Derbyshire vicar gives virtual service

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Tim Sumpter virtual service
Image caption,
The Rev Tim Sumpter gave his congregation their usual Sunday service over the internet from his home

A vicar has given what he said was an "emotional" Sunday service online to keep in touch with his congregation during the coronavirus shutdown.

The Rev Tim Sumpter spoke - at one point in tears - to churchgoers of St Stephen's Church in Borrowash and All Saints' Church in Ockbrook, Derbyshire.

He later hosted a drop-off event so locals could donate food and toilet roll for those in need.

The Rev Sumpter said it was the first time in 25 years of ministry he could not open his church buildings.

He said: "Like for all of us life has become very different, so I'm exchanging the sacred space today for the ordinary place, I'm exchanging the pulpit for Facebook, and I'm exchanging the communion table for my kitchen table."

Image caption,
Tim Sumpter's congregation followed his service from their own homes

In his sermon the Rev Sumpter spoke about the Biblical story of the Good Samaritan, and told his followers of the need for members of the church to help each other.

He also gave a special mention for those celebrating Mother's Day away from loved ones.

"This is a time for compassion not criticism," he said.

"This is a time for giving, not hoarding. This is a time for healing, not hurting. This is a time for sacrifice, not selfishness."

Image caption,
Wellwishers donated toilet roll, food, bleach and other items to those in need

Following the service, the Rev Sumpter said he found it "much more emotional than I thought it would be".

"I was in tears at one point, which was really surprising for me," he said.

"I guess that's a reflection of the emotions that so many people who would be watching and around us are feeling at the moment in these times of uncertainty."

Image caption,
All Saints' Church in Ockbrook and St Stephen's Church in Borrowash had a rare quiet Sunday

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