News update 29th July 2021
This week in church we continue our in-depth look at John chapter
6. If you are at home you can join in
using the Worship at Home tab on the website.
This week’s online
service. Do try to sing along with the hymns so that you are in good
practice for when we can sing again in church.
Weather permitting we will sing the last hymn outside in the car park. Tea and coffee will be served in the hall.
Also, excitingly, over the summer we will have a story time,
and activities for the younger children in the church hall during the service –
thanks to Sue and the team. The hope is
that we will have a full Sunday School
programme back up and running in September.
Again, if you are unable to get to church remember that faith
is chiefly learned around the kitchen table.
There are some great resources here:
Sue is compiling the new rota (to be emailed out this week) and we are looking for volunteers to read a story to the children (even as a one off), people to help serve tea and coffee or any of the other areas.
We hope to have a full team of servers in the sanctuary starting Sunday 5th September. It will be great to welcome back some who haven’t been for a while and any one who feels that they would like to serve God in this way. We are having a Server’s refresher training with tea on Saturday 4th September at 4pm. Please let me know if you can make it.
We have paused the Wednesday Eucharist for the summer and would like to ask you what you think. Wednesday evenings have not been well attended and we were wondering if there is a better time. Our question is: When would be a good time for a midweek eucharist that you would come to? I am open to any suggestions from early morning to late at night on any day of the week.
Also is there anything else you would like to help you on your journey of discipleship? E.g. a small fellowship group, a prayer meeting, a bible study, a prayer walk, a book group etc.
In September we may restart the 8am Eucharist, again if there is a desire for it. Please let me know if this is something you would come to. It would be great to have someone to welcome and someone to read.
There is a local walk planned around Warren Park departing from St Edmund’s at 10am on Friday August 6th and a longer one on 13th across the fields to Kingshill and back.
Quick link for Evening Prayer every day (except Fridays) at 5pm, you can just click this link. Meeting ID: 796 5024 2062 Passcode: 6eUY2W
The PCC met to discuss how we will move forward in the light of the removal of legal restrictions on public worship, and I am writing to let you know what we decided and to ask you to respond to let us know how you are feeling.
The context is that while cases are rising, hospitalisations and deaths seem to be remaining low for the time being. Hand and respiratory hygiene, social distancing, face-coverings and good ventilation remain important factors in lessening the spread of the disease.
There are some principles which undergird how we approached this as a PCC.
- While legal restrictions have been lifted, personal and corporate responsibility has been affirmed. The responsibility (and therefore liability?) lies with the incumbent, I have asked the PCC to share that with me.
- There will inevitably be among us differences of opinion, different vulnerablities, different personalities and approaches to risk.
- We have tried to consider not only what is safe but also what helps people to feel safe. We want to hear people’s fears and concerns.
- We choose to love one another, to take care of our more vulnerable or cautious brethren, and to be generous and patient.
- There may be a fear that any decisions might be divisive, but we choose to remain united. The PCC takes responsibility for the decisions we make together.
- Some decisions only affect us personally (e.g. choosing to drink from a common cup) and some decisions which affect others (e.g. congregational singing).
- We can take a staged approach (e.g. some things now, some at beginning of September say) as we see how the summer pans out.
- We will continue to consider how we can provide for the needs of clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) people.
- We had previously agreed to continue to provide an online alternative; and to keep in contact with mailchimp, text and phonecalls as much as we can.
- We are asked to continue to provide hand sanitiser at entrances and key points.
- We are asked to continue to keep the NHS Track and Trace QR code available until at least 16th August.
- Face-covering: It will no longer be a legal requirement to wear a face covering, though the government “expects and recommends” that people wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings to protect themselves and others. We decided that
- choir and ministers will continue to wear one while in vestry
- the congregation are encouraged to continue to wear one.
We also recognise that if you have not been to church in a long time it may feel difficult to return, so if you would like someone to come and either give you a lift to church or walk with you to church please let us know.
Please answer the following questions and hit reply.
How are you feeling about returning to church?
At what point do you think you would feel comfortable about us completely dispensing with face-coverings?
At what point do you think you would feel comfortable about congregational singing in church?
This week’s online service Do try to sing along with the hymns so that you are in good practice for when we can sing again in church.
For Evening Prayer every day (except Fridays) at 5pm, you can just click this link. Meeting ID: 796 5024 2062 Passcode: 6eUY2W
I have had both my jabs now. Here is a short 16sec Youtube clip of me having the first one:
I feel much better since having it.
https://youtu.be/y2w-7V_Ld9Y. Feel free to use it in any way that is useful to encourage others to get theirs. Come to think of it wouldn’t it be ironic if it went viral!