Not so much a sermon
Hurray! You may well think – no sermon, woo hoo! True, I haven’t based it on this
week’s readings but I do still want you to think about things so I am not letting you
off completely. (Now now, no naughty words please.)
It is very likely that by next Sunday you will have the privilege of actually being able
to attend church for a Communion Service. We are still awaiting details but the
permissions have been given and, providing things don’t go pear shaped, Holy Cross
will have her doors open, not just for private prayer, but for a Eucharist.
You will notice that I used the word ‘privilege’ in that announcement. Who would
have thought that we would ever consider being able to worship together a
privilege, and yet the circumstances of the last few months have proved to us all
just how important gathering as a church family is.
All of you have expressed just how much you have missed gathering to worship and,
if nothing else, this current crisis has revealed to us just how important our faith,
church family and worship is; not just to our spiritual well-being but also to our
physical, mental and emotional health as well.
But things are not returning to ‘normal’ and gathering and worshipping will need to
be conducted differently. These changes will only be temporary but, at this stage,
we do not yet know just how long temporary will be.
We may well find that these necessary changes are frustrating but we will need to
remind ourselves that gathering and worshipping together at all IS a privilege and
that we must never take our freedom to gather for worship for granted again.
So what changes will be necessary as we begin to open again? Below are a number
of changes I have considered and put in place; most are based on the current
instructions from the government and advice from the diocese, some are my own
ideas as to how to respond on a local level. These are likely to be open to ‘tweaks’
as the situation changes.
We will continue to open every day between 11am and 12 noon for private
prayer. This is likely to continue for only a couple more weeks as the church
building becomes available to conduct funerals.
At this stage I will not be opening for baptisms – this will, of course, be
reviewed on a regular basis.
Communion services will be available at the following times:
o Sunday morning – 9am
o Sunday morning – 10.30am
o Wednesday morning – 9.30am
Please consider carefully which service you would prefer to attend. Both
services will be identical and both in the main body of the church to enable
the necessary distance between worshippers.
Although there will be music at both the Sunday services singing is currently
not allowed. This is due to the projective nature of singing that spreads the
virus further than simple speech.
No books or sheets will be in use – again to prevent cross contamination by
touch – the service will be projected on the screens as usual.
Instructions as to cleansing, seating and procedure will be on display in the
church on your arrival.
Please do keep to all the social distancing guidelines and where possible use
the following one way system – IN through the front doors – OUT via the side
There will be no need for servers or sidespeople etc. at this point.
The area of greatest risk of cross contamination is in the toilet so, for these
shorter services, I have decided that the toilet will not be in use until
The last few weeks have been a trial for us all and many are ‘chomping at the bit’ to
begin socialising again; however, we must bear in mind that the virus is still in the
community and that not taking care may result in the government re-instituting
some lock-down procedures.
As we prepare to return now is a good time to think of and pray for those who
cannot worship openly, for whom any kind of Christian gathering is either dangerous
or just plain impossible. We have felt the loss over these few weeks and can,
perhaps, appreciate how much we have to give thanks for.
It will be a delight to see you all again as we gather at our Lord’s Table. God bless