Church of England Diocese of Birmingham Shirley

Recommencing Public Worship in Shirley Parish

22 Jul 2020, 11:15 a.m.

When can we worship in the church buildings again?

The PCC have decided that with effect from Sunday 2nd August there will be a short, said Holy Communion service on Sundays at 11:00am and on Wednesdays at 10:30am, both in St James Church. Numbers for these services will be strictly limited to 25 people, and attendance will need to be booked in advance (see below.)

What about those who can’t get to these services?

There will be many important reasons why people cannot participate in person. For this reason, the online / phone / paper copy Sunday morning service will continue and will be considered to be the main act of worship across the Parish. However, there will be a suggestion to begin at 9:30am rather than 10:00am. The midweek reflection will also continue.

Why only in the St James’ building?

At present, worship in the St John’s building is not feasible because the size of the building and social distancing requirements would mean only very small numbers could participate, nor is it possible at Christ the King as Widney School are not planning to hire out the premises until October half term at the earliest. Consequently, the St James’ building will “host” these services, which will be considered to be Parish worship, and not ‘owned’ by any particular congregation.

Why were these times chosen?

The timings for these two services have been chosen to minimise the cleaning requirements (taking the opening of the St James building for private prayer into account); to enable clergy to participate in the online service before the communion on Sundays; and to ensure the midweek service is not seen as being simply for the existing Thursday morning congregation.

How do I book a place?

Numbers for these services in the building will be strictly limited to 25 people. To ensure this is adhered to, attendance will need to be booked in advance by telephoning the Parish Office on 0121 745 8896. This will need to be done on a Thursday morning (9:30am-12:30pm) for the Sunday service, and on a Monday morning (9:30am-12:30pm) for the Wednesday service. If necessary, a system will be put in place to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to attend. e.g. priority given to those who have not attended before, then those who have not attended recently, etc.

How will “going to church” differ from before lockdown?

Additional requirements will include the wearing of a face mask, use of hand sanitizer, designated seating, no social interaction before or after the service, staggered arrival and departure times (you will be told when to arrive when you book). Communion will be in one kind only, and will be received in the pews. Two stewards will ensure guidelines are adhered to at all times. The collection plate will be at the back of church and we would recommend your offering be made by cheque rather than cash.

Where can I get further information?

Please contact the Parish Office 0121 745 8896 in the first instance.