Opening Up of the Benefice’s Churches for Sunday Services

We are very pleased to be able to tell everyone that with the lifting of some of the COVID-19 restrictions by the government, and following the advice and guidelines from the Church of England (C of E) and our own Bishop, we plan to open both the churches in the Benefice for Sunday Services from 2 August 2020. This is excellent news!

However, there are limitations and guidelines that we must all comply with to minimise, as much as possible, risk of contamination and infection, in our concerted efforts to keep us all safe. Services will operate to the government guidance on ‘Social Distancing’ and everyone will be asked to use the hand sanitiser provided on entering and departing from church. Sadly we are not permitted to have any congregational hymn singing or refreshments.

Please see below the pattern of Services and how we are to deliver these.

· We will be opening both churches in the Benefice for Sunday Service worship from Sunday 2 August 2020.

· We will maintain the usual Service times, 9:30am at St Stephen’s and 11:00am at St Leodegar’s, and our usual pattern of Services for Holy Communion, etc.

· The Services at St Leodegar’s Church will be in the ‘said’ format only, though the organ will be played on arrival and departure.

· Information on where to sit, circulation routes, delivery of Holy Communion, etc. will be explained on booking attendance, in advance, and on arrival in church.

· Holy Communion to be taken under the Bishop’s and C of E guidelines (wafers only).

· The limitation on space, maintaining the 2 metre rule where possible, means you will need to book for each service you plan to attend, in advance, by phone.

· The phone contact for St Stephen’s is to be Lynn Mears (537190) and for St Leodegar’s Joan Duberley (787801) and in each church priority will be given to regular members of each church.

· Provision for members of the same household and families have been taken into consideration – please tell Lynn or Joan who and how many will be with you when you book.

· Please note you will be allocated a specific pew and will not be able to sit in your usual pew.

· Congregation members aged 70 and over, regardless of medical conditions, are reminded of the C of E advice to stay at home as much as possible and, if you go out, to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of your household.

It should be noted that we will not be able to facilitate our usual joint service on the 5th Sunday of the month (when there is a fifth Sunday) and that we will have communion at both churches.

Please note that with the re-opening of the churches for Sunday Services we will cease to be opening the churches for Individual Prayer from August.

Please also note that we intend to maintain our ‘online’ presence by recording the St Stephen’s Sunday Service from 2 August onwards. If anyone has a digital camera that could be used for this purpose, please contact Robert Leeder (07760 580044).

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