25th July 2021
The Eighth Sunday after Trinity
Fr Chris writes:
Since Monday (19 July) most restrictions related to Covid 19 have been eased.
We are in a new time when we are no longer told what to do by the Government in so many aspects of our lives at home and in public spaces.
Whilst restrictions have gone we are still urged to be careful. To me the word ‘careful’ does not mean over-cautious, but rather ‘full of care’.
It is important as a church community to know that there are people who are still very anxious about Covid, about the Delta variant and those who are medically vulnerable. Those of us who are less anxious and not medically vulnerable should be full of care to them.
In what follows below are the ways in which we will remain ‘full of care’ as a church, and also look to open up our life and practice further. What follows is in accordance with Church of England guidance too (although different churches will apply that guidance in different ways according to local conditions).
BEFORE CHURCH - TEST AND TRACE
The church will be totally open again and there will be no maximum number of people in church. We will still ask worshippers to sign in as they have been doing as contact tracing remains key in protecting against the virus. Those who would rather not register don’t have to.
ON ARRIVAL - HAND SANITISING
Please continue to hand sanitiser on entry to and exit from the church and before receiving communion. The hand sanitiser points will remain in place to be easily available as you enter and leave and before receiving communion.
ON ARRIVAL – ONE WAY SYSTEM
On Sundays please continue to observe the one way system by following the floor markings.
ORDERS OF SERVICE
Continue to bring your own. New laminated Orders of Service will be available in the next few weeks
IN CHURCH - FACE COVERING
You are not obliged to wear a face cover in church but we would ask that you do whilst you are in the building. Do bear in mind that face covers protect others more than yourself. We are acutely aware that wearing a mask is not comfortable, and less so when speaking or singing, but we do this for others not ourselves. We will keep this request under active review.
IN CHURCH - SOCIAL DISTANCING IN THE PEWS
The two metre and one metre plus rule has gone. However, it would be courteous and gracious to give people outside your household or bubble some personal space. Initially we will keep the extra chairs inside the church to give people extra space, should they desire it. We will review this in the autumn.
Sunday School will resume on Sunday September 12th
Servers will recommence their duties after they have been retrained. All processions will be reintroduced.
DURING THE EUCHARIST - HOLY COMMUNION
Holy Communion will continue to be administered in One Kind. In other words, the chalice will not yet be shared. The priest will continue to wear a mask whilst behind the altar and sanitise before administration. The people’s hosts will remain covered.
DURING THE EUCHARIST – CONGREGATIONAL SINGING
Congregational singing is now permitted again. This is something many people are anxious about. We would ask that you continue to wear a face cover when singing. Initially we will be singing the new Mass Settings which the music committee will choose on July 31st, and after the summer we hope to resume singing hymns again.
DURING THE EUCHARIST - THE SIGN OF PEACE
The words ‘let us offer each offer the sign of peace’ will be used again. We ask that the peace be shared physically by handshake or embrace only with members of the same household or bubble. Otherwise a bow of the head, smile or prayerful hands gesture will suffice to the person on either side of you: you are expressing the peace that flows from Christ. Please do not move from your pew at this point.
Worshippers will be asked to remain seated until they are dismissed
The livestream will continue for the time being. This will be reviewed again in September
Refreshments will be served after the service from September onwards. Gloves will be worn by those serving refreshments.