Church of England Diocese of St.Edmundsbury & Ipswich Claydon and Barham

Church reopening for services from 2nd August after 20 week's absence (updated)

24 Jul 2020, 12:15 a.m.

The following letter was issued by our Assistant priest Rev'd Cathy Austin in the middle of July to allthose who have registered their email addresses with us. Subsequently it has been additionally required that those attending these services should ring our Church Warden on 01473 830890 in advance to ensure that we can fit everyone in whilst maintaining social distance of 2 metres. All attendees are also now required to wear face coverings over mouth and nose.

"Following recent government guidance, our Benefice Ministry Team has discussed the

subject of worshipping in churches. Many churches, nationwide have chosen to stay

closed for the time being, but the Ministry Team felt it is right for us to begin to offer public

worship once again, albeit tentatively!

I detail below the plans we now have in place . .

Barham Church will be open for a shortened said Service of Holy Communion at 10am on

the following dates: Sundays 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 August, and 10am on Wednesdays 5,

12, 19 and 26 August. Please note that Saturday 25 July will be the last date that Barham

Church is open for individual private prayer. Great Blakenham and Henley churches will

continue to open for private prayer, but we will review this in due course.

May I reassure you that Barham Church will be strict in adhering to the government

regulations, and so things will be different when you get into church. Entrance to and exit

from the church will be from different doors, there can be no singing, and very sadly, there

can be no gathering at the end of the service. Communion will be received in one kind

only, and the minister leading the service will be aware of and will follow all the latest C of

E advice.

The usual guidance of ʻif you or anyone in your household shows signs of Covid-19,

please do not come to church until you have completed 14 days of self-isolationʼ must be

absolutely followed by everyone, staff and worshippers alike.

But may I also say, please do not feel that because we are offering worship in church, you

MUST attend. This is absolutely not the case. Many people are still shielding, and there

are those who are still, understandably, very anxious about coming out in public in this

way. Whilst we will be delighted to see you should you join us, there is absolutely no

expectation of anyone, so please be comfortable with your own decision.

We also feel that we cannot ignore all those people who have found comfort, challenge

and spiritual refreshment in on-line worship, which is available from many churches

nationwide. We will be investigating the practicality of delivering good quality worship in a

new and innovative way. We are actually very excited by this challenge! Watch this

space!

Our Benefice Ministry Team makes decisions with regard to and respect of all three

churches, and no one church is any more important than the other. So if you have any

concerns or queries, do please contact me (in confidence if you wish), and hopefully I will

be able to help.

With my best wishes to you all

Cathy

[email protected]