Smethwick Old Church

Part of the Church of England

Parish News


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You will know that, as a requirement of Government and with the advice of the Archbishops, all churches are now entirely closed for public worship. This is in order to demonstrate the vital importance of staying at home wherever possible and to slow the spread of disease. There are to be no Occasional Offices in church; funerals can take place at crematoria or gravesides but under most stringent conditions. The current Diocesan requirements in connection with coronavirus are available at the cofebirmingham website.

Old Church has and will be developing ways of keeping in touch during these very difficult times, thinking particularly of those who through self-isolation or otherwise will need help with shopping, medications and the like. This will be coordinated with members of the Pastoral Care Team, the Pastoral Visiting Team and others in the congregation. If you would like to receive help, please ring one of those listed below,

The Reverend Deb Buckley: 0121 558 1763/07410 176378
Jean Martin, Churchwarden: 0121 554 2731
Gill Gould, Parish Administrator: 07824 368584

There is an Old Church WhatsApp site for those who would like to share thoughts over the next months. If you would like to join the site, the easiest way would be to send a message that includes your mobile number to, Paul Martin: 07785 995489 or

There are increasing numbers of ideas for prayer and for services produced by the Church of England nationally, by the Diocese and by Old Church. For ease of access, we have listed these and will continue to add to the list as the weeks pass.

Although we will not be able to see or hear each other – that could be for some future time, Deb invites us to join with her on Sundays, in communion through a common act of prayer and worship.

For Holy Week, the week leading to the horrors of Good Friday and then the joys of Easter, Deb has produced a Service for Compline and there are a series of Reflections, one per day, written by members of the Ministry Team.

Old Church Compline for Holy Week.
Reflection for Monday of Holy Week.
Reflection for Tuesday of Holy Week.
Reflection for Wednesday of Holy Week.
Reflection for Thursday of Holy Week, Maundy Thursday.

For Good Friday, the day we recall Jesus’ torture, crucifixion and death, Deb with others have produced a series of seven Reflections that draw on the last words that Jesus spoke, as recorded in the Gospels.

Reflections on the last words of Jesus

On Easter Day, still in the night and just before the sun rises, we all would expect to be outside Old Church, struggling to light the new Paschal Candle and to carry that light into church, so bringing light into the darkness. The Exsultet is the ancient hymn of praise sung on Easter night as the Paschal Candle is lit and Michael has made a recording for us. That Candle represents the risen Christ overcoming darkness. It will be lit at all the important services, once we return to Old Church.

As we cannot be together in church for the most important day in the church year, Easter Sunday, and hear Deb’s sermon, here it is.

Easter sermon

The Church of England has produced a paper on Spiritual Communion, the sharing in the communion of Jesus Christ when a shared Eucharist is not possible – as now with coronavirus. It is written in English and in Farsi and includes an act of Spiritual Communion.

Thoughts about Spiritual Communion and the Coronavirus in English & Farsi

Old Church will continue with its 10.30 Sunday morning services using Zoom for as long as is necessary. The Service of the Word together with the Readings for the 2nd Sunday of Easter, 19th April, can be accessed below. However, in order to take part in a Zoom service, you will need certain details including website address, the service identification number and password. The details change from week to week and are to ensure that we are not joined by those who wish only to disrupt. If you do not already receive these details, then look in the Old Church website, Contacts page, and send a note to Deb, asking her to include you on the e-mail list.

2nd Sunday of Easter, combined
2nd Sunday of Easter, sermon
3rd Sunday of Easter, combined
4th Sunday of Easter, combined
5th Sunday of Easter, combined
6th Sunday of Easter, combined
7th Sunday of Easter, combined
Pentecost, combined

The Reverend Deb Buckley with the help of Bethany has recorded a Service of Holy Communion for Pentecost. This will be posted on Facebook at 11.00, Sunday 31st May, Pentecost. You can find the Facebook link below together with a link to the Service Sheet.
Pentecost Service of Holy Communion

The Old Church News, Spring edition, is now available.  Please read and forward to others. Please print a copy, if you are able, and pass it to friends and neighbours.

The Old Church News, Spring 2020

Please do not hesitate to make contact if you feel Old Church could be of help to you at these exceedingly difficult times. Apart from anything else, it is undoubtedly a time for our prayer for others and for ourselves as the disease spreads.

Smethwick Old Church, The Uplands, Smethwick, B67 6EQ.          Telephone: 0121 558 1763          Site contents © Smethwick Old Church 2018