Church and COVID-19 after July 19th
As we look at how life may change as legal restrictions are lifted we probably all realise that we cannot go from doing nothing to doing everything – that would be too much too fast. And many people may still be anxious, especially with the uncertainty of rising infection rates. Some people are also concerned because they are especially vulnerable. We want to keep church as safe as possible and that includes alleviating anxiety as well as keeping physical measures.
We are therefore taking things slowly – one good change will be that from Sunday 25<sup>th</sup> we will be able to sing in the service – hurray! We will at the moment however be asking people who attend church on Sundays, and for Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals to continue to wear masks (in the same way that supermarkets etc are doing), and where possible to sit in a socially distanced way. Communion will still be done carefully, and offered in one kind (the bread only). These measures may gradually be changed when it seems appropriate. This approach seems to be a common one across the churches, and is in in line with the advice from the Bishops in our Diocese and Churches Together In England.
The NHS has some tips about moving from all the restrictions including lockdown, to the situation we are in now without legal constraints.
With regard to how to behave as we continue in the Pandemic, and how to view it St Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians seem apposite:
I have the freedom to do anything, but not everything is helpful. I have the freedom to do anything, but I won’t be controlled by anything.
Stay safe everyone! Grace & Peace, Rev’d Marc Cooper, Rector.