Church of England Diocese of Blackburn Christ Church, Thornton

Public Worship Sunday 17 January 2021

15 Jan 2021, 8:45 p.m.

Dear Church Community,

This Sunday Christ Church will be open for public worship, in a very restricted way, so as to make a visit to Church as safe as is practically possible.

The government continues to permit places of worship to remain open for public worship because it deems them as being 'essential.' The local church is the essential hope of the world, pointing to an essential saviour. In light of this it seems important we continue to remain open as much as possible and if considered as safe as possible. My decision to remain open remains one which is under constant review from week to week and is based on a thorough risk assessment and regular liaison between the Churchwardens, PCC and Ministers.

Like last Sunday, we will be open but with a temporary pattern of service times:

8:45 AM Sunday Service
10:00 AM Sunday Service
11:15 AM Sunday Service
12:30 PM Sunday Service

These are the headlines you need to know:

Each service will be no more than 30 minutes.
Each service will be identical.
Each service will have a maximum of 15 people in the congregation.
There will NOT be holy communion at any service.
Booking for services is still required and must be completed by 10:00 PM on Saturday evening.
Arrival will take place via the Hall entrance.
Please be aware of the sometimes icy surface of the car park during the winter months.
On arrival, please approach the Hall entrance having already put on your face covering, rather than arrive at the entrance and then put it on.
Face coverings should be worn at all times (visors on their own are not sufficient)
In light of the increased transmission of the virus, if you have an exemption from wearing a face covering, please make contact with me and I will seek to make arrangements for an area of seating for you which keeps you and others even safer.
Please observe the floor stickers, use hand sanitiser and use the NHS app if you have it.
Please arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before the start of the service.
Please do not make conversation with or pass anything to a Churchwarden or other volunteer on arrival (for your protection and their protection).
Exiting the building will happen through the front doors and funeral doors.
DO NOT attend if you have any symptoms which could be deemed to be associated with COVID-19.
DO NOT attend if you have been asked to isolate by the NHS or other authorities.
DO NOT attend if you know you have been in recent contact with someone who has subsequently tested positive for the virus (but NHS track and trace haven't got around to contacting you yet).
Please do not attend if you have a seasonal cold or cough, as coughing and sneezing is a way the virus can be transmitted more effectively by those who have the virus but are asymptomatic and don't realise it.

We are doing everything we can to make a visit to Christ Church as safe as possible and as safe as any other public place can be. This does not mean it is 'safe' from the virus. There are many factors which cannot be controlled: those who come who may be infected but not know it; those who come who may have underlying health conditions and not know it; the effectiveness of face coverings; the behaviours of people upon arrival, and so on. In the midst of a pandemic and a mutating virus with increased transmission, we possibly sometimes feel that nowhere is truly safe. We all have to therefore make our own assessment of risk. For some of you reading this email, you have been advised by the NHS, government or family to stay at home all the time. It is my duty as a community leader to remind you of this. Just because Church is open this Sunday, does not mean you have to attend.

However, the invitation to attend extends to all. Some will consider their mental, emotional and spiritual health as well as their physical health in deciding whether to come. Others will consider those you come into contact with later in the week. We all have responsibilities to ourselves and to one another. So please hear me loud and clear: do not come to Church if you sense you are unwell, do not come to Church if it causes you to fear and be anxious that you might be putting yourself at risk, do not come to Church if those who know you best and love you and care about you think it is unwise for you to do so, and certainly do not come to Church because you think it is expected of you. Come to Church if you will find it helpful, if you feel you need to, if you are able and comfortable to do so and feel safe doing so.

So what next...

You can book your place at a service by clicking HERE.

Our public worship will still be live streamed. As there will be one service repeated through the day, it won't be necessary to live stream all four identical services. We will live stream the first service at 8:45 AM, which you can then watch back at any point during the day on Sunday. You will be able to watch on our YouTube channel HERE and our Facebook channel HERE.

May God bless you, preserve you, and hold you close to him now and always.

Yours in His service,

Reverend D E Platt | Vicar | Christ Church Thornton

Telephone: (01253) 272372

Email: [email protected]