Return to Worship
We are happy to announce a return to worship in the Eastern Parishes
Following the Government's announcement that we are able to return to worship on 4th July, I am aware as we take the next tentative steps many of us will naturally be cautious, wary, and even scared, and these feelings have all been expressed to me when I have spoken with members of our congregations recently.
This is backed up by the results of our Lockdown Worship Survey, as people told us some will not be returning to church until there is a vaccine, others are keen to get back to some kind of normality, some remain shielding, many are cautious, and some still want the mix of online services too.
Also behind all of this, is the hope for a vaccine, the fear of a second wave, even though first time around the Leominster area has remained relatively unscathed, but each death is a loved one who will be missed. Employment and education continue to be directly impacted, and we are indebted to the health care and essential workers who have worked tirelessly, and before this pandemic the farming community had been hit by atrocious weather.
The demands of our worship spaces to remain safe places as we continue to battle the pandemic is at the forefront of our return. Therefore this means that there will be subtle changes, such as using hand sanitiser as we enter or leave a church and during the service, and at the end of a service shutting the church for 72 hours or doing a deep clean.
The Government has not stipulated that we have to use facemasks, but many people may feel more comfortable if we do, particularly those who are in a higher risk group, and through our combined efforts may then feel safe to come back to worship.
There will be no singing and we will have to socially distance ourselves as per the government’s directions. The Service Booklets will be on the pews, and will be left there once you leave and not collected in.
At the Altar I will serve myself and I will bring my own Chalice and paten and we will be able to do a said Eucharist and everyone may receive in one form and you will see me putting on a facemask to give it out to you.
Also we will need to have a one-way system in place, so we may safely receive communion.
Even after the service is over, I will have to go and change all my clothes, either washing them or airing them for 72 hours before the next service. As a result of all of this, our former parish service pattern will need to temporarily change until after the virus threat is over, and we will review this as we go along.
Probably there are plenty more things we will need to work through, with potential changes to the rota, and it is probable that we may not see a full return to our former pandemic church attendance for some time as this has been the experience of other countries.
Our Tuesday Morning zoom service will continue until we all feel safe that we may venture back into Hennor, as will the Western Parishes Sunday zoom service. However, we will be stopping our Thursday zoom morning prayer service from next week, unless there is a demand for it and we may move to having a bible study group instead.
If you have any questions, please do come back to me, because I feel we like the disciples are venturing out as one body after Pentecost, and into the unknown, with the Holy Spirit guiding us as we venture out with our Saviour.
To see the new worship pattern for services click here: Worship Pattern for Services, dates, times and churches
Revd Rufus Noy SCP
Leominster Team Ministry- Eastern Parishes and Pioneer minister