Our roadmap out of restrictions
As I mentioned in my last newsletter, the C of E have issued detailed guidelines for churches to consider their own road out of lockdown These recognise the need for care as we are in the midst of the third wave of the pandemic. Following a meeting last weekend to consider our risk assessment for worship, we have arrived at our own ‘roadmap’ to work towards a resumption of the ‘normal’ aspects of church missed by us all.
In brief this is what should happen:
- From Sun 8th August (10am service is at St Benedict’s) You will no longer be required to sign up beforehand. We do ask that you complete sign-in on arrival in church to assist track and trace should that prove necessary. We also ask that masks continue to be worn, out of consideration for other worshippers, including when singing hymns.
- Please also note that Communion will continue in one kind only, and the Peace will continue to be shared without physical contact.
- All pews will be available, but we ask that anyone wanting more ‘space’ around them take a laminated sign which says ‘please leave this space clear’ and place it beside them, so others know not to sit too close.
- Kneelers should not be used. (Kneeling brings you too close to anyone sitting in front)
- From 15th August (1030 Benefice service in St Mary’s-outside weather permitting) Worshippers will be encouraged to come up to the altar to receive communion (if you need communion brought to you, please tell one of the people on duty)
- From September we shall aim to resume Sunday School (which is now having an August break) and Messy Church and Buzzy Bees in St Mary’s. We aim to recommence teas and coffees after church. Art Club will also start up again in St Benedict’s . (More details will follow)
- From October We aim to once again have Saturday café in St Mary’s church.
Baptisms will continue to be at the front of church, in both St Benedict’s and St Mary’s, using the portable font, to keep those attending, and officiating clergy, as safe as possible. The wardens and I are hopeful that this plan will ensure we can all move back to those aspects of church life that so many people have missed during the past 17 months or so.
The following words of scripture came to mind which seem particularly helpful at this time : “in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2 v. 4. Let’s all help one another to make this work.
With our love and prayers , Richard and Katherine.