (Reader), the Revd Simon Vivian (Curate of Berkhamsted), the Revd Jonathan Gordon (Vicar of Northchurch and Rural Dean), the Venerable Jane Mainwaring (Archdeacon of St Albans), the Revd John Russell (Vicar of Little Gaddesden and newly installed Team Rector), Bishop Michael (Bishop of Hertford) and the Revd Joe Roberts (Vicar of Potten End)

In practical terms what differences will you notice church-wise?

There will be no formal acts of worship in church, but I intend to be present in our churches at the times when worship would otherwise be taking place, on Sundays and midweek. I will consider how best we may mark and celebrate Holy Week and Easter over the next couple of weeks.

Whenever the church is open during the week, you can always come in and be able to pray quietly, or light a candle.

I shall continue to say Morning Prayer and, as Michael Ramsey once wrote, will be praying with the prayers of the people on my heart – that is one of the vitals roles of a priest in God’s church. With that in mind, you may leave prayer intentions in church and they will be included in my prayers.

If you’ve signed up to receive news items from our website, you will have received this automatically. If you haven’t signed up, please do subscribe (click here for the sign-up form) and so keep up to date with developments over the coming weeks and months. The website will be updated frequently to reflect latest news from the church and the wider Church of England. 

I can be contacted by email ( or by phone or text (01442 214898/07950 105802).

We also have three Licensed Readers who are part of our leadership team:

  • Anthony Archer (01442 842397)
  • Gill Moore (01442 842054)
  • Heather Tisbury (01582 842507)

In the meantime, do please continue to reach out to one another over the coming weeks and months by all safe means possible; it’s amazing how uplifting a 10 minute chat with somebody can be over the phone.  Please rest assured that you are all in my thoughts and prayers as we, as a community look out for each other and mirror the love God shows for each and every one of us, as we  journey together through these unprecedented times.

I am yours in Christ,

An edited version of this post appears on the front page of the website.