Covid-19 Virus

COVID -19 Virus Update

Maundy Thursday - April 9th


As Good Friday and Easter approach here is the Rector's latest update from our Benefice, the Diocese of Gloucester and the Church of England.  


Dear friend of St Edwards,


I write on the eve of Good Friday and with Easter this Sunday to wish you a good end to this most unusual Lent.

It is unprecedented to keep these important days in our calendar without services in our church buildings and without the opportunity to worship together with our communities.  You are all in my prayers and I look forward to the day when we can gather again.

For now, I hope this letter and its enclosures can help us make the most of the Holy Days ahead in conjunction with the provision of local and national media.

Some of this year’s highlights are listed below.


Broadcast services and reflections


Good Friday- Radio 4     

3.00pm Good Friday Meditation

With worshipping communities scattered – Baptist minister the Rev Richard Littledale asks whether the cross stands further from us or closer to us in current circumstances.


Easter Sunday



10.10am Britain’s Easter Story

1.15pm Songs of Praise


Radio 4

6.05am and 1130pm Something Understood

Dr Rowan Williams reflects on reunions and recognitions with the help of Shakespeare, Tolstoy, the music of Mozart and the poetry of Wilfred Owen.

6.35 am Sunrise Service

8.10am Sunday Worship with the Archbishop of Canterbury

1.30pm Three Vicars talk about Easter and Covid-19


There are many more on-line resources.


On-line resources


National Resources:

Please follow this link to find:

  • Daily Prayers
  • Services to listen to and to print out


Diocesan Resources:

Please follow this link  to find:

  • Messages and prayers from our bishops
  • Reflections and services for Holy Week 2020
  • An invitation to sing hymns on Easter Sunday at 10.00am


Local Resources:

There are two services on line  this week. 

For Good Friday

For Easter Sunday

On line Reflection

There will be a new Reflection on-line around 7.00pm on Saturday evening

You can find this at

For the latest in Stow continue to visit


And finally - a poem

A locked church

Ah my dear Lord, the church is locked

but let my heart be open to your presence;

there let us make, you and I,

your Easter garden;

plant it with flowers,

and let the heavy stone be rolled away.

by Alan Amos


It has been good to speak to many of you over the phone in recent days.

Please call me at the Rectory (830607) for a chat at any time – I shall not be going far!  

Meanwhile, please be assured of my best wishes and prayers.

Wishing you a very safe and happy Easter season. Where will we be in six weeks’ time?

Stay well, 



The Revd Martin Short

Rector of Stow, Condicote and The Swells



Previous News


The story so far - updated on 9 April


Closure of our Church buildings


Following the Prime Minister’s broadcast on March 23rd the archbishops and bishops of the Church of England have required that all church buildings close with immediate effect, including for private prayer, in an effort to help limit the transmission of the coronavirus COVID-19.

St Edward’s is now closed for the duration of the present emergency. Heating, water and electrics have been turned off in compliance with insurance requirements. We had already put all the service books away. The village churches are shut too.


Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals

There will be no church weddings until further notice; funerals will not take place inside church buildings and the only baptisms will be emergency baptisms in a hospital or at home.

Only immediate family members can now attend a funeral (if the crematorium allows) – that is, spouse or partner, parents and children, keeping their distance in the prescribed way.

Helpful on-line resources have been published for those unable to attend funerals, including the opportunity to light a virtual candle.  These are available through our website. The link is: Until further notice the The Diocese of Gloucester has now waived all of the fees for graveside burials and services in Crematoria whilst the current lock-down arrangements continue


Further updates will appear here.

Please visit this page regularly.