Dear Church Family,
I do hope you have enjoyed this week’s hotter weather and that it has not been too much of a problem for those of you with more delicate skin and dispositions. Sitting in front of a large electric fan and watching the snooker has certainly helped me get through the sweltering temperatures!
The recent change of pace has been a good one for the Smith family. Our family break in Pembrokeshire was lovely and we were grateful that we managed to get away after postponing our trip to France. We also have some time planned with our extended family in the latter half of August – which will (hopefully) mean that we are refreshed and ready for the new term in September.
What has become clear, as we have started to allow congregations back into the buildings, is that hand gel, face masks, and sitting at distance from one another are going to become “normal” behaviour for some time. I think our continued commitment to live-streaming the 9.30 am Sunday service is the right one. It means that we can still provide access to worship if restrictions are increased again but also allows a wider group to engage with the church, even if the building is full.
Celebrating Holy Communion at All Saints’ on Wednesday mornings has been particularly joyful. The familiar comfort of the Prayer Book in that beautiful space was something I missed more than I realised. If you are nervous about attending a service but would like to give it a go, can I suggest All Saints’ as a viable option? The parking is not a problem on a weekday morning, the area around the church is quiet and the distancing in the church works really well.
We have two more Wednesday morning services this month before we open up the 11.15 am service on Sunday mornings in September. If you have not been able to access the live streaming, then perhaps you could consider either of these services? Obviously, there is no pressure to do so! I want you to remain safe and well without taking any unnecessary risks. However, if you have managed a trip to a supermarket, café, restaurant, or even the gym; then a church service probably won’t worry you too much.
This Sundays pew sheet can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tvmy8w12gw94muz/newsletter%2016%20August%202020.pdf?dl=0
As we look to the new term and study the feedback from the questionnaires, the Leadership and Pastoral teams will be reviewing the pastoral care and communication systems we have put in place during the early part of the pandemic. We want to ensure we are doing everything possible to serve and minister to one another as safely as possible. Our sacramental life has been strained and I am aware that this should not carry on indefinitely. I am thinking of and praying for you all regularly and am grateful so many of you are carrying me in your prayers too. Let’s agree to continue to do this as we seek the Lord to guide us in the latter half of 2020.
With every blessing,