Church of England Diocese of London St. Matthew, Ponders End

A second pastoral letter from Fr Stephen

8 Jul 2020, 12:15 a.m.
Guidance_and_instructions_for_attending_St_Matthew_from_16th_August_re_dWJII1v.pdf Download

7th July: St Alphege Vicarage

My dear friends,

In my recent letter to you all on 12th June, I explained why we had decided not to open the church for public worship on 5th July, which was the first opportunity on a Sunday after the government allowed places of worship to open once again from 4th July onwards.

It was never our intention to delay the reopening of St Alphege and St Matthew any longer than necessary, and I’m very pleased to be able to confirm that we will now be reopening on Sunday 16th August – at 0930 in St Alphege and at 1115 (please note the slightly later time) in St Matthew.

Those of you who were able to join the livestreamed mass last Sunday will have heard me say that the reopened churches and services will be quite different from the way they were before the lockdown. Accompanying this letter is some detailed information (click on 'DOWNLOAD' to read it) about what to expect, and what to do and what not to do, when you come to mass once we’ve reopened. (Please make sure you have the correct document – there’s one specifically for St Alphege and one specifically for St Matthew.)

Each is a long document, but I do urge you to read it all, and to read it carefully.

I fully understand that some of you may be nervous about venturing out, especially if you have a medical condition that makes you particularly vulnerable. I want you to stay safe above everything else, so please do not feel obliged to return to church if you do not feel comfortable about doing so. For the time being the livestreaming of the mass will continue on Facebook for the benefit of those who are unable to come to church in person. On the other hand, if you can physically get to church, and feel safe whilst you’re there, please come and be with us rather than watching us from home!

Finally, Coleen and I will be on holiday from 17th July until the 1st August, and so there will be no livestreamed masses from St Alphege on Wednesday evenings for those two weeks, nor on Sundays 19th and 26th July. On those two Sundays, please join Fr Stephen Gallagher and his congregation who will be livestreaming their mass from SS Peter and Paul, Enfield Lock. The mass is at 1000 and you can find it on their Facebook page here.

Whilst we’re away, though, the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer will continue to be said using Microsoft Teams, and if you’d like to join in please send me an email!

Your parish priest and friend,

Fr Stephen