Sally Rice volunteered to ring Northam’s St. Margaret’s Church bell manually every night for November to call people to prayer, just before 6 pm.
This is to mark the ‘Prayer for the Nation’ campaign launched by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishop of London on November 4 after they called the Church of England to pray for the nation throughout the second lockdown.
The campaign recognises and celebrates the efforts of those keeping the rest of us safe so includes the country’s Hospital workers, School staff, valuable key workers as well as those who are vulnerable, grieving or ill. The campaign ends on December 2 with the prayers and themes offered as tools to enable anyone to participate and are intended simply as suggestions.
Prayer for the Nation link is https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/call-prayer-nation.
Alec McNeill of St. Margaret’s Church, Northam said: “All Churches are currently closed for services.
“It seems our next permitted service will be on Sunday, December 6.
“However, as you know, we have not only been ringing an evening Bell to mark the Archbishop’s Month of Prayer, but we have also been opening the Church for an hour each Sunday for private prayer. Those few people who have taken advantage of this have said how much they have appreciated it.”
“This Sunday, the 29, will be the first Sunday of advent and we will also be open to all for private prayer from 9.30 am to 10.30 am when our first advent candle is lit.
“Please wear a mask if you come. Our next actual service will be on Sunday, December 6.”
The Devon Branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England recently gave its Best Churchyard Award 2020 to St. Margaret’s Church, Northam.
“Sadly the Covid restrictions have prevented us organising our annual Christmas Tree Festival so the popular Bobby the Donkey will not be able to visit this year,” Andrew said. “However, we are planning to hold a midnight communion service on Christmas Eve although we may have to limit numbers a little.”