Church of England Diocese of St.Albans Chalgrave

Latest letter from Rev'd Linda Washington 19th July 2020

19 Jul 2020, 12:15 a.m.
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19 July 2020

Dear all

Open Air Worship in the Church Grounds

This week we have the exciting new opportunity to meet for worship together for the first time in many months within the church grounds in the open air, at four of our churches. At this strange time of 'unlocking' many people are wary of entering the churches yet, and so we hope you will feel comfortable to meet outdoors in the fresh air.

We will, of course, need to pay careful attention to social distancing requirements and maintain a 2 metres distance from each other, and some of you may wish to also wear a face covering. If you are in a vulnerable category you may prefer to remain at home, and we quite understand this. Or if you decide to come along, you will be welcome.

Please also bring along your own copy of the service sheet attached and then please take it home again with you afterwards. There will be spare copies for anyone unable to print a copy. There will be a collection plate, but it will be set in one place as we are no longer able to hand it around (to reduce the spread of any potential infection). In some churches there may also be a supply of envelopes or a card machine available (as we are now moving into the previously unlikely territory of being advised to use card payments instead of cash).

When you arrive, please remember to sterilise your hands, and again, on leaving. (What strange times we are in.. but this is important for each other's safety and well-being).

Tomorrow, we meet for a short gathering for prayers, Bible readings, and a time of reflection and sharing. There will be no singing of hymns. Please bring your own chair, if possible, although each church will have some chairs available.

This week is a trial arrangement for several churches, and times of services may change over the coming weeks as we seek to balance commitments, but tomorrow we meet at these times in these churches:

Harlington church 11am

Toddington church 11.15am

Chalgrave Church 10.30am

Westoning Church 11am

Online Services

• Our weekly UPPER ROOM SERVICE tomorrow begins at 9am. Do drop in for an hour of Prayer, Scripture, Reflection and Music to start the day. This week we have a testimony and thoughts on the Parable of the Talents.

• The Recorded Service will be released tomorrow online via the church websites, the churches' 'A church Near You' pages, and the church Facebook pages. I will circulate the access link by email later today.

• 9.30am Tuesday, Morning Prayer by zoom ( please contact Linda if you would like to come along

Events in our churches

• 9.30am Monday, Morning Prayer at Toddington church (please access through the Chancel door) - starting as a trial this week.

• 10am Wednesday, Morning Prayer at Harlington church (in the church grounds)

Private Prayer:

Toddington 12 noon until 2pm Monday and 10-12 noon on Friday. Please enter through the South Door into Cheney Chapel

Chalgrave 11-12 noon on Thursday

Tingrith Sunday, 11-12 noon

Westoning Wednesday 12 noon -1pm, Saturday 2pm -3pm

Harlington: Thursday 10-11am, Sunday 2-3pm

As the churches begin to open more frequently some of our zoom coffee morning gatherings will need to change timing butt his week we meet:

Harlington: Tuesday at 10.30am

Westoning: Wednesday 10.15am

Toddington: Wednesday 10.45-11.45am (change of day and time)

On a personal note, as the churches get busier and we try to balance online commitments and physical gatherings at our churches, we recognise that we need to build in our days off to keep up our energy levels. (We are part-time 0.75 and entitled to take 2.5 days each week). During the lockdown period we have continued to work each day, but as demands grow, there is increasingly less time to rest, so we are attempting a new discipline and this week will be taking time off from lunch time on Thursday until late afternoon on Saturday. We will put our phones and emails down during the day but will catch up on anything urgent in the evenings and will be available from late afternoon on Saturday. Thank you for your understanding.

I attach the readings sheet for this week, and the service sheet for our recorded service, which will also be used at Toddington, Chalgrave and Westoning churches for our open air morning gatherings tomorrow. Harlington will use a different service sheet which has been uploaded to the website but I will also forward separately.

We thank you for your support and extend our gratitude and appreciation of the hard working teams in each of our churches.

With best wishes

Linda and Nigel