Is communal (‘in-person’) worship allowed? Is it happening? (Answer: Yes and No!)
In the 7 parishes of the Benefice each PCC makes a decision in conjunction with the incumbent (vicar) concerning the appropriateness of in-person worship in the present circumstances.
Immediately following entry into Tier 4 having consulted widely, I approached each PCC to propose that we suspend in-person worship across the Benefice until at least Ash Wednesday (17th February). This was on the basis of:
- the increasing transmissibility of the virus;
- the duty of care in protecting congregations and especially those who are vulnerable;
- ensuring we do not add to the pressures on the NHS.
The 50 members of the various PCCs decided unanimously with a 100% response to adopt the proposal, albeit with a sense of inevitable reluctance.
Since then a lockdown has been announced in which communal worship is still permissible. We feel the right course of action has been taken, in which we are expressing love and care for people, over and above a desire to meet in church.
All our churches are still open for individual private prayer/visiting and are being cleaned. Funerals will still be held following strict protocols, including a maximum of 30 mourners or less according to the maximum covid capacity of the church building in question.
Worship continues via zoom with a real sense of being a community together that is open for anyone to join. Links of the twice weekly worship are posted on our website and available to all. Hard copies of materials are available on request. If you would appreciate a phone call, have a prayer request or are looking for support that we can give please get in touch.
For an invitation to zoom worship (Sundays 10.30am, Wednesdays 7.00pm) please email me (contact details at the bottom of the page).
It is a hard time for so many, our best thoughts and prayers are with you… Philippians 4:5-7 says:
…’Let gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, With thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’…