3rd July, 2020
We are delighted that the church can reopen this weekend. Hallelujah! After these months in which we have all been aware of the services, some of us assisting them as servers, some lighting a candle far away – now at last we can worship together again.
The government guidelines which are aimed at preventing further spreading of the virus mean that we cannot yet share out communion, even though it would be our deepest wish to offer this healing medicine after these weeks of uncertainty and grief. Such a sacrifice, which is imposed from outside, always presents us with an opportunity. Every year in the midnight service, we experience what can happen when we focus solely on the congregational communion that takes place with and through the priest, with the words that are repeated three times: ‘I take the bread…’; ‘I take the cup…’. Through the course of the Act of Consecration of Man, we may come to feel that we are included in the ‘I’ that is speaking here. Our challenge now is to feel the whole congregation with us as we commune together with the priest: those present, those unable to attend, and those who have died. We would also like to draw your attention once more to the Sacramental Consultation. In this sacrament, the space is created for us to express the deepest concerns of our hearts and open ourselves for what streams towards us from the spiritual world. This is a way of preparing ourselves to receive the communion as a kind of answer to the questions we have brought.
We ask you please to respect the changes that we have made in line with the guidelines. If you have been diagnosed with Covid-19 or suspect you may have symptoms, or if you are ‘shielded’, we ask that you don’t attend church at the moment. We need to be aware of physical distancing in the entrance lobby and foyer, and when using the lavatories. We will enter the church space as usual and leave through the left-hand side door. To maintain physical distancing, we have created more rows of chairs. One chair is left free at each end of alternating rows; in the row in between, one chair is free in the middle of the row. People in one household may of course sit closer together, using chairs next to those left free on the ends of rows. Notices indicate which chairs should be left free. There is space for approximately 27 people in the church, and we would encourage you to think of supporting the weekday services so that we don’t need to turn anyone away on Sundays. At the moment there will be no tea and coffee after the service and we would ask you please to leave the building straight away. You are welcome to use the garden in line with the physical distancing guidelines.
– Luke Barr and Tom Ravetz
The priests will be celebrating as before at 9am on Thursday and Friday and 10am on Sunday.
The church is now open from Tuesday to Friday from 10 am – 12 Noon for private prayer.