We are opening weekly in-person services in church, for Holy Week and beyond.
Although the government did not mandate the closure of places of worship in January, we followed the message from the scientists and NHS staff to ‘stay at home’ and also had a clear steer from our bishops. The decision to cease in person services has been reviewed on a monthly basis and now, taking into account the vaccine roll-out and the imminent loosening of lockdown, Alison Myers, our incumbent, and the PCC have jointly decided that limited in-person services can be safely reinstated from this Sunday.
From Holy Week the church building we be open for private personal prayer on Wednesdays in addition to the weekly opening on Sundays.
This is joyful news as we come to the end of the season of Lent. We have been wonderfully served during lockdown by the Lordsbridge team, lay and ordained, and are very thankful for the on-line capabilities that have been developed and will continue to be provided for the foreseeable future for everyone to use as spiritual resources. Being able to gather for worship 'in person' is a huge moment for any who can attend but as we celebrate together we need to remember others who do not feel safe to join us.
We must remain vigilant as the virus is still an everyday reality for our whole community. For these reasons we must and we will continue to follow COVID-19 rules, which include all existing as well as any new and emerging government guidelines on face, space and hands.
For the gathering congregation; face masks must be worn at all times except when delivering a designated reading, delivering intercessions or singing in a designated small group. In this final regard, at Dry Drayton any singing inside the church building* will be confined to socially distanced individuals who will move to the chancel before removing their masks. Masks will be replaced when reading, leading intercessions or singing has been completed. Holy Communion will be in 'a single kind' and the Celebrant will serve us at our seats. Churchwardens and others with roles in a service will lead by example, providing sanitiser for hands on entry and exit from the church and a limited number of facemasks will be available for those who forget to bring their own (please bring you own).
*Breaking news on March 27th, we can sing outside the church as a socially distanced congregation with face mask removed.
The churchwardens continue to ask that you book into the worship services by registering your attendance in advance (email [email protected] or phone 01954 780775) and a designated chair or group of chairs will be set out for you and your bubble. This will help to minimise mixing socially before and after services and increase the confidence of any who feel particularly vulnerable.
This decision was not been taken lightly. We recognise that the suspension of in-person services was particularly difficult for some, but reinstating services may equally put pressure on some who must continue to be sheltered. Please pray for the continued expansion of our mode of worship.
If you have not already discovered them, please do make use of the locally created, weekly ‘Worship at Home’ service (the audio version is now also available via Spotify and similar) or the ‘live’ Sunday Zoom Service, or the many other opportunities and resources, including the ‘Daily Hope’ phone line for those without IT access (see separate posts for this Sunday's audio service and Zoom services).
The church building is still available for funerals subject to government regulations and for weddings.
If you have particular concerns, or challenges that you are facing, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Alison privately via phone, email or Messenger. Further details can be provided on request ([email protected]) in a weekly email.
The God of all times and all places is not confined to buildings with pews, altars and ancient stones. Our prayer for you is that you will find him and know that you are his beloved child, wherever you are.