I hope you are all well as is your family.
This week we learnt the Sam had been moved by the Home Office to Preston, along with a number of other asylum seekers at Daresbury Park Hotel. We wish them well. Hopefully he will still keep in touch with us through the internet as he settles into his new church. Please pray for him and all those staying at the hotel, and especially those who have joined us in our services over the last few months and become part of this our Christian community.
Gill is keeping in touch with what’s going on there through her work with Trinity Safe Space. This is an ecumenical and multi-faith group working in Runcorn and Widnes offering support to asylum seekers. She has mentioned this is on a number of occasions in services.
Here in Warrington and Halton we are about enter into another period of restrictions as a result of the increase in the number of COVID cases. It doesn’t look like they’re as severe as those earlier in the year but things may change. Just to remind you of what I wrote in yesterday’s Pastoral Email in case you missed it. The ‘rule of six’ does not affect how many can come to our services. That number is limited by the layout of the church and the need to make it COVID-19 safe. The rule limits the size of individual groups. The advice says:-
“There is an exemption from the ‘rule of six’ that covers places of worship making it possible for more than six people to gather for acts of communal worship. However, it is not a blanket exemption and people must not mingle in groups of more than six unless they are from the same household or support bubble.”
You may recall that in my Pastoral Email of 29th August I mentioned that at the time I was awaiting advice and guidance as to how to organise the 2020 Annual Parish Meetings. In the meantime, I asked everyone to note that they would be held on 7th October at 7.30pm as set by the PCC Standing Committee. I said they would be in Church, since at the time that was the only way the meetings could be held by the deadline of 31st October.
I have now heard that Bishop Mark has authorised that the meetings can also be held online using, for example, Zoom. This is a far better way of dealing with the situation. None of us knows how the COVID-19 restrictions will develop. By doing it this way we will be allowing for as many people as possible to take part. Many of us are reluctant to go out unnecessarily. Those who aren’t online can take part by telephone. Copies of the Annual Report and Accounts will be circulated electronically or posted out for those who are not online. Nomination forms for Churchwarden will need to be signed and returned to me at The Vicarage or electronically before the meeting starts. Where a vote is needed on any item of business, this can be done through Zoom. Other Zoom tools can be adapted to meet our needs. The detail of all this will be looked at by the PCC when it next meets on 29th September on Zoom.
As this needs to be formally agreed by the PCC. I have written to them asking the members for their formal approval. You might like to know that all our PCC, Standing Committee, Worship Leaders and Facilities Team meetings are on Zoom (not to mention the Bible study and Coffee morning) and are very effective. So I have no concerns about our meeting this way.
We are sorry that the live stream of last week’s Sunday service on Facebook was interrupted. We don’t know why, but these things happen. As it was, Mark worked very quickly and managed to get everything up and running again after a few minutes. If it does happen again, please don’t despair as it will come back. If you don’t get it back you might need to refresh your page a few times. Anyway, a recorded version can always be found later in the day on YouTube or the telephone, as well as on our Facebook page.
This week’s service sheet is attached as usual.
With God’s blessing,