23rd July 2021
On Monday 21st July, the Government eased restrictions and our Standing Committee met to discuss the changed guidelines from the church. The main decisions are as follows.
Our priority is to be cautious and sensitive to the needs of the whole congregation. For some there will be anxiety as cases increase and as some of the measures we have taken will be relaxed. Our faith is one where the needs of our neighbour is of great importance and we have kept this at the front of our minds in planning for the future.
So what are our plans?
-We are encouraging people to continue wearing masks although this is no longer mandatory.
-We will continue to use hand sanitiser
-We will no longer take names at the door for Track and Trace although you are still welcome to book in via the NHS QR code on arrival.
- Although we can no longer insist on social distancing and people are free to sit where they wish, we will leave the seating arrangements of the churches as they are for a few weeks as we get used to the new normal. There will be parts of the churches which will be for those who wish to maintain social distance and also we will have red cards for people to place on the seats beside them asking others not to sit there.
-The peace will continue to be hands free.
-Coffee will be served in the hall at St Paul’s from Sunday and at St Martin’s from August 1st.
-The Eucharist will be both bread and wine. At St Paul’s people will still receive standing by their chairs and at St Martin’s at the chancel step. The celebrant will dip each wafer in the chalice and administer as we do currently.
-At St Paul’s we will sing a hymn at the end and people will be able to join in with the sung parts of the service. Although we are encouraging people to wear masks during the service, those who want to sing more in the service will be asked to sit at the front- some people may want to remain seated when singing. In August and September we will expand our sung service until we reach “normality”.
-The choir will continue to sing from the Chancel until September when we hope to be able to re-introduce the choir stalls in the North Aisle.
- Wednesday communion will continue in its present format and as a smaller, shorter said service is suitable for the more anxious.
- We will be providing some activity bags for children over the summer, with a view to re-introducing a children’s area in September.
-The Lady Chapel will be set up again from our 8am service on September 5th.
We hope that this gives a way forward, although there will be those who are disappointed about the speed of change and those who will be anxious about these changes. Please contact us if you have concerns. It feels good to be moving on but please see the website or weekly e-mail for further changes each week.
I would like to thank everyone for their support in following the guidelines and restrictions
over these last sixteen months- that support has made a difficult situation much easier and
allowed us to negotiate the changes in a spirit of unity.
8th July 2021
This week the government confirmed that legal restrictions were being eased from July 19th . The Standing Committee will be meeting on July 19th to finalise our response. Although things will change, we will be taking the easing cautiously rather than in one jump. Details will be in our communications during that week, as we await guidance from the Diocese and navigate towards normality. If you have concerns in the meantime please speak to one of the wardens or to Hannah or myself.
29 June 2021
Both of our churches are currently open for worship on Sunday morning. We continue to follow social distancing guidelines and people are required to wear a mask and use hand sanitiser. We are distributing wafers at communion at both churches now and Sunday Zone has returned for children during the service at St Pauls.
Morning prayer continues to be online and can be viewed on our YouTube channel. We also have a few Zoom services during the week. Check out services page and our This week page for more details on what is happening.