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Further to the Prime Ministers’ announcements on Monday of this week and after meeting with the Church Wardens and staff team, we have decided to re-open our churches for worship from Sunday 7th March. We intend to have at least two services each week and will send the rota round as soon as it is completed. Following our staff meeting to set the rota, yesterday, the rota for March is rather erratic!! This is purely because, being unable to have one big service on my last Sunday as your Rector, I need to ensure that I get to all churches one last time before I retire!! I do hope you understand – this is a ‘one-off’!
It is also our intention to open fully every Sunday from Easter Sunday.
It will be possible to go to another church, but you must book beforehand with the relevant Church Warden.
In order for us to stay open it is imperative that all Covid regulations are followed which will mean:-
Sanitising your hands when entering and leaving the Church.
Wearing a face covering which covers your nose and mouth and fits well to your face.
Adhering to the one-way system when moving around the Church for Communion or to leave.
When coming to receive communion you should
- Remove your face covering without touching the central part which covers your mouth
- Sanitise your hands
- Receive the wafer at arms length
- Put your face covering back on
- Sanitise your hands on your way back to your seat.
At the end of the service everyone should leave promptly and quietly.
There must be no mingling in the church – remember that from the 8th March it is allowed to meet with one other person outside only, therefore we should not stand outside the Church door for a conversation in a group.
Sadly we shall not be able to distribute posies of flowers on Mothering Sunday this year.
We are hoping to have as many services as possible during Holy Week and for Easter and are currently planning the following:-
Palm Sunday (28th March) – It does not seem as though we will be able to walk with Palms so there will be a simple Eucharistic service in both St Peter’s and St Andrew’s. You can make your own palm crosses at home or collect one from the church which will have been placed at least 48 hours before the service. St Andrew’s are delivering theirs direct to homes.
There will be a quiet morning on Tuesday 30th March at St Peter’s led by Reverend Caroline Luff – please contact Caroline directly to sign up.
On Maundy Thursday there will be 2 identical services running at 7pm – one in St Peter’s and one in St Andrew’s
There will be a service remembering the Final Hour at 2pm in St Andrew’s .
There will be no Easter Vigil service this year on Easter Eve – Paschal candles will be in each church and will be blessed on Easter Morning.
All Churches will have a Eucharist service on Easter Day at their usual times.
Please note – at the time of writing I am still awaiting official guidance from the Church of England and I also understand that there will be an Archdeacon’s briefing next week. Please understand, therefore, that these proposed plans may be subject to change!
With every blessing
WE ARE OPEN ON WEDNESDAY AFTERNOONS AGAIN.
Thanks to our new volunteers and returners!!!
Weekday hours 10.00am – 6.00pm
Saturday 9.00am – 3.00pm
Sunday 9.30am – 12.00 mid-day
HALF DAY CLOSING
As of the week commencing 8th February we will be closing early every Wednesday at 1pm
This is due to a temporary shortage of volunteers. Once the vaccination roll out is completed, and we get back all our volunteers, we will be able to revert to ‘normal’.
We are sorry for the inevitable inconvenience this will cause, but assure you this is only a temporary measure. We cannot continue to keep asking existing volunteers to do more and more.
The good news is that, following the notice going up about this in the shop, some new volunteers have come forward and their training will start in the next week or so. However the pandemic makes this process somewhat lengthier than usual!
A huge thank you to everyone who volunteers in the shop, customer facing and behind the scenes. We must continue to protect all our customers and our volunteers; hopefully not much longer to go now.
Stay well, stay safe and stay indoors.
Do pop into the church and look at the tree complete with all the home made decorations, they are all superb and the pupils of Stoke Primary made so many we have had to extend the tree to the window sill as you can see.
Many thanks to all who came along and did ‘their bit’ towards making St Andrew’s look so festive.