29th January 2021:
Following our recent Standing Committee meeting we will continue to open our churches in line with Government guidance and maintaining full COVID safety. We are maintaining our current pattern of Wednesday and Sunday morning services in our churches, although the services will be said, there will be no Sunday Zone at St. Paul's- we will also not be sharing communion in either church at present. Neither church will be open for private prayer. In reviewing our policies we have focussed on St Martin’s and its capacity. St Martin’s is a small church which means that there isn't space to safely accommodate more worshippers than we currently welcome. We are therefore encouraging people to visit St Paul's or attend our online services where you will be able to participate and worship with us in a safer way.
We are continuing our on-line services in the week, recording the 10.30 service at St Paul’s and there is now a Zoom Service on a Sunday morning, allowing more people to participate and interact with each other every week.
We know that many people will not want to come at present and each of us need to take seriously the guidance to stay at home unless our journeys are essential. We are also keen that people are not putting themselves at risk coming out in bad weather this winter.
If you are vulnerable or anxious or feel that worshipping in our church buildings is not essential or want to minimise the risk to yourselves or the NHS that is entirely understood and has our complete support . God is not found just in church but as we have discovered is there on-line and in our homes. The news of the vaccine gives us hope that this time of restriction is finite.
Above all keep safe, keep praying and keep in touch
6 Jan 2021
"As the Government has allowed us to remain open for communal worship in the guidance on the national lockdown as long as we maintained COVID safety, we will continue our current pattern of Wednesday morning and Sunday morning services in our churches, although there will be no choir or Sundayzone at St Paul's. We are contniuing our online services and this Sunday there will be a pre-recorded Eucharist available on our usual platforms at 10.30am. In future weeks instead of the online "Study Service" there will be a zoom service allowing more people to participate and interact in an online service. More details will be in the newsletter and weekly e-mail.
These are difficult days and we have tightened our own guidelines to ensure we are as COVID safe as we can be. However we know that many people will not want to come at present and each of us has to balance the ability to worship in church with the guidance to stay at home unless our journeys are essential. If you are vulnerable or anxious or feel that worshipping in church buildings is not essential or want to minimise the risk to yourselves or the NHS that is entirely understood and has our full support . God is not found just in church but as we have discovered there on-line and in our homes.
Above all keep safe, keep praying and keep in touch"
5 Jan 2021
"Following the announcement of the new National Lockdown last night, we are still able to hold public worship in our churches at present. The Standing Committee will be meeting virtually tonight to clarify our position and we will be updating our guidance in the morning. Please follow the guidance issued by the Government and stay at home unless it is essential to go out. Bishop Rose has asked us all to remember those who work in the NHS and social care in these difficult times, as well as all in hospital who are unwell.
Keep safe and know that God is with us in difficult times"
**TIER 4 AND CHRISTMAS SERVICES**
In light of the latest restrictions we, with regret but with safety first and foremost in our minds, have needed to update our service provision for the Christmas period. Therefore following our risk assessments and Church of England Guidance
- Our socially distanced crib services for St Paul's are both going ahead. A small number of spaces remain for the 23rd, please contact Hannah if you wish to come.
- Midnight Mass is regrettably CANCELLED but we are fortunate that this year the official Church of England Online Service has been recorded by ++Justin and +Rose from St. Martin's so we are encouraging people to watch that. There will be a Zoom Service Preparation Session with Hannah and the Parish from 11pm. Please contact Hannah for further details.
- 9am Christmas Eucharist at St Martin's is now FULLY BOOKED
- 10.30am Christmas Eucharist at St Paul's is now BOOKINGS ONLY please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.
-The Sunday service on the 27th December will be ONLINE ONLY Eucharist.
At the moment we envisage continuing our pattern of in person services on Wednesdays and Sundays but we are mindful of the bishops' guidance that people should not feel obligated to come, especially if vulberable. In the meantime we remain here and pray for you all during this time both in church, on the phone and online.
Take care, stay safe and every blessing.
On behalf of the Rector and Churchwardens.
27th November 2020
"From Wednesday (2nd Dec) the lockdown is being lifted and churches are open again for public worship. The headlines for us as a parish are:
- Open for 10.30 Communion Wednesday mornings from the 2nd December
- Open for 9am Communion at Martin's and 10.30am Eucharist at St Paul's Sunday mornings from 6th December
- Revert to just morning prayer on line from Monday 7th as well as recording and streaming on Sundays as pre lockdown.
- Continue private prayer at St Paul's on Saturday 5th/12th (11-1) and move Wednesdays to Tuesdays for 8th and 15th (1-3). Private Prayer will then return in the new year.
From Wednesday we will be in tier three and need to be extra careful in following the guideline that there should be no social interaction between different households in church. So, it is a good time to remind us all to leave church promptly and not to chat indoors before or after. Hopefully being stricter now will help us all stay safe. Thank you for your support in this challenging time".
6th November 2020
We are now gearing up for lockdown and our response. Details of our on line services can be found on the services page.
St Paul's is opening for private prayer on Weds afternoon 1-3 and Saturday morning 11-1 (from 11th) throughout the lockdown.
We are also pausing for prayer each day at 6pm as the Archbishops invite us to pray for our communities everyday throughout the lockdown. I'm encouraging us to take a moment at six each evening to pause, pray and light a candle to remind our communities that we are remembering them. Here is a link to resources from the Church of England https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches/call-prayer-nation?
1st November 2020:
"Following the announcement last night, public worship in our churches will stop after our communion service on Wednesday this week. Throughout the lockdown we will be expanding our range of online services and details will be published here over the next few days. The lessons learned in the spring mean we are better prepared this time to respond. There will also be details of St Paul's being open for private prayer during the week.
Please keep safe and remember that the love of God is with us in these difficult times.
September 28 2020: "We are changing the way we broadcast our services in order to try and improve the sound quality and make it easier for people to be able to see and hear what is happening. On Sunday mornings the 10.30 service at St Pauls will not be broadcast live - it will be recorded and will then be uploaded to our Facebook and YouTube pages later in the day.
Instead of that we will be live-streaming a service of the word from our office at 10.30am which anyone is welcome to join in with on facebook or YouTube."
24th September 2020: "Following the Prime Minister's broadcast on September 22nd, we are pleased that our regular services continue and our buildings remain open at this time. We advise everyone to follow government guidance and to observe precautions on social distancing and hygiene at this difficult time as infections increase. We are continuing with our online presence and in the months ahead will be planning more special events- so watch this space"
Update on Cheeky Monkeys and Fisherfolk: "We were hoping that we would be able to run Fisherfolk and Cheeky Monkeys from the start of this month and had undertaken all necessary risk assessments and safety procedures , however in the light of current guidance to all providers we have postponed our reopening for the time being. When we have a new date, we will publish here and on social media.
We are keen to resume both groups as soon as the guidance changes as we know that everyone misses them and look forward to seeing you again"
Update of Face Coverings in Church and St Martins Reopening: "Government policy on face coverings in places of worship is changing. From August 8th it will be mandatory to wear face coverings in church. In light of this please come prepared to wear a face covering during services at both St Pauls and St Martins as we work together to protect each other.
To receive communion please remove your mask by unlooping it from one ear only and dropping it down to hang off the other one. After receiving the host please replace your mask by replacing the same loop back over your ear. Do NOT pull it down under your chin or touch the front of it to remove it. You will be transferring any virus onto your hands and then everywhere else.
As it stands at the current time St Martins is planning to reopen on 9th August. It will initially be opening for Sunday 9am worship only – there will be no Thursday midday prayers at the moment. Social distancing rules etc and contract tracing forms will be in place as they are at St Pauls. There is no need to book, but spaces will be limited due to social distancing and it will take time to enter safely so please arrive with enough time before the service starts."
Hannah, 1st August 2020
Face coverings update: "The re-opening of St Paul's has gone well and the plans for St Martin's are underway. Yesterday guidance was issued by the Church of England following the government's publication of national guidance on face coverings in indoor spaces.
The guidance states:
"We strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship where there may be other people present. This includes not only members of the congregation but also the president and any other ministers. Face coverings should only be removed to receive Holy Communion."
The wearing of face coverings is not compulsory but we are asking everyone to be mindful of the guidance when they come to church this Sunday. We are currently thinking through the specifics of this policy and we will update the website early next week
I know I can count on your continued support as we keep safe while we worship God together"
Mark, 24 July 2020
From this weekend we will be streaming our Sunday 10.30am service and our Wednesday 10.30am service live from St Pauls each week and we will be streaming morning prayer each morning weekday morning at 9.15am. There will be no evening or night prayer streamed from the parish during August.
You can continue to access our services though Facebook, or you can access them through YouTube. Our YouTube channel is: The Parish of St. Martin and St. Paul Canterbury and you can find our videos, including links to upcoming services, here:
We realise that the sound quality is variable when streaming from church and we apologise for that but we have worked to get it to the best standard that we can – due to the type of service that it is, the Wednesday morning Prayer Book Eucharist tends to have a slightly higher sound quality.
For pre-recorded parts of the service such as some readings and the psalm we will be releasing a separate video on YouTube of these parts of the service that you can watch afterwards if that is helpful.
The notice sheet each week has the words for the Sunday readings and collect for the day and it can be found, along with the order of service, on our website (make sure you scroll down the page to find everything): https://www.martinpaul.org/publications.htm
Thanks for your patience in these difficult times,
"It was good to be back in St Paul's on Sunday, the service went smoothly and we have learned a few lessons for next week. We are continuing to develop our streaming of services to iron out some of the problems for those who were watching at home this week. We are also upping our capacity slightly(while maintaining social distancing and the safety of all attending) as we were quite busy on Sunday morning. To help give others the opportunity to worship in church on Sunday mornings especially those who work , we are encouraging people who can to attend our 10.30 service on Wednesday mornings or to consider coming on a fortnightly basis at this stage, as we follow church and government to keep everyone safe. If you are attending church we are encouraging people to arrive early as it takes time to get everyone seated while keeping appropriately socially distanced.
Thank you for helping us at this challenging time as we worship God in our buildings and safeguard the well being of others."
Mark 14 July 2020
Streaming services from church
As we move back into our buildings we are changing the way we stream. This should not impact you too greatly as you can still access all our services through facebook if that is what you are used to.
Our Sunday service will no longer be a pre-recorded video but will be streamed live from St Pauls. Because of the challenges of our building, internet and computer equipment the quality will not be as good as our videos have been. We have done countless tests and experiments to get the best solution that we can but we acknowledge that it will not be perfect. We have had to compromise but we feel that the advantages of being back in the building and the atmosphere that comes from seeing the regular worship space, as well as the community aspect of being live all together (those in the building and those at home) is important.
What to do on Sunday morning – if you are watching with us at home access the service the same way you would in previous weeks. Make sure your sound is turned up as high as it can go and if possible we recommend listening through headphones to get the clearest sound quality.
If you find it too hard to hear, or just want some variety, there are still some churches broadcasting from home in the Deanery that will most likely have better sound that you can join with:
St Mildred, St Peter and St Dunstan – rev Jo Richards streams live at 10am on Sunday here: https://www.facebook.com/Benefice-of-St-Dunstan-St-Mildred-and-St-Peter-Canterbury-1708966799187938/
We will also be streaming our Wednesday morning service. This will be a simpler and slightly shorter service and we are expecting the streaming quality to be slightly higher.
"Last night the PCC approved the plans to re-open our churches for public worship and agreed on our risk assessment. St Paul's will open on Sunday 12th July for a 10.30 Eucharist and will hold two services each week- a Sunday Eucharist and a Wednesday morning communion following the Book of Common Prayer at 10.30am. We promised to publish our seating capacity based on 2 metre distancing and that will be THIRTY FIVE. Services will continue to be broadcast- live streamed on Sunday and Wednesday allowing everyone access, as well as continuing with live daily services for the time being.
St Martin's will open on Thursday 6th August for Midday Prayers and on 9th August for our 9am communion. We will be publishing further guidance in the weeks ahead but the Sunday service is likely to be ticketed due to our reduced capacity.
We are in a very different situation to anything we have experienced in recent years, so pray for our life as a parish and bear with us as we return to our churches, we will be pursuing a cautious approach but one which is open to adjustment and the need to listen, above all allowing everyone to worship God at home or in church safely and prayerfully
Mark - 7/7/20
"Following the Prime Minister's announcement that public worship can resume from July, we are currently looking to potentially open St Paul's on July 12th, although this is dependent on making sure that all safety measures are in place and that we are able to follow guidelines issued by the church. We will be continuing to broadcast our services on Facebook on Sunday mornings for the foreseeable future, so that no one is unable to access worship especially as we expect restrictions on numbers and activities in the building and encourage the vulnerable to remain safe. We are working on plans to re-open St Martin's when it is safe to do so. We will keep updating our website as further guidance is issued by the government and by the diocese". (24 June 2020)
OPENING OUR CHURCHES: Over the last few weeks we have been developing our use of St Paul’s for recording and streaming services, a process which will continue to evolve in the weeks ahead as we prepare for a future resumption of public worship and a period when services will be available on-line as well. We are also going to be filming in St Martin’s both for services and for those who want to know more of the history of the church. The Prime Minister announced that as from June 15th churches may open for private prayer. At their recent meeting the Standing Committee discussed this development and have decided that for the time being our churches will remain shut for private prayer, this is so we can continue to develop our online worship using our churches, attend to some essential maintenance and prepare our churches to safely reopen when we are allowed to resume public worship. We will be signposting those places of worship that will be opening for private prayer when information is available in due course. The Standing Committee and PCC will be reviewing the position at their meetings at the end of this month. (15 June 2020)