St Edmund of
Re-opening of church for worship during Covid-19 measures after July 4th 2020
updated 23/7/20: in green below.
It was announced on 23rd June that churches could re-open for public worship after the 4th July. The official government guidance was only published on 29th June and Fr Peter, Debbie Pugh and Fr Ken met to carry out a risk assessment.
I am delighted to be able to tell you that we will be holding a service on Sunday 5th July at 10am.
However, the following arrangements and advice are in place in order to minimise the risks.
If you are suffering from symptoms of C-19 please stay at home.
If you are shielding or vulnerable (e.g. over 70) the advice is still to stay at home as much as possible, but the decision as to whether to come to church is yours. While we are doing what we can to make church services as safe as possible, we cannot ensure that this it be risk-free. We will continue to post services on our website under the Worship At Home tab, and may be able to include recordings of the services in church.
Additionally, we will be holding a service on Wednesday evenings particularly for those who are in this vulnerable category. There will be fewer people there and many of those present will have been taking the precaution of staying at home.
Please use the rear car park which has been cleared to make more space.
There is no Sunday School nor Creche facilities or toys, so parents might want to consider bringing something for their children. Face coverings are not compulsory but are now strongly advised.
We have to maintain physical distance of 2m between households (or “support bubbles”).
When you arrive please use the front entrance. You may have to queue to get in but not for long.
Please sanitize your hands on arrival, using either your own hand sanitizer or that which will be provided.
Please fill up from the front of the church. Some pews have been blocked off using the kneelers. Please sit together with your household.
The church will be well ventilated so if it is chilly do dress warmly.
Booklets with the liturgy will be on the pews already. They will have been quarantined for 48 hours beforehand. Please leave them in the pews when you leave to be back in quarantine for 48 hours before the next service.
We will not be able to sing, although there may be organ music. I encourage you to use the Worship at Home tab when you get home and sing along with that.
We will not have servers apart from a thurifer.
We will not process in.
One reader will read both lessons from the pulpit.
Intercession will be led from the lectern in front of the choir
The Gospel will be read and the sermon preached from the lectern at the chancel step.
At the peace please stay in your place and, obviously, refrain from shaking hands etc.
There will be no cash collection yet. Please consider giving by standing order or by cheque.
To protect you at the communion
- The priests will wash their hands before handling the elements
- The elements will remain covered during the Eucharistic prayer
- The common cup remains suspended and communion will be in one kind only. Only the president will consume the wine.
- We will use a one-way system to go up to receive communion going forward in the central aisle and returning to our place via the side aisle.
- Please receive into your outstretched hands while standing.
- If you come forward for a blessing the priest will not lay hands on you.
Please fill in the attendance card and leave on pews. (We have been asked to do this by the government in case of the need for Track and Trace. We will keep these for 21 days and then destroy them.)
You will be asked to leave one pew at a time, starting from the rear of the church. Please maintain physical distancing as you leave and avoid blocking the aisles or entrance.
Please leave booklets on the pews
Sadly, there are no refreshments served.
Toilets are available. Please wash hands before and after use and please maintain distance if queueing.
Overcoming Coronavirus COVID19
Do not fear.
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he [that is Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15
We do not want to be slaves to the fear of death. Most people who contract this virus will recover quickly. In any case, we are immortal and will live for ever, even if our bodies die, so we do not need to live in fear and panic.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
Please pray for peace and hope in our nation and truth and balance in our media. Pray that people are kind and generous to others. Pray for healing for those who are ill and protection for the vulnerable. Pray for all who are working to keep us healthy and those providing goods and services.
Pray in your homes, with your families. Join us in praying morning and evening prayer wherever you are.
Care for One Another.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” I John 4:7
We want to care for those infected and those who are in a high-risk group who choose to isolate. Tell us so we can care for you. We may not be able to visit, but we can deliver food and stay in touch by phone. Check out the website www.stedmundschurch.com for updates. If you would like to sign up for a regular mailing please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Take sensible precautions.
“But we prayed to our God and posted a guard” Nehemiah 4:9
We want to do what we can to prevent spread to particularly vulnerable people in our congregation. This may seem over-cautious now but it is good practice to ease the burden on our healthcare systems and to save lives. So, following advice from PHE and directives from the Archbishops and Bishops:
Public worship has now resumed following safety guidelines.
There are more resources now on our website including a sermon page and digital resources such as live-streamed services to help us continue in our corporate worship even when we cannot be physically present.
Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting has been postponed.
Our confirmation service and preparation classes has been postponed until Sunday 18th October
Our Foodbank continues to provide support to the most vulnerable in our community albeit in a different format which ensures the safety of volunteers and clients.
Continue to Worship, Serve and Give
Some people have asked how they may continue to give while there are no collections being taken. Our bills and financial commitments as a church are still there. Now would be a good time to set up a standing order. Alternatively, you may like to give electronically or through your own bank. If you would like any of these options please email our treasurer email@example.com for either a standing order form or our bank details.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you travelled through towns and villages curing every disease and illness.
At your command the sick were made well.
Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus,
that we may experience your healing love.
Heal those who are sick with the virus.
May they regain their strength and health
through quality medical care.
Heal us from our fears,
which prevent nations from working together
and neighbours from helping each other.
Heal us from our pride,
which can make us claim invulnerability
to a disease that know no borders.
Lord Jesus Christ, healer of all,
stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
Be with those who have died from the virus.
May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.
Be with the families of those who are sick or have died.
As they worry and grieve,
defend them from illness and despair.
May they know your comfort, peace and the hope of the Resurrection.
Be with the doctors and nurses, researchers and all medical
who seek to heal and help those affected
and who put themselves at risk in the process.
May they know your protection and peace.
Be with the leaders of all nations.
Give them the foresight to act with clarity and true concern
for the well-being of people they are meant to serve.
Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions
that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks.
May they know your strength,
as they work together to achieve it on earth.
Whether we are at home or abroad,
surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few,
Lord Jesus Christ, stay with us
as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare
In place of anxiety, give us your peace.
Lord Jesus Christ, heal us.
Check out this excellent article by Dr Curt Thompson. It is very helpful in this current lockdown. Read through to the end for some great tips. https://curtthompsonmd.com/a-body-of-work/