Yesterday I opened Holy Trinity church in Binegar for private prayer. I sat in the sun outside and chatted to a couple of people who came. One person said, “Thank you, I know I can pray at home, and I do, but there is such a peace in church and I have missed it.”
Some of us refer to ‘thin places’, that is those places where there seems to be only a thin space between this world and the spiritual realms. People have gone to pray for hundreds of years, we know that for over 950 years people have prayed on the site of Binegar church. Visitors comment on the sense of peace and it is more than just the quiet.
So it was pleasing to hear yesterday that we are allowed to open churches for services from 4 July. However, our Bishops have emphasised this is permissive not prescriptive and that we have to be sure that in the current pandemic, which is not over, we are able to keep people safe. That is those who attend and also those who will be required to clean and serve. I am already grateful to the volunteer church wardens who have helped to clean the church buildings and discuss the next steps. I will be working with them in the coming days as we listen to advice from the government, the national church and our Diocesan Bishops, and decide when and how we begin services again in Beacon Trinity Parish.
It is important to note that many people have been continuing to worship during the lockdown, either through Zoom or connecting to online services or simply spending time with God at home. I am interested to know your experiences of these last few months. How will our experiences influence how we continue our lives in our villages? In particular for me, how might it change what we do as church.
Be assured, we will begin Sunday services again very soon but we will put the health and safety of our members and the congregation before all else. To this end we may not have a service on 5th July. Any decisions will be shared as widely as possible and as soon as possible.
God bless and stay safe.
Priest in Charge