Over the past few months, due to the Covid restrictions, we have had to keep the doors of St Paul's Church building firmly closed, in line with government regulations. We were delighted to hear last week that the government had changed their guidance, and given churches permission to open their doors from this weekend.
St Paul's PCC Standing Committee have been meeting regularly via Zoom, and the plans for opening have been worked through thoroughly. We are confident that we have the measures in place to allow us to take advantage of the government's relaxing of the regulations, and to allow people to come into the building for private prayer. Parishioners are asked to wash their hands before entering the building, and to ensure that they observe the 2m social distancing at all times. To assist with that, we have put in place a one-way system within the building, asking people to go up the centre aisle and to return down the side aisles.
Having the building open for prayer is an important sign for our community here in Adlington. It allows people to pray in the place where the Eucharist is celebrated, and to light candles to aid their prayers. It has been heartbreaking to see the doors of our church closed over the past weeks, as we have been longing to welcome people into the building as soon as it has been deemed safe to do so.
Prayer material will be available as people enter the building, but we ask that, to keep everyone safe, these are not returned, but taken home with you. If you would prefer to bring your own materials, we would encourage that, and a booklet is available here to assist in that. Further Worship Resources for this week are available here.
Above all, we are delighted to be able to welcome those who wish to come and pray in our beautiful parish church, and hope that everyone will respect the measures we have put in place to make such prayer as safe as possible in the current circumstances.
The Donation Point in Church will be available; if you do use it, please ensure that you use hand sanitiser before and afterwards. Alternatively, there is a QR Code on the poster by the machine which will allow you to make a donation via the internet on your own smartphone.
Daily mass will continue to be celebrated outside the opening times of church, and uploaded to Facebook for Premiere at the usual mass times. We will review this situation once Government guidelines move to allow some form of public worship in church.
Government advice remains that those in vulnerable groups (including those aged over 70) should stay at home as much as possible, and if they do go out, should be particularly mindful of the need for diligence in handwashing and in minimising contact with other people.
Those in extremely clinically vulnerable groups/shielding (who received a letter from NHS England) are currently not advised to attend places of worship.