Updated: Jul 18
Dear All Saints and St Marys
I hope that this all finds you well. It has been a week of surprises as well as of continuing risk assessments and getting used to the churches and how they can operate now that we are allowed to open for acts of public worship.
We are taking things slowly at first but it is great that over the past week that both All Saints and St Marys have been able to be open for private prayer in order that people can come into church and see the different systems and layouts and procedures that we have put in place in accordance with the Risk Assessments that we have had to do in order to open.
There is plenty of hand sanitiser available for people to use as they enter the churches (Thank you Shelia Lewis!) , and the seating is arranged so that people can distance from each other safely. We are blessed with big churches and so that has been a little easier than in other places. Doors for entry and exit are left open at all times so people do not need to touch handles and to provide adequate ventilation. Service sheets can be used and then isolated afterwards for 72 hrs but also this week a PowerPoint for Sunday 10.30am (Thanks to Mark Simms) has been prepared so that no one has to touch a sheet if they don’t want to.
Unfortunately we cannot open the toilets at the moment unless in an emergency but please be assured that services are shorter (45mins) and there is no gathering afterwards for tea or coffee. There is no sharing of the peace currently either, and the collection and offering plate remains in a set place for peoples gifts as we are not able to pass it around as usual. Sadly we still cannot sing together, but there are times when music is played which we can listen to in the services.
There is an opportunity to light candles safely in both churches if you wish.
This week I will be finalising the Risk Assessment for Holy Communion and if this is considered robust enough and possible then the week of the 19th July we may be able to receive communion once again – I will explain further to this how those systems will work.
What I wanted to also convey to you, other than the different systems that have been in place is that when we had a Service of Morning Prayer last Sunday at 8am at All Saints, that it was a really special time. It was a beautiful and simple time together of listening and responding to God in prayer and reflection and worship. I wanted to thank all those who made that all possible and continue to do so.
The services for tomorrow are as follows
ALL SAINTS - 10.30am - Service of the Word – Led by Mark Simms. Preacher: Revd Lizzie
ST MARYS - 6.30pm – Evening Prayer – Led by Revd Lizzie . Preacher: Revd Lizzie
Around these services we will this week still open for Private prayer to give an opportunity for people to come and see and pray.
All Saints will open before the service from 8am-10.30am
St Marys will open before the service from 5pm-6.30pm
I will set up a coffee and chat as usual on Zoom – but note the slightly later time of 11.30am.
Topic: Coffee and Chat
Time: Jul 12, 2020 11:30 AM London
Join Zoom Meeting
Also if you want to listen to the 10.30am service that will also be possible from the LIVE FEED site which you can find a link to on the website.
Please find attached
Reflection for Sunday
Church at home
Morning Prayer Service Order
This comes with all my prayers and blessings and thanksgiving for you all.
Revd Lizzie Kesteven
Vicar of All Saints and St Marys Churches Fishponds