As we go about our daily lives, we are aware that the seasons are changing, the days are gradually shortening and the air has a cooler chill first thing in the morning. And with these changes, we are making some changes to our Sunday service pattern.
Our 8.00am Sunday service remains in church each week. But it is clear that our 9.30am service will become more and more impacted by the weather if we stay outside and so, from today – 19 September – this will take place inside the church.
It will be lovely to be back. It will also be wonderful to have our choir back ‘in person’ after many, many months of providing our service music remotely. We thank them for their hard work and excellent singing through this period as we also record our thanks to those who have played a part in the setting up and clearing away for our weekly churchyard services.
We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to the team who have filmed, edited and put together our online services which have been so wonderful over the past 18 months. These will continue from time to time, marking special occasions and celebrations in the church year but I’m afraid will no longer be weekly as we focus much of our attention on our Sunday worship in church.
A return to services inside the church will be a welcome relief to many but will also cause some anxiety and concern to others. I realise that people are in quite different places in terms of their personal health, their family circumstances and their confidence so I do ask that we are sensitive and kind in our journeying together through this next phase.
It isn’t possible to say everything about how things will run but please note the following:
1. Please take the opportunity to take a lateral flow test twice a week. Kits are available from church.
2. Don’t come to church if you have a temperature or any Covid symptoms. Please then get a PCR test.
3. Please use hand sanitiser as you arrive and leave.
4. Face coverings are not now mandatory but I strongly urge all to wear them inside the church and they must be worn if you are joining in with singing.
5. Seating will be available alongside others in the nave of the church but the chairs in the aisles will continue to offer social distancing for those who would prefer that, with the choir in the chancel.
6. We will distribute communion at a standing station at the chancel screen, giving communion to those at the back first and working forward. Please follow the direction of the sidespeople in this.
7. We will continue to offer communion in one kind (the wafer only) for the time being.
9. We will continue to monitor the local data and adjust these arrangements accordingly and in light of our experience of doing things in this new way.
8. We hope to run a children’s group for mixed ages in the Transept during the 9.30 am service so do make use of that, coming back in for a blessing.
10. We want everyone to feel reassured and undistracted so that these become safe and good habits and we can get on with the business of worshipping God together joyfully and well.
Thank you for your support and understanding with all of this but do please contact me if you have any specific questions or concerns.