What great news that we can re-open our churches for public worship, if we clean them thoroughly first. That might not seem like such a big thing, but believe me, it is! With some very willing and able helpers, over the course of two days, that is what we have done at St Mark’s in Friday Bridge. The result is that we can open the church again. This Thursday between 10.30am and 12.30pm we are open for quiet reflection and private prayer. There will be a few rules that must be followed to enable us to stay within the Government and Church of England guidelines and to keep our own community safe. We are asking everyone to allow our attendant to take their temperature and then write their contact details down. The contact details are for the track and trace system and the data collected will only be kept for 21 days before being destroyed. We should also be grateful if everyone would wear a mask and use the hand sanitizing stations at the church on entry and on exit to the building. The pews have been cordoned off, but we would still ask that everyone maintains the 2 metre social distancing. There is a one way system into the church and out of it, through a side door. Signs have been posted to enable everyone to find their way around, but the attendant will be there to offer help and guidance. This will allow us to re-open for private prayer as we have always done on a Thursday, but the time is limited as we have to have someone in attendance. Our public worship, although slightly altered, will once again take place and the first service at St Mark’s is set for 19th July at 10.30am. Look out for the posters outside church and information in social media and on our A Church Near You page. This service will be one of Holy Communion, but as yet we are not allowed to sing hymns, nor are we allowed to partake of the common cup; the wafer will be distributed to those that wish to receive. We have all spent months in isolation and some of us have been following services by the Church of England and the Diocese of Ely streamed via YouTube on a Sunday morning. For some, there will still be an embargo on going to church, owing to shielding or extra risk factors in their health. We will continue to pray for everyone, whether in attendance or not; church is the people, rather than the building after all. Do feel free to drop by on Thursdays if you wish, but please abide by our rules. We want everyone to stay safe and well. God bless you all!
Church of England Diocese of Ely Friday Bridge with Coldham