An update from Alan
* * STOP PRESS * *
The church is now open for individual, private prayer during these times:
Tuesdays 10.00am - 12noon
Fridays 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Stewards will be present to offer guidance during your visit. Seating has been set up at the back of the church, safely distanced, so that you can spend some quiet time in prayer and contemplation. Please do not come to the church if you are in an at-risk group or you are feeling unwell.
(All Saints' Church is open on Thursdays 10.00am-12noon and Sundays 2.00-4.00pm)
5 June 2020
As restrictions begin to ease, and talk turns to a ‘new normal’, I want to write to update you and thank you all for your encouragement and support during these challenging times.
I’ve been humbled by the level of pastoral and practical support given and received by so many, and our thanks especially go to our Pastoral Visitors and team who are in daily contact with the housebound and self-isolating among us. On behalf of us all, can I also thank Phil, our Administrator, who has helped us stay connected through working tirelessly on our many electronic platforms of communication, and to the small team who have been circulating hard copies of prayers, sermons and magazines etc. to those not online. Huge thanks also go to our Magazine Editors, Richard and Philip, and to Rachel who updates the St Mary’s website.
Thank you, also, to those who have helped sustain our spirits daily through their contributions to Thought for the Day. The good news is that we plan to continue this post-lockdown, and plans are afoot to publish a selection as a book in time for Christmas!
We’re also extremely grateful to Tracy, our Children and Youth Worker, who has been supporting so many young people and families during this time, and broadcasting via Facebook to an increasingly wider audience.
When might we return to worshipping in church?
At the beginning of this crisis we were suddenly thrown into a very steep learning curve as we began to conduct our services via Zoom. After lots of trial and error, and a few glitches, we’re now offering four weekly Zoom services, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Some of us are, understandably, beginning to ask when it might be possible to safely return to our church buildings for worship, and the simple answer is that we don’t know. What we do know is that it will be gradual and not any time soon. Government guidelines suggest that places of worship will be included in the third phase at the beginning of July, but it remains to be seen how possible and how practical this would be, given social distancing and the many new measures we would have to implement.
We look forward to the day when we can safely meet face-to-face, but for the time being we will continue to worship together through the wonders of technology. Zoom offers us an unprecedented opportunity to reach a much greater number of people, so please can I encourage you to invite friends and family to join us if they would like to. The more the merrier! Just let us know who to add to our mailing list (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please continue to pray for myself, the Wardens and the Staff Team as we discern the way ahead.
Until we can safely meet again, may God continue to hold you in the hollow of His hand.