As a new month commences and we look forward to lengthening days and the signs of Spring I thought it might be useful to share with you the next phases of our worshipping life in the parish.
Although the roll out of the vaccination programme has been hugely successful COVID infection rates remain relatively high. None of us can be complacent and we must therefore continue to ensure that we place the highest priority on SAFETY and INCLUSIVITY in all that we do as a parish.
As I have said in previous letters no one should feel excluded from full participation in our church community, and we reject and seek to dismantle all exclusions and divisions rooted in gender, sexuality, race, class, disability, physical & mental health, and age. This season continues to remind all of us of the vital place of disabled and clinically vulnerable people within the life of the church.
Sunday morning services will continue in person at both St Andrew’s and Holy Cross at the usual times of 9.30am and 11.15am respectively.
Although it is not mandatory to wear face masks I would encourage you to do so if at all possible. At St Andrew’s we will begin to place the chairs in rows as we have done previously but if you would prefer to sit in a socially distanced way there will be ability to do so.
From Sunday 13th February it will be possible to receive communion at the steps in front of the sanctuary but if you would prefer not to do so please remain in your seats and whoever is presiding will come to you after distributing to those at the steps.
At Holy Cross we will reinstate the use of the altar rail but again for those who would prefer not to do that it will still be possible to receive the host at the chancel step.
In both instances I would ask that you maintain a reasonable distance from your fellow communicants
From the beginning of Lent, Sunday 6th March, at both churches,there will be the opportunity to receive both elements of the Eucharist through the introduction of intincted hosts. Again if you would prefer just to receive the host that is fine.
We continue to ensure high levels of hygiene, including sanitising our hands on the way into church and those presiding at communion will continue to wear facemasks at the distribution.
We will continue to live stream Sunday’s service from St Andrew’s at 9.30am
After Easter we will once again review the situation and prayerfully consider if any other changes need to be made.
At the heart of all of this is the fundamental Gospel principle that we continue to love God, and love our neighbours as ourselves as Jesus commanded us to do and I am grateful for all your efforts and hard work to ensure that this is indeed the case.
In the meantime please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if there is any aspect of this letter that you would like to have a chat about.
Thank you for all of your support and understanding and please be assured of my love and on going prayers.