|Published by Steve Clarke on Tue, 30 Jun 2020 09:40|
During the lockdown we have continued to worship and follow Jesus in this changing time and it's been incredible to see how God has continued to meet with us and provide as we have stepped out in faith, hope and love.
We've been able to worship, gather around God's word and pray together online on Sunday mornings, as well as study and reflect on the Scriptures during the week. We've served the local community through fundraising, acts of kindness and service and been part of some epic quiz nights. It's been a challenging time and we have been learning to hold space for the sadness and grief we are experiencing.
Yet there is much to be thankful for and we've encountered God in new and deeper ways. Lockdown is now easing and we are beginning to see parts of normal life returning but we know this will be a gradual and step by step change.
Sunday services return to our building on Sunday 12th July.
You can read a Welcome Back letter from Steve & Laura here.
This will give some idea of what to expect and what you can bring with you.
How St Andrew's is planning to reopen for service
Keeping people safe
We will be following government guidelines, including the regular use of hand sanitiser, hand towels and social distancing of at least 1 metre. The building will be cleaned before and after each meeting. There will be a short time to socialise after the service but no refreshments can be served.
As a PCC we have discussed the wearing of face masks. The current guidelines issued from the Church of England state:
At present there is no government requirement to wear face coverings in places where social distancing can be complied with. However, people may wish to do so, and this is a personal decision.
We recognise that masks help to prevent the spread of infection where social distancing cannot be maintained. Since our seating arrangements are planned to support at least 1.5-2m distancing, masks would be an extra precaution. We want people to feel as comfortable as possible in church and so whilst encouraging and supporting the use of masks, it will not be a requirement when in our building.
We will keep updated with the latest advice and adapt to guidelines.
Sunday morning all-together spoken service
At our usual time of 10.30am we will gather for our Sunday Service. We will worship using Psalms, spoken word & music, but will not be able to sing together. We will have prayers, a reading and a short talk.
In the centre pews, there will be seating for individuals and pairs. Towards the sides of church, there will be larger spaces for families and children. We will be providing resources and activities for kids and young people that help to include them in our all-together time.
Wednesday evening 6-8pm: Open prayer & evening service
6pm-7pm Open prayer: Please come and light a candle, use the prayer stations or sit and pray quietly in the chapel or worship space. Some of the St Andrew's team will be around if you would like somebody to pray with you.
7pm - 7:30pm Evening Service: Join us for a short spoken Evening Prayer. There will be liturgy, reading and a time of prayer.
Welcoming everyone: Live streaming
For some, returning to the building to worship together will be a joyful moment, for others it may not be possible or they may not feel ready to join us quite yet. We want to provide worship that is as inclusive as possible and protects everyone's health and wellbeing.
Therefore, during this time we aim to livestream our services so that those who are shielding or unable to be present for other reasons, can join in.
You can find the livestreams for Sunday Morning & Wednesday Evening on the homepage of our website
We are hoping to follow the live-stream with an opportunity for those at home to chat online with our church community via Zoom.
The link for after the service will be the Sunday Link we've been using.
https://zoom.us/j/759858568 or Meeting ID: 759-858-568