Church of England Diocese of Winchester Somborne with Ashley

Letter from the Churchwardens

24 Jun 2020, 7:45 p.m.
Church_news News_about_our_building

Dear Friends,

We have some good news to share which is that, subject to government and Church regulations, we plan to hold our first service of worship in the Church at 10.0am on Sunday 5th July. We are still waiting for more news, so we’ll send a definite decision next week, but we wanted to let you know our plans. If all goes well, we hope to hold the parish breakfast the following week, 12th July.

Obviously, we have to make a number of changes to allow this to happen. We ask that everyone be prepared for social distancing and be willing to accept guidance as to seating arrangements. Similarly, there will be directed exiting at the end of the service. The service will be a parish communion with these changes. For the passing of the peace, we’ll stand, look at one another and make the sign of the cross. We cannot allow free movement around the church unfortunately. For the eucharist itself, we ask everyone to remain in their seats and a consecrated wafer will be offered to everyone. When everyone has a wafer, we will all take it together as Richard says the words. He will take wine on our behalf. We hope that soon we might be able to return to a more traditional eucharist but for the moment we must obey the rules!

The toilet will only be available for emergencies since cleaning and sanitising is required each time its used. The vestry and kitchen are similarly out of bounds!

A lot of people have enjoyed seeing the church door open, even for a limited period. Since very few have actually come in to pray, we propose to put our trust in them from Saturday, asking that they hand sanitise on entry, sit only in the pews marked, and try to touch as few surfaces as possible. At the end of the hour, all the marked pews will be resanitised.

We will close the church after Wednesday 1st July until Sunday 5th July so that we can clean and prepare the church for the Sunday service. For the time being, each service will be a parish communion, since we cannot hold am 8.0am service and a 10.0 service with no space between for cleaning and sanitising.

We realise all this sounds very authoritarian and unwelcoming! I hope you’ll all understand that its only by these measures that we can hold a service at all. We are so looking forward to seeing you all again in church and we promise you the warmest of welcomes!

Our greetings and blessings to you all,

Janet and Joan