Church life after Step 4 in the Woodfield Team churches

 

 

 

       With the Government removing the final set of restrictions, we want to assure you that our first priority will always be to seek to safeguard those coming to our buildings.

    As a community in Christ we now need to move forward without set legal restrictions and as churches decide how best to manage the risk to ourselves and others. The Government considers that Church leaders are best placed to know their own communities and environments. Accordingly, here in the Woodfield Team, the churchwardens, Rick Tett, Wilma Colley and myself have met to consider the way ahead 

     No two churches will be the same for a while to come yet, so please be mindful that careful assessments have taken place to ensure the best possible safety of everyone so that no one feels excluded from attending a service.

         Any place where people can gather is still going to be an area of risk. The virus isn’t going away, and even those who have accessed both doses of the vaccine may still be at risk from contracting or spreading any variant of Covid-19. Those still waiting for a second dose, or who – for whatever reason – have not been vaccinated are at greater risk. God calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves and to love one another as God loves us. At the same time, God does not want us to live in fear.

     We have therefore agreed to adopt a gradual approach to relaxing what is asked of each of us. The following cautious approach to what will, and will not, change will be regularly reviewed by us. We ask for your prayers for peace and wisdom as the country begins the slow process of attaining a degree of the normality lost over the past 18 months.

    So here goes:

  1. Hand sanitizers will remain and we ask that you continue to use them as you enter and leave the building, and prior to receiving the bread at communion.
  2. We will continue to ask you provide contact details when you enter one of our buildings.
  3. Whilst we recognise the law has changed, we, along with many other public arenas (such as the GP surgery, hairdressers and smaller capacity shops), will continue to ask for face coverings to be worn while you are inside and moving around within close proximity of other people. We believe that this measure is an important step in safeguarding everyone.
  4. There will now be the singing of one or two hymns in a service but we ask that you remain masked to sing.
  5. We will continue the practice of not physically sharing the peace for  a while longer
  6. We will continue to offer the bread only at communion for now.
  7. Please be aware of how close you stand to others and for how long
  8. Now that the touching of surfaces has been shown not to be the major cause of transmission of the virus that was at first thought, we will reinstate the lectern bible; give out hymn books and service booklets and put out the kneelers again
  9. Those churches that are open for private prayer in the week will continue as now

     Throughout the pandemic the majority of people have been grateful for the precautions in place, as frustrated as we know many of you have felt. Now, as together we learn to live with the virus, and we look forward to the summer, and the opportunities which Harvest and Advent will offer, we ask that you continue to be sensitive to the needs of those around you.  We must be personally responsible and consider the obvious and hidden risks to both ourselves and others.

Philippians 2:3 reminds us, 'But in humility consider others as more important than yourselves'.

Vivien Elphick July 23rd 2021