Benefice Churches Opening
Having considered the various guidance and risk assessments produced by the government and the Church of England, alongside our specific circumstances as churches and communities, our PCCs have come to consensus decisions for our 3 churches, All Saints Publow, St Mary’s Compton Dando, and St Leonard’s Chelwood. We would like to accommodate the wide variety of wishes and feelings about our church buildings being open. But caring for our congregations, our church family, and our communities, have always been, our priority. For some people, you would dearly love to be back in the building worshipping together. You very much miss being together face to face and this decision may cause strong frustration. For others it may still be some time before you are ready to return or indeed can return to church because you are shielding yourself or family members from Covid 19. Therefore, our Benefice churches will be opening or not as follows:
All Saints Publow will remain closed until Sunday September 6 when we will once again open pending building works being completed. The churchyard will remain open to private visitors as long as social distancing and safety guidelines are followed.
St Mary’s Compton Dando will trial opening from Sunday July 19th at 10:00 for a said service of informal Morning Worship or Spiritual Communion. The service will last for approximately 35 minutes. Seating is limited to 12 persons due to 2 meter self distancing. Prebooking is required with Rev Denise by phone or email so that everyone can be accommodated. The churchyard is also open for private prayer and reflection.
St Leonard’s Chelwood will remain closed because opening is onerous and impractical for the small village congregation.
Online - The 10:00am service at St Mary’s will be recorded and posted to Facebook, YouTube and a link on Instagram. People may access it on Sunday afternoon. You can virtually worship as you have done throughout Covid 19 but this time with fellow church family members.
It will not be possible to return to the way things were before. Worshipping together physically will look and feel very different to our experience prior to the pandemic. Singing aloud together isn’t permitted. We also ask that along current government guidelines of advising face masks in enclosed spaces, people voluntarily do so in church. Antibacterial wipes or gel will be available on entry and exit. One way systems are in place. Those attending will be sent an order of service to print and bring with them, along with their own bible if they wish. We can specially set aside both of these items for worshippers if they let us know they require them.
God bless you all and I hope to see you soon.