The coronavirus has brought many changes to church life - some challenging, some wonderful.
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During lockdown we had a great time meeting for worship over Zoom. Now we're back in church every Sunday at 10am, and we're pleased to say that, if you can't be with us in church, you can join us via Zoom.
The link for the 10am service, every week, is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86563973122?pwd=SWtUY1pqNXJJdWFMSCtXc2hCTWhUdz09
Meeting ID: 865 6397 3122
You can join from 9.45am. You'll be held in a 'waiting area' until the Zoom host admits you. Please make sure that your device name is your real name, and not something generic like 'iPad123', so that the host knows who you are. Most weeks we'll do our best to make sure there's a Zoom welcomer, so please don't hesitate to join in from anywhere in the world!
It's great to have feedback about what is and isn't working Zoom-wise. Please keep your ideas for any improvement coming.
Changes from Sunday 1st August 2021
The PCC Standing Committee and Janet Holdstock (Pastoral Assistant and Parish Safeguarding Officer) met on 23rd July and agreed changes to the way we gather, to take effect from this Sunday, 1st August. The changes are listed below. You will see that some things will remain the same, some will change to reflect the relaxed regulations, but our decisions have been guided, first and foremost by the wish to continue to protect the vulnerable amongst us, and include provision for anyone simply not ready to mix freely yet.
If you would rather listen than read, the sermon on 25th July, which includes all these changes, is here.
Please continue to wear a face covering in the building if at all possible.
Please continue to use the hand sanitiser when you enter and leave the building (and before receiving Communion).
Social distancing (or not)
The pews on the south side of the main aisle (the side of the main door) will be occupied by those wishing to maintain social distance.
The pews on the north side of the main aisle will be occupied by those happy to not maintain social distance.
The third bank of pews in the north aisle will be used for ‘overflow’ – those not socially distanced at the front, and those socially distanced at the back.
Please note that because of the above seating arrangements, sitting in favourite seats is not possible for the time being. However, if you have particular needs regarding seating, please have a word with Aline beforehand (email or 07771 636872) or talk with a sidesperson when you arrive. We will, of course, do our best to accommodate you.
We will review the situation as we go along. Everyone is encouraged to share their hopes and concerns, especially with members of the PCC.
We will be keeping all three doors open during services – Priest’s door, South (main) door, and West (tower) door, and signs placed at each door will explain that they are open for ventilation only, and will ask you to enter via the main door.
Let us know if you're coming
Please notify Aline (email or 07771 636872) of your intention to attend church, and state whether you would like to keep socially distant or not. We will try this for 2 weeks and then review the system, with the hope of dispensing with it if possible.
Before the service
Please refrain from standing and chatting in the aisle; we encourage as much talking as possible from your seat.
Recorded music will be played from 9.30am until the organist plays.
After the service
Time will be allowed for those who do not wish to mingle, to escape first, before those who are happy to stay move from their seats.
If you are staying and mingling, please continue to be aware of others who may not be as comfortable.
After-service coffee will be provided from 1st August onwards.
Keeping the church open
The building will remain open for private prayer and reflection, as it is currently, on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Music and singing
Singing during the service will be possible from 1st August onwards.
Health & Safety (including Covid concerns) and Safeguarding Risk Assessments have been completed and a copy is available in church.
If necessary, separate services e.g. a service run under the current conditions (socially distanced, face masks, no singing etc), could be organised but we decided to wait to see how the changes to the main service are received.
We will continue to encourage just waving for now.
We will continue, for now, with the same procedure as in place currently i.e. administration of the wafer (bread) only.
Life Events (Christenings, Weddings, Funerals)
We strongly recommend the use of face masks for all services. As part of the preparation Ruth, the Vicar, will ask you about vulnerabilities amongst your guests and how we should protect any people of concern.
The front pews may be taken out of use (for all services) if necessary.
We will put up clear notices asking people not to enter if they are unwell.
Test & Trace
We strongly encourage the continued use of the system.
The cleaning procedures will be changed slightly, but cleaning will continue to a high standard.
All these changes have been communicated via the newsletter, placed on the website and announced in church.
Through all of this, please continue to communicate your hopes and concerns to any PCC member.
The anxiety and sadness caused by Covid-19 will be with us for a long time. Since March 2020 a team of pastoral carers has been in touch with over 100 isolating, lonely and vulnerable people. If you are lonely, worried or need some practical (non-contact) help and would like to talk with someone then please call Janet 01622 710083 (Authorised Pastoral Assistant) or Ruth 07803 902319 (the Vicar).
Morning Prayer by Zoom
Every weekday morning via Zoom, from 8.30am-9am. We follow Common Worship Daily Prayer and allow time for sharing and prayer about any news and concerns. Everyone is welcome. Please email Aline for the link.
Weekly Prayer by Zoom
Every Wednesday evening at 7pm, via Zoom for about 45 minutes. A chance to pray for all concerns - worldwide, national and local. We may follow this litany (but it's not essential to have a copy). Please email Ian for the link.