Church of England Diocese of Manchester The Good Shepherd, Ashton-under-Lyne

These events occur regularly throughout the calendar year.


St James on Sunday Afternoon

Every Second, Fourth, Fifth Sunday at 4 p.m. for 1hr 30m

Union Street

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This is a service which is informal and aimed at families. A typical afternoon consists of games, crafts and an act of worship all focussed on a theme and finishing with some food.

Refreshments Family Friendly

Holy Communion

Every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. for 1hr

Union Street

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Service uses Common Worship, Order One. There is an area of the church set aside for families and children with activity sheets, books and soft toys.

Refreshments Common Worship Family Friendly

Cafe Church - Currently Suspended

Every Second Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. for 30m

Union Street

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Informal worship with tea, coffee and a chat.
Everyone is welcome

All age/Family Eucharist/Holy Communion


Every day at 12:15 a.m. for 30d

St James
Union Street
United Kingdom

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The Delta variant has seen Covid rates in Tameside rise higher than the peak numbers of the
last lockdown and we know that hospital admissions are rising again. Many are afraid still to
venture out, others while willing to go shopping are worried about spending too much time
together in an indoor setting.
Those, who until recently, were shielding still face significant risks in public places, the
likelihood for them of catching the virus has reduced but many of them will still be very
badly affected if they do become infected.
Others, however, point to the major positive effect of the vaccination programme and long
for times to revert to what life was like pre-pandemic.
When our PCC met on Thursday evening, we had a wide-ranging discussion about public
worship and about the use of our church buildings. The various perspectives, which I have
mentioned, were aired and discussed. It was noted that in Church Wardens meetings across
the Diocese of Manchester there have been no reports of churches being the source of
anyone picking up the Covid infection. It was stressed that this has been because of the
cautious approach taken by so many churches.
The guidance that we have received from the national government and the national church,
from The Diocese and local politicians is clear that while the legal position has changed the
need for caution has not.
After very careful consideration, PCC decided that we should continue the cautious
approach which we believe has kept people as safe as possible when they attend worship.
We were particularly concerned to continue to be that place of safety for those who feel
most vulnerable. The words written by St. Paul to the Philippian church seem most apposite:
“Look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. The attitude you should have is the one
that Christ Jesus had.” (Philippians 2: 4-5)
We are aware that for some members of our congregations this will feel as though we are
moving too slowly. We ask those of you for whom this is true, to bear with us over coming
months and continue to join with us in worship.
Our plan is that we:
• Remain in our usual congregations over the Summer, rather than meet together for
Sunday morning worship, and that we review measures in September.
• Continue to ask people to wear face-coverings during public worship, at occasional
offices and at events held in our buildings.
• Continue to receive communion in one kind with only the priest drinking the wine.
• Continue ensuring social distancing inside our buildings.
• Permit congregational singing with masks in place. We will take gradual steps in re-introducing signing over the next few weeks. The approach may vary slightly in each
of our congregations.
• Permit choirs to sing hymns and lead worship without needing to wear a face-covering provided social distancing can be maintained.
• Ask that our risk assessments, and those of building users, are reviewed in the light
of the changed legal position.
• Ask groups using our buildings to continue to follow a cautious approach over the
next few months with face-coverings being worn my most people in most contexts,
but aware that for some groups this will not be practical. A particular example is the
various choirs that are using and may wish to use our buildings for rehearsals.
We will have some new yellow posters put up in our churches which explain these things in
general terms.
We continue to be grateful to you for your faithful commitment to the Gospel and the life of
our churches and long for a day when we can gather together without fear. We hope that
the measures we have outlined might help each of you who has struggled to attend worship
to feel that you will be safe if you choose to come to church each week.
Love and prayers
Revd Roger Farnworth
Team Rector
The Parish of the Good Shepherd

Our churches are open for public worship.
4 of our churches will be opening for either Holy Communion or Morning Prayer on Sunday mornings, and 1 church will open for Evening Prayer on Thursdays.

Please Note that all other groups and activities remain suspended.

Adhering to Government Guidance, strict social distancing measures will be in place, which mean that every person or household group must be 2 metres from the next person or household group.
Following risk assessments carried out in all our churches there will be restrictions on numbers attending. Hand sanitisers and one-way systems will be in place to ensure that all movements into and out of churches and during worship are safe.
We will not be allowed to sing during services and any responses must be given quietly.
Liturgy will be on disposable sheets which can be taken home or disposed of after the service.
There will not be any refreshments after the services.
Please note that those who are clinically vulnerable/shielding, or who have symptoms of a continuous cough or a high temperature or loss of or change to sense of smell or taste, should not attend church.
A welcomer will greet people coming into church and help you to comply with these guidelines.

Sunday Morning Services
St. Gabriel's 9.30am
St James' 9.30am
St. Michael's 11.00am
St. Peter's 11.00am

Evening Prayer Services
Holy Trinity 3.30pm Thursdays - This will be a Eucharist Service on the 1st Sunday of each month.

If you need any further information, please contact a warden or member of clergy.

To help you to worship from home, we are producing weekly Readings and Prayers - if you would like to receive these, please contact Revd Roger Farnworth - 0161 330 2771 [email protected]