St Edmund of Canterbury, Hayes

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:

https://kitchentable.org.uk/

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.

 Decisions

  1. 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.
  2. We are asked to continue to provide hand sanitiser at entrances and key points.
  3. We are asked to continue to keep the NHS Track and Trace QR code available until at least 16th August.
  4. 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.
  5. Congregational Singing:  We decided to wait to introduce congregational singing in church while we ask you to let us know whether you would feel safe with this, and in any event not before the beginning of September.  The choir will continue to sing as now.  We will experiment with having the last hymn outside (as we have done once or twice before) for those who would like to join in – weather permitting.
  6. Social distancing: We will keep the current seating layout in “bubbles” until at least September.
  7. Sharing the Peace: We will still share the peace without touching at all.  It was suggested that we might use sign language for the “peace be with you”. You can watch it on this video. Obviously, you can touch people you live with.
  8. Holy Communion: All the current extra hygiene practices can remain in place (most of which you may not have noticed) but include the bread being covered until the moment of distribution by the priest who will wear a mask and have sanitised his hands.  We will continue to receive the bread while standing.  Although the Common Cup at Communion is now legally allowed, the PCC decided that we would wait and re-introduce this when all other measures are removed.  The reason for this is that this is the thing that most people would be nervous about and that it will be a wonderful sign and seal and signal of our unity and of our return to full freedom.
  9. Childrens’ Work / Sunday Groups  There are no restrictions, but usually we don’t have it for the summer.  We hope to re-open in September in some form, dependent on a team being available. In the meantime we would like to make available some space for children to have art materials and we are thinking of having a story time for them.  Might you like to help by reading a story?
  10. Tea and Coffee after church.  For a number of weeks we have been hosting this in the vicarage garden.  The PCC decided that we would re-launch this in the church hall in a slightly different way.  So this Sunday freshly brewed tea and filter coffee and cake will be served in the hall, the sliding doors will be opened to allow access without a bottleneck.  We will also start by using disposable cups.
  11. Servers We would like to invite our servers to restart in September with a training event on Saturday 4th.
  12. Collection The collection basket which sits at the back of the church will again be brought up during the offertory and placed in front of altar.

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?

 Quick links:

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!