We will begin a cautious and tapered return to onsite services in February. When reviewing the issues and options, the PCC Standing Committee were acutely aware of the diverse needs, risks, and perceptions about this issue.
- Local coronavirus infection rates show a consistent downward trend and are already back at the levels seen in early- to mid-December.
- The overall corona-safety of churches has been demonstrably high.
- Many are being rightly cautious in their personal health choices, especially those more at risk and/or whose vaccination is imminent.
Pooling these considerations, the following pattern will be adopted:
Sundays (starting February 7th)
- 8am Holy Communion, St Michael’s
- 9.30am Youtube service – this will be a release of a recording of the previous Wednesday’s service of Holy Communion; there will be no onsite 9.30am service until further improvements permit us to gather with the sort of numbers which might wish to attend.
- 11.15am All Age Morning Praise, St Michael’s
- 6pm Evening Service, St Mary’s
- 9am School Service, Youtube (ongoing)
- 10.30am Holy Communion, St Michael’s (starting February 2nd)
- 9am Morning Prayer by Zoom (ongoing).
- Both churches remain open, at least 9am – 5pm.
- Your ongoing support is invited for FEED foodbank; the collection box is near the font at St Michael’s.
The above balance between online and onsite provision allows us to restore those onsite services which are easier to deliver and traditionally more sparsely attended. Crucially this includes an in-person offering which is accessible to our younger members (Sundays 11.15am), while retaining the capacity to provide an online service for those who remain at home.
Some important caveats to the above:
- If you are in the government’s priority categories for vaccination we would love to see you in person – but not yet! We strongly encourage over 70s and the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ not to attend onsite until at least 2-3 weeks after your first jab, and we ask instead that you engage with our digital worship by Youtube or Zoom.
- If you attend onsite, please remember you are coming to talk with God not one another. While we normally love social interaction, this is currently prohibited.
- Attendance at onsite Sunday services in St Michael’s will again be managed by Doodle Poll – please see our weekly email for this.
- The above pattern is tentative and will be subject to further review as we head through the month. We also have the flexibility to respond to changes in the local picture, including if key colleagues need to isolate.