By Adam Friend - 7th July 2020 6:00am
We are moving forward with the re-opening of the Church. We have been open for a few weeks for private prayer on a Wednesday morning 10am — 12pm and have welcomed individuals who have wanted to come and pray. This has been, and will continue to take place, in the Bruen Chapel in the South Aisle of the Church. There are prayer booklets for use, if you have a smart phone, some QR codes will take you to online prayers and there is also a place for you to light a 'virtual' candle.
We are open also for Funerals, Weddings and other services with social distancing measures in place and with a government limit of 30 people. This is achievable at St Andrews. If a service is taking place at St Peter's, this will be a considerably less than 30 because of the size of the building.
We intend to open the Church building from Sunday, 5th of July, for some worship. We have decided to open for 8am, Book of Common Prayer Communion, receiving only in one kind (Bread only). We are not able to use the altar rail due again to the government regulations — how this works will be explained before the service starts. As we are keeping social distancing you may not be able to sit in your normal seat as we will be using the South Aisle of the Church only (to aid cleaning in-between services). Please be willing to sit where we are able to place you if you join us for this service.
At 9.30am and 10.45am there will be a service at our respective churches, Duddon at 9.30am and Tarvin at 10.45am. This will be different to the services before the lockdown and we are exploring how we can have communion within these services. The Church of England's tradition only allows the use of common cup, which has been suspended and will remain so for the immediate future. We are also at this current time unable to sing; there is permission within the guidelines for an individual singer to sing, and we will try and incorporate this until we can all sing together. We will continue to use music which the choir has recorded (individually and then mixed and put together by Ken) during our service as we have been using for our streamed worship. There will be a one-way system for our services and we ask all those who can to enter through the West Doors at both Churches. If you are in a wheelchair or use a ramp, then please use that entrance and exit and someone will be on hand to help and make sure that social distancing can be maintained.
Currently we are not having a service at 6.30pm but will keep this under constant review.
We will be holding Morning Prayer on a Wednesday at 9.15am, this will be in the Bruen Chapel with overspill into the South Aisle.
All our worship will be very different and we will need to be strict about social distancing — the government guidelines do categorically say there is no 'Kissing'! 😂 😂 😂.
The fact that Church is open for worship should not make anyone feel obliged to come at this stage. Those who are shielding should NOT attend worship before the start of August at the very earliest. Others who are, or live with those, at increased risk should they contract COVID-19, should think carefully about whether or not it is right for them to come at this stage.
We are taking the steps necessary to make it as safe as practical for people who attend. Please do your bit by using the hand sanitiser when entering and leaving the buildings, by keeping your distance from others and by following the instructions of the wardens, verger and sidespeople. Pews which are not to be used will be clearly marked.
We will need to record the name and contact information of those who attend in case this needs to be supplied to contact tracers. This information will be kept securely and destroyed after 21 days.
If you bring children, they will need to remain in the pew with you. Our children's play area is currently closed. Do bring your own quiet toys, books and activities for them with you.
A collection will not be taken during the service, but there will be a plate available if you wish to place anything on it as you enter or leave Church. We will also be able to use our contactless card reader for donations and we are also able to text you a link to donate in the comfort of your own home. As well as this, you can donate to the Churches online through our just giving page https://www.justgiving.com/tarvinpcc. However, the simplest and safest method of giving is to do so direct from your bank. If you haven't done so yet, perhaps now is the time to switch to giving by standing order. We can easily let you have the details.
Churches will open from 15 minutes before the advertised service time. There will be no refreshments or fellowship time after the service. People must not congregate in groups for conversation, particularly indoors. I anticipate that there will be sufficient space for those who wish to attend to do so safely. Should there be a situation where the Church has no more safe seating please don't be offended if you are told that unfortunately you can't come in on this occasion. We'll make sure you get priority seating next time!
We will continue to stream at 10.30am, on a Sunday morning — this will have similar content to the Sunday Service and will be pre-recorded and broadcast over Facebook, YouTube and available over our telephone service 01829708989.