I’m very pleased to be able to let you know that we will be returning to public worship in the church building from Sunday 21st March. This will be for the 9.30am service only to begin with and we will follow the same procedures as before. So please book a place at the service each week by emailing email@example.com, wear a face covering in church, maintain social distancing and use the one-way system for entry and exit (except for those who need the level access on entry and exit). Communion will be in one kind (for some while yet) and there is still no word on when congregational singing is expected to come back. Watch this space…! Of course, if you are still being advised to shield or are unsure about returning to a physical gathering just yet, we encourage you to continue to worship at home and look forward to seeing you when you are ready and/or able!
It will be lovely to be gathered in the building again, even if it will continue to be different. But we are getting used to that! Being adaptable is a good thing for churches to get used to as we look to the future. You will have seen recent reports of the serious thinking the C of E’s bishops are doing about the changes we might need to make as a church as we head into the future. Some of these reports have been rather doom-laden (I’m looking at you, ‘The Spectator’) and an unfair representation of this thinking as a ‘centralised plan to dismantle the parish system’. The ‘central church’ has no power to do this, even if it had that desire, and our own bishops in St Albans are committed to the parish system and enabling it to flourish. As an antidote to the recent doom-mongering, you might like to read Archbishop Stephen Cottrell’s vision of what the church can be and how it can contribute to the world here and Bishop Philip North’s thoughts on the importance of the parish here. You can also watch Archbishop Stephen in conversation with Adrian Chiles here.
Since coming to Kings Langley, I haven’t had a ‘normal’ Lent, Holy Week and Easter! My first was, well, my first one here. The second was at the beginning of the first lockdown and the third is at the beginning of the easing of the restrictions we’ve all been living through. Thank you for all your support and for your prayers. It is all very much appreciated.
Being willing to adapt will be important for us, as it will be for all churches and for many charities and businesses, as we head into the rest of 2021 and into the future. We want All Saints to continue to be at the heart of the community, welcoming people in and helping them to find belonging with us, and deeper belonging with Jesus Christ. As we seek to do that, to aim towards our vision of All Saints being ‘attended by people of all ages who are actively involved in all aspects of a successful and joyful church’* we will need to adapt and try new things. And we will also need each other’s support and prayers along the way. Just as Christ will continue to walk beside us on his Way into the future.
With my love and prayers for you,
All Saints Vicarage,
Thursday 4th March 2021
*From our Vision in our Mission Action Plan