Attending a service in church
Published by Jon Cooper on Friday, 17 July 2020 13:56
It is now possible to receive holy communion at church. We are offering a service on Sunday at 11.30am, repeated on Tuesday at 6.30pm. We use the readings for the second service of the Sunday, which means it will be different readings and homily from the recorded on-line service which will continue to premiere on YouTube at 10am each Sunday.
When you attend a service there are social distancing and hand hygiene measures in place, and we have a system of making different pews available on each occasion. This means that we can only allocate twelve pews per service, which would enable a family group, or a couple, or a single person to sit in each pew.
It is therefore necessary to book a place, which you can do by calling Yvette on 07526 813347 or emailing her email@example.com. We are trying to be as flexible as possible, and some folk who are able to do so will be happy to swap if you find your chosen service is already fully booked. So far, demand has not been great, so the chances are that your selected service will have a free space - don't hang back!
Those who have come tell us that they are glad that they have done so. It's certainly different and you will find (for example) there will be no singing. There will be a service book in each place and you are invited to take that home with you afterwards and bring it back as your personal copy each time you attend.
Update: Friday 7th August
From Saturday 8th August face coverings are mandatory when attending services in church.
The clergy will wear face masks at the church door to greet people and in the more confined space of the doorways and entrance area, but then will not wear face coverings when presiding at the altar or lectern. When the priest comes forward to distribute communion he or she will wear a face mask. Each communicant will need to remove their face covering in order to receive communion, and we recommend you remove it prior to leaving your pew and then sanitizing your hands with the hand sanitizer which is near the place of distribution. As you return to your place there will be another hand sanitization station for you to clean your hands again prior to putting the face mask back on. Best practice suggests you should also sanitize before removing the face covering and after replacing it, and in future weeks we hope to have provided hand sanitizer bottles for each pew, but in the meantime if you want to follow this extra precaution you would need to bring your own.
If you forget to bring a face covering, we have a supply of disposable face masks available.
Strange as it may seem, we think we will all find this an easier and easier routine to follow, especially as it becomes normative in shops and other indoor public spaces, and as the lockdown continues to relax and we anticipate other activities starting up again in the Autumn, we might find the routine of hand sanitizing and wearing face coverings to be so normal as not to be something which we even notice! We might observe that these requirements do not restrain or restrict us, they enable us to engage in the practices of our faith as best we can, and also are a way of demonstrating our care for each other. We wear our face coverings because we care for each other.
send down upon your Church the riches of your Spirit,
and kindle in all who minster the Gospel
your countless gifts of grace,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.