I hope you and all your family are well. It’s hard to believe that we are just only one week into the second ‘lockdown.’ Still as each day goes by, we are one day nearer the end.
Thanks to all of you who supported the Remembrance Sunday services last weekend, especially in the morning. Facebook recorded an audience ‘reach’ of over 2000 for the morning service from even as far away as Bermuda! That does not include those who watched online through their web browser rather than through the app. So, who knows how many more watched it! We had some very favourable feedback and comments. I was also able to take a short Act of Remembrance service on Armistice Day (11<sup>th</sup> November) itself on the canal bank in Moore at the invitation of Pam Taylor-Floyd.
There still seems to be some misunderstanding about Facebook. As mentioned on a number of occasions before, you do not need to have a Facebook account to view the Church’s page. Just go online and put https://www.facebook.com/daresburychurch into your web browser (Google etc); click ‘enter’ or ‘go.’ Facebook will try to make you open an account with them, but you do not need to do so to view the page, if you don’t want to.
In any event the service is also available on the Church’s YouTube site from the Sunday afternoon. Either go to YouTube and search for Daresbury Church or type in https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfda6IN8rV3qSHiTKvTTvug and you’ll be able to find the service. You’ll also be able to find all the services starting from early on in the pandemic as well as a number of other videos produced by the Church of England or other Christian bodies etc. I shall be adding to these as time goes on, so as to provide you with a library of material about our faith for you to look at in your own time.
Although this second lockdown is due to end on 2<sup>nd</sup> December, no one knows what will happen next. This makes planning for our Christmas services very difficult to organise. We are beginning to put some plans in place based upon the pattern of services and what we were allowed to do in Tier 2 and Tier 3 before this current lockdown started.
We will be having a drive-in Carol Service in the Church Car Park on 18<sup>th</sup> December at 6.30pm. You will be able to sit in the comparative warmth of your car and listen to the service through your car radio. We will be providing you with an FM radio frequency to tune into. The Choir will be providing some music and Claire is arranging a small brass ensemble to play. There will also be a PA system. All of this will comply with the social distancing rules etc that apply at the time.
From early December we shall have a Christmas Tree by the Lychgate. There will be lights and some decorations. But we would really like you to add your own decorations, homemade or otherwise so that the tree becomes a community tree. More details to follow.
Our Christingle service has become very popular over the years. For many families with children this is their Christmas service. Obviously, this year it will have to be very different. We plan to put together bags containing all you need to make your own Christingle at home. These will be distributed in various ways. The service on Christmas Eve at 4.30pm will be streamed via Facebook Live in the same way as we do with our Sunday morning services. If you would like to help with the organisation please let Claire Longstaff, Myra Fye, Gill or myself know. Again, more details to follow.
Following the previous rules regarding how to hold services and keeping the Church COVID safe, we will only be able to hold one service for Christmas itself – Midnight Communion/Mass at 11.30pm. Again, we will have to limit the numbers to 30. Tickets will shortly be available through Eventbrite as before. There will be no services the following morning.
Similarly, there will be no services on 27<sup>th</sup> December. Our Bishops have given parishes dispensation not to hold services then because there isn’t 72 hours between 25<sup>th</sup> and 27<sup>th</sup> December and the difficulties we have in cleaning and making the Church COVID secure.
I am sorry that there is quite a lot to take in this Pastoral Letter. Please take time to read through it carefully. If you want to know more, please do not hesitate to contact me. All of this was discussed and agreed by the Standing Committee on Thursday.
And finally, the service sheet for tomorrow is attached. It will be led James,
<span style="font-size: 1rem;">With God’s blessing,</span>
<span style="font-size: 1rem;">David</span>