Perfect love casts out fear

It was lovely to receive a telephone call at the beginning of this week from good friends on the Wirral in Merseyside: we have known each other for 30 years, ever since I was first ordained and serving as a curate in the parish of Frankby with Greasby. It’s been a little while since we last spoke.

How important it is to stay in contact with friends and family, colleagues and neighbours at this time. Isolation brings with it some very real challenges: frustration and boredom, for others uncertainty and fear.

Understandably many of us are fearful for what the future might bring. Fear is a basic human emotion, a natural response to danger and the unknown; and we need to learn what this natural response is saying about ourselves and about the world in which we live at this time. Whatever, we can’t allow ourselves to be paralysed by fear. Unless we face our fears, we can’t live with any degree of freedom. Fear can take away our freedoms as well as the freedom of those whom we encounter: fear can – consciously or not – make us more wary of those we don’t know and the barriers can come crashing down. Perhaps we have seen that reflected in the more autocratic diktats of leaders in churches and nations over the last few weeks.

In St. John’s first letter he writes that Perfect love casts out fear. It’s a reference to God’s unconditional, abiding love given us in Jesus Christ. Christ, who had risen above the fear of the cross to serve and save humanity, was then able to come amongst us his friends and say, Peace be with you. Fear is indeed cast out.

We must face what we most fear in order to overcome it, even this deadly virus. As we do this, we’ll become better able to help others needing our care. This doesn’t mean being reckless, putting others and ourselves at unnecessary risk, but it does mean making whatever contribution we can to their health and well-being. Perhaps, by picking up the telephone and speaking to someone we haven’t heard from for a little while.


Worship & Mission

This Sunday: Choral Mattins online from 7am
Watch on the Cathedral website
or our Facebook page

This Sunday our worship comes from the strong choral tradition here at Lincoln Cathedral.

It will be a service of Choral Matins from the Book of Common Prayer with music from our talented choral scholars who are all self- isolating in one household.

To supplement this, we are also providing you with an order of service for Spiritual Communion (please see following page).

I want to take this opportunity to thank Mark Wilde one of our Lay Vicars who has enabled the technology and editing skills to produce our online worship.

Please do keep looking on the cathedral website and Facebook page for regular updates of live and pre-recorded worship and reflections.

We have received lots of positive feedback and continue to welcome any comments about how we can offer spiritual nurture and worship during this time where we are unable to gather together physically.

Our next project is to try and have online Morning and evening Prayer via Facebook live. Details to follow…. watch this space!

As always, we continue to encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we will also be posting prayers, videos and more information about the Cathedral.


Pastoral care
If you would like support, or just a chat with a friendly voice, please do contact either the Subdean, the Dean’s Verger or the Assistant Curate. We also encourage you to continue to check on the welfare of friends, neighbours and relatives.

John Patrick 07956 566101
John Campbell 07733 276335
Rachel Revely 07429 325559

The Mind website also has some excellent resources to help you manage your wellbeing

Old Deanery Visitor Centre
William Birch & Sons will be resuming work on the Old Deanery Visitor centre and the improvement works to the area at the west front of the Cathedral.

Their team will be working to the Site Operating Procedures published by the Construction Leadership Council. These align with the latest advice from Public Health England and are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive. The procedures contain guidance on social distancing and all aspects of employee and public safety on construction sites.

An opening date for the visitor centre will be announced later in the year.

You can find more details on our website:

Our resident Peregrine Falcons have once again laid eggs in their scrape on the central tower. There may be three or four; it is tricky to tell at the moment. They are expected to hatch in the first week of May, so keep an eye on the webcam. You can find it by clicking or just go to YouTube and search for Lincoln Peregrines.

Spiritual Communion when unable to attend a celebration of the Eucharist

If a household are praying together one person may act as leader and the others as the congregation and they join in the sections in bold type. If alone read all the words aloud. You may want to light a candle before you begin, and have a bible, cross or crucifix to look at.

The Lord is here.        His Spirit is with us.

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect Prayer and Readings (see pages 2-4 for details)

Spend a few moments praying for the people you know and love, the needs of the world and for an end to the current Pandemic. End your intercessions with The Lord’s Prayer.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, The power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.

An Act of Contrition

I love you, Jesus, my love above all things, and I repent with my whole heart of having offended you. Never permit me to separate myself from you again, grant that I may love you always, and then do with me what you will.

An Act of Spiritual Reception

In union, dear Father, with Christian people throughout the world and across the centuries gathered to make Eucharist, hearing your holy Word and receiving the Precious Body and Blood, I offer you praise and thanksgiving. Even though I am exiled from tasting the Bread of Heaven and drinking the Cup of Life I pray that you will unite me with all the baptised and with your Son who gave his life for us. Come Lord Jesus, dwell in me and send your Holy Spirit that I may be filled with your presence.

O LORD and heavenly Father, we your humble servants entirely desire your fatherly goodness mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching you to grant, that by the merits and death of your Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in his blood, we and all your whole Church may obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. Amen.

End by praying the Grace:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us now and evermore. Amen. 

Oikodomeo Resources for prayer When public worship is not possible

Bible Readings

Sunday 26 April
Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 2: 14a, 36-41
1 Peter 1: 17-23
Luke 24: 13-35

Isaiah 40: 1-11
1 Peter 5: 1-11

Evening Prayer
Haggai 1: 13-2.9
1 Corinthians 3: 10-17


Sunday 3 May
Fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts 2: 42-end
1 Peter 2: 19-end
John 10: 1-10

Nehemiah 9: 6-15
1 Corinthians 10: 1-13

Evening Prayer
Ezra 3: 1-13
Ephesians 2: 11-end


Sunday 10 May
Fifth Sunday of Easter

Acts 7: 55-end
1 Peter 2: 2-10
John 14: 1-14

Ezekiel 37: 1-12
John5: 19-29

Evening Prayer
Zechariah 4: 1-10
Revelation 21: 1-14