In view of media coverage of the rapidly escalating health crisis, St James' PCC took the decision this week that from now and for a temporary period, our services should be live streamed from the church with no congregation present. The situation will be reviewed in about four weeks' time (at just about the same time as Keevil PCC will be reviewing the position in St Leonard's)
It's a decision taken with considerable sadness which we know will be shared widely by those in our own congregation and beyond. However, we thank God once again for our technical team and for the technology that will enable us to continue live streaming our joint benefice service each Sunday morning at 10:45am. The difference will be that no congregation will be present in church - a difference that will be very obvious to those of us who are there conducting the service but not at all evident to our at-home congregation! We do hope that you'll all join us on-line Sunday by Sunday.
Our Tea-time service has already gone on-line, and that will continue as planned. Sadly, our Communion services on Fridays and at 8am on Sundays will have to be held in abeyance for the time being, as well as Compline. Sadly, too, the Confirmation which we'd planned with Bishop Andrew for our 10:45am service on 24 January is having to be postponed.
The motivation behind the PCC's decision is one of consideration for the health of others. Though we hope that our action will help secure the wellbeing of our community, we don't know how things will unfold - it's new territory for all of us. But, notwithstanding our disappointment, we go forward with confidence, trusting in our Lord Jesus Christ, who holds all things in His hands. One thing that is clear is that the loss (though temporary) of the opportunity to come together physically in worship increases the importance of our buddy system, and so may I ask that if you could help by keeping in touch with one or more people by phone, could you please let us know?
With my love in Christ