How are you? I hope you are all well.
Church is Changing, what’s happening?
Last week I sent you details of two local videos and my thoughts on what might happen as lockdown restrictions ease. I also reminded you of the Church of England prayer line (0800 8048044) and our Wednesday 7.30pm Zoom meetings (ID 81762098875, password obtained from host, Dave Harrold, tel: 07786985932 or email: [email protected]).
The anticipated Government announcement, due at the end of May, came on 6th June. You may have heard that church buildings are allowed to open for individual prayer from 15th June. Opening buildings is conditional on implementing controls to ensure that people are as safe as possible. Nationally this is part of a picture of small easements on the lockdown.
In our benefice, All Saints Church, Sapcote will open on Sunday 21st June between 11am and 12 noon. This is for individual prayer and you can arrive and leave at any time between these times.
St.Helen’s Church, Sharnford is working towards opening for individual prayer in July. St.Mary’s Church isn’t safe to open whilst distancing is set at two metres, because it is a small building with only one entrance/exit.
Currently I am working through a set of control (Covid19 risk reduction) measures for All Saints Church so that we can open our church building and church hall on 21st June for an hour. These include cleaning, signage and a one-way system. (Further details can be found on the Church of England website.) It is anticipated that these buildings will then close again until 28th June.
Although risks of spreading Covid 19 in our buildings are being minimised they can’t be removed altogether. Therefore, each of us must consider carefully our own situation and decide whether or not to visit our church buildings- especially if we have underlying health conditions or are shielding others with such health conditions. If anyone is in any doubt, please stay at home and continue to pray at home. I still hope, in due course, to offer garden communions (home communion in a garden!) for those affected in this way.
Over the coming weeks we are expecting more changes and developments, so I have asked Pauline Hazlewood to restore our weekly church news sheet. Thank you Pauline! Each week this will bring you our latest news including any local events. To begin with, this will be a benefice news sheet.
My prayers are with us all as we start out on the road to recovery,
With all God’s blessing during these challenging times,