Public Worship in Christ Church - A Message from the Rector

 

My dear friends,

As you’ve probably heard by now, Christ Church will be open on Sunday morning (19 July) for a Parish Communion service at 10.30am. There will, of course, be some changes from when public worship was last held in the building back in March. Nevertheless it will, I believe, be a real moment of hope as we gather together around the table of the Lord and share in scripture and sacrament.

Here’s a list of what we all need to bear in mind:

  • There’s no need to book a place for Sunday as we expect to be able to accommodate all those who will wish to attend. Do please arrive in good time so as to avoid a bottleneck at the door in the final minutes before the service begins.
  • We will be offered hand sanitiser gel when we arrive and when we leave.
  • We will also be asked to provide contact details for track and trace purposes. Please bring your own pen if possible.
  • We will have to maintain social distancing of 2 metres where possible. (Groups from the same household may sit together). ‘Open’ pews will be clearly designated.
  • Sadly, there will be no congregational singing. But there will be music!
  • There will also be no coffee time after the service.
  • Communion will be in one kind only (consecrated bread) with the option of making a ‘spiritual communion’ also continuing.
  • The Church of England guidance states: ‘While those at extra risk and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should be advised of the risks of attending public worship, a decision to do so is theirs alone.’
  • If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell) please stay at home.
  • ***UPDATE*** It is now a legal requirement to wear masks in places of worship. There are some exceptions and these include those leading the service (whether reading, preaching, or leading prayer). Moreover, face coverings need not be worn by worshippers when they consume the consecrated bread. You can read the full text of the Church of England guidance (currently in draft form) here: https://www.churchofengland.org/sites/default/files/2020-08/COVID%2019%20advice%20on%20face%20coverings%20v3%20DRAFT.pdf
  • Toilet facilities will be available, though carefully managed to reduce the risk of transmission. Please use only if absolutely necessary.
  • The service will be live streamed on the parish Facebook page (www.facebook.com/EsherParish) and an audio recording will be posted afterwards on our SoundCloud channel (https://soundcloud.com/user-949407300).

As you can imagine, preparing for this re-opening has placed added burdens on our wonderful volunteers and staff. I am very grateful for all they do. I am also – despite the appropriate levels of caution and care – very much looking forward to leading public worship for the first time in Christ Church. Let us continue to keep each other in our prayers.

God bless,

Darren.