Church of England Diocese of Oxford Lathbury

Corona Virus - A letter from the Rector

31 Jul 2020, 1:30 p.m.

Update from the Rector about the Corona Virus:

Fellow Pilgrims,

The CofE authorities, in keeping with government guidelines, have given the go ahead for churches to be open for weddings, baptisms and communion services. We have been urged to start slowly due to the continuing threat of the Covid19 virus.

A maximum of 30 are allowed for weddings, funerals and baptisms – although for communion services the advice is for local churches to decide numbers according to local contexts. For safety reasons it is easier to begin by using the larger space offered by the parish church.

There will be a Communion service in Newport Pagnell parish church on Sundays at 10.30am. This will be done in line with the social distancing advice given by the diocese and government.

The Wardens have done a risk assessment here and set a maximum of 50 people who, for the time being, can be present at this service. Congregation members will be seated at appropriate distances within the church building. People, although seated for the service, will have to stand for communion since leaning on the communion rails is discouraged for hygiene reasons. Only the bread can be given and there can be no congregational singing. Refreshments after the service are discouraged and so is social interaction after the service. Priests are also advised to sanitise their hands before and after distributing communion and communion bread must be placed in people’s hands and not their mouths.

Since a 48 hour quarantine period needs to be enforced before ensuing services, we can only begin the thaw with one service on a Sunday.

For now, we will continue to video our home services for Wednesday mornings although the readings, sermon and intercessions on Sundays will be videoed for those who are still self-isolating. It is technically difficult for us to video all of the communion service and because of the physical movement which occurs during the service.

Of course, we do not know how many will be able to attend Sunday Services. Consequently, please let Kimonie, the churchwarden, know in advance by email or phone, if you will be present. We can then work out how we manage the numbers who intend to be present.

I am sorry to burden you all with rules and regulations but we have to follow the guidelines laid down. At least things are moving in the right direction and it will be good to actually be present with each other and share communion.

I’ll keep you posted of any further developments as thy evolve and of course we long for the day when St Luke’s and all churches in the nation can safely be opened too.

Thank you to all those who are continuing to keep the Good News of Jesus alive during these difficult and uncertain times.