An update from Alan
10 July 2020
Reopening of our church buildings for public worship
I’m delighted to say that having conducted risk assessments and after consultation with both PCCs, we will begin our phased return to worship within our church buildings from Sunday 19 July. The Diocese are very keen for us to continue with our Zoom services and it’s anticipated that for many this will be their preferred mode of worship for the time being.
The new pattern of services throughout July and August will be as follows:
8.00am Communion Service at St Andrew’s using a traditional liturgy and perhaps with some musical accompaniment.
9.15am Communion Service at St Mary’s with the shortened liturgy we currently use on Zoom, with musical accompaniment.
10.30am Zoom Service
7.00pm Zoom Compline
10.30am Zoom Service
We are hoping that the 10.30am service at St Andrew’s will reconvene some time in September. At that time, the 8.00am will revert to being a BCP service.
What to expect
Numbers will be limited in both churches and members of both congregations are welcome to join us for worship at either church building. If you are planning to come to the St Mary’s service, we would appreciate you contacting Robin Bishop beforehand so that we can know how many people to expect. (email@example.com 01992 551946)
Upon entry, everyone will be asked to hand sanitise. Every other pew will be roped off and you will be directed to a socially distanced place to sit.
We are advised that the contact details of each individual or a member of a family group attending be recorded to help with Track and Trace.
Where possible our buildings will be ventilated.
Small children must sit with their family group throughout the service. At St Andrew’s the Children’s Corner will not be in use.
The service will be no more than 40 minutes.
Currently we are advised that we have no congregational singing. We do plan to have instrumental music and/or a soloist/cantor.
At the 8.00am we will use service books which can be collected at the door and should be left in the pew when folk leave.
At the 9.15am, we will follow the liturgy on the screen.
There will be no physical sharing of the Peace.
Communion: The priest will hand sanitise before the prayer of consecration and before administration. The priest will consume the wine on behalf of us all, and bread will be offered from one station at the front of church. The wafer will be dropped into the hand of the communicant without speaking. A blessing will be offered over the whole congregation, and for any individual who wishes to come forward in the sign of the cross. A one-way system will operate during communion.
Toilets will be available.
We encourage people not to hang around after the service but to make their way from the building as soon as it is safe to do so.
There will be a collection plate at the back. There is also the Giving by Text option and, in time, we will be able to offer Contactless for donations.Everyone is welcome, but we ask that you do not come to the church if you are in a high-risk group (clinically extremely vulnerable) or you are self-isolating due to symptoms in your household, or you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of Covid-19 (such as a fever, cough, lack of taste/smell, upset stomach, headache).
As you can imagine, there’s lots of consider, and we’ll learn as we go along. Please do pray for all those involved in preparing our buildings for a safe return.
I look forward to again seeing some of you in person!
Read Alan's 10 July update in pdf format