Re-Opening of Churches – COVID-19

Re-Opening of Churches for Worship – a message from Revd David Hildred

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this period when we have all faced so much disruption. We have been thinking and talking and planning about how we can begin to open safely our churches for Sunday services, following carefully the guidelines we have, whilst recognising that Covid-19 is still dangerous.


UPDATE JULY 31st:

During these Summer weeks when the newsletter is being produced only every fortnight we’ll need to work harder at ensuring as many people as possible are up-to-date with developments, so that the news can be passed around.  This Sunday (2nd August) our first services in churches are beginning again with a 9:30am service at St Cassian’s and then a 6:30pm service at St George’s – please see the “What to expect” sheet, below, which explains how we are aiming to run services safely in a context where the Coronavirus still poses a deadly threat.  Please continue to consider that if you are able to attend the Zoom service you might leave the reduced number of spaces we have in the churches for those who can’t Zoom.

This past week has seen the discussions continuing about opening services, and we will be opening a service at St Chad’s from 23rd August onwards, and that initially will be at 3:00pm.  Two weeks after that, on 6th September, we will be opening a service at St Cecilia’s also at 3:00pm.
The pattern of services we are building up is a temporary pattern whilst we discover how different things are and how we can do things better.  We will all need to continue to show each other extra grace and patience whilst we and the whole country remain challenged by Covid-19.  We have the advantage that we know we can pray to our Almighty God who presents himself to us as our Heavenly Father.  As expressed in an earlier meeting this week, let’s pray for God’s strength, his wisdom and his certainty for the way ahead.

Discussions are also underway about how to open St Mary’s Stone during September – more details to follow

Let’s be people of good news and of God’s light.

We are looking forward to opening two of our churches once again for Sunday services, but from 2nd August we will be providing three services each Sunday:

  • 9:30am alternating between St Cassian’s (starting with a Morning Worship service on 2.08.2020) and St George’s
  • 11:00am Zoom service
  • 6:30pm alternating between St George’s (starting with a Holy Communion service on 2.08.2020) and St Cassian‘s

The pattern will continue to evolve as we open more churches and more services within the parish.

These services are for the whole parish, and you are welcome to attend no matter which congregation you normally join in with.  However, the numbers who can attend the services are reduced because of the need to keep socially distanced, and so we would ask those who are able to access the Zoom service to consider letting others fill the places at the services in church.  We’ll keep everyone informed as to how many are attending the church services.

This will mean that there will no longer be a Zoom service at 6:30pm, and, due to the need for either extra cleaning or quarantining we will no longer be offering the mid- week openings for supervised private prayer. This will give more availability for funerals mid-week.

Let’s recognise we will need to go on showing each other patience and grace whilst we ease slowly towards whatever a ‘new normal’ might look like. Amongst many other blessings these are what God shows us, so let’s reflect his character to each other. Please be praying for those who are turning these decisions into actions.

There is also guidance, published below, which explains what to expect at the church services, since things have to be different at the moment to match the guidelines to which we are working.

Remember to wash your hands regularly with soap and avoid spreading the virus. 

Keep yourself safe: Coronavirus COVID-19 is dangerous and can kill. 

This site, as well as the parish Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts will continue to be used as a platform for prayer, updates and the sharing of Christian values.

And, for more information about our Zoom Services please follow the link below:

Please press the ‘Download’ button for security advice on the use of Zoom for parishioners.

Information in the document with thanks to:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/make-sure-your-zoom-meetings-are-safe-by-doing-these-10-things/

Please join us to pray for the current situation we all face and to pray for those who work within and/or are affected by the Coranvirus (Covid-19).

And, let’s continue to pray that we take steps forward which are safe and full of grace, as we slowly work out how best to do things.

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