Church of England Diocese of Blackburn Penwortham

LETTER FROM THE VICAR CONCERNING OPENING CHURCH ONCE MORE

8 Mar 2021, 5 p.m.

Dear Parishioner, 8th  March 2021

REOPENING OF ST MARY’S CHURCH FOR PUBLIC WORSHIP FROM SUNDAY 14th MARCH (Mothering Sunday)

At long last, this is the good news we have all been waiting for. Following the Government’s relaxation of lockdown from today and the Lancashire Directors of Health advice that it is now safe to resume communal worship and prayers, it enables us to reopen church for public worship. Our weekly pattern of services will resume as usual.

SUNDAYS:

8.15am Holy Communion – Order Two

10.15am Holy Communion – Order One. <strong>This service will also continue to be streamed on Zoom</strong>

THURSDAYS:

9.30am Holy Communion – Order Two

However, the following COVID 19 restrictions still apply and must be observed:-

<div>

30 chairs will set out two metres apart but families living in the same household can sit together. Please liaise with the churchwarden if it is necessary for any chairs to be moved.

Face masks must be worn at all times in church by everybody over 11yrs of age unless they are legally exempt

There will be a one-way system in operation – entry via south porch and exit via the west porch under the tower.

Hands must be washed using the sanitiser provided both on entry and exit from church.

A record of those who attend will have to be kept for test and trace purposes using the sheet on the table on entry.

The order of service booklet will be on every chair but we encourage you to bring your own copy if you attend the 10.15am service. This was circulated as an attachment to previous emails sent out to parishioners. All church copies will then be quarantined for 48 hours before being able to be used again.

Church doors will be left open during each service for circulation, so please dress appropriately to keep warm.

Services will be shorter than usual and at the 10.15am there will be no singing so no hymn books will be available.

The only sacrament offered will be the bread and the celebrant will visit each person and offer the communicant the bread at arm’s length wearing a face mask. 

Once the service finishes leave any church orders of service on your chair. People must not gather and should leave the church keeping two metres apart as soon as possible via the west door near which the alms plate will be placed.

The Directors of Health strongly advise that nobody should gather outside but to go home straightaway.

No refreshments (food and/or drinks) will be available. <span style="font-size: 1rem;">Toilets will not be available unless it is an emergency.</span>

<span style="font-size: 1rem;">There will be no physical contact between individuals and social distancing should be maintained at all times. </span>

We hope that further relaxing of these restrictions will take place as per the government’s road map as the risk factors continue to reduce. I will keep you all informed of developments together with details of when other services such as baptisms, weddings and funerals can be held.

With every blessing - Your Vicar Chris

</div>