I wanted to update you all on the next steps for worship in the parish as restrictions begin to ease, and having met with the Standing Committee this week I am keen to let you know the outcome of our discussions.
While COVID infection rates are beginning to decrease, it is important that we continue to place a high priority on the safety of both the gathered church and the wider community. However, I am aware that there are particular aspects of our life as a worshipping community that we all sorely miss and so it is important we plan for how best we can recommence these. Equally we don’t want anyone to feel excluded from full participation in our church community or to feel unsafe in any way, so the following plans are designed to reassure those who still feel understandably vulnerable, as well as continue to move towards our familiar patterns of worship.
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. We will be revising the seating arrangements to enable more people to attend, but in both churches, there will be specific areas for those who wish to maintain social distancing. Windows and doors will be open to ventilate the space, and we would strongly encourage you to please wear a face mask.
We will therefore continue to live stream Sunday’s service from St Andrew’s at 9:30am as well as our weekly Compline service on Thursdays at 9:00pm.
At St Andrew’s communion will be given to you in your seats and at Holy Cross at the chancel step. At present we will continue to receive Communion in one kind and will not be reintroducing the Chalice for the time being. We continue to ensure high levels of hygiene, including sanitising our hands on the way into church, and those serving communion will maintain high levels of hand hygiene through the use of sanitiser.
I know that in both our churches singing together is an important part of our worship so we will be reintroducing this in both churches, although again we would encourage the wearing of face masks wherever possible.
We will once again be able to share fellowship after services with tea and coffee being provided at St Andrew’s after the morning service and at Holy Cross on the first Sunday of the month. The intention is to introduce the changes in worship with effect from Sunday 12th September
Our weekday activities are beginning to recommence with the Craft and Chat group meeting again twice a month at St Andrew’s and plans in place for Thursday morning cafe style refreshments beginning in September – please keep an eye on the notice sheet, website and Facebook pages for more details.
In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if there is any aspect of these plans that you would like to have a chat about.
Blessings Reverend Jane