I am pleased to tell you that worship will start again on Sunday 5th July. Although we will be following our normal pattern of worship this will be a new normal rather than the old one. There will be restrictions as to what we can do for personal safety reasons. I know some of you are very keen to resume your Church life whilst others will feel that they must continue to shield at home for the time being.

The key to re-opening our Church for Worship is physical distancing. At the time of writing this is set at 2 metres but we are awaiting the detail of the recent changes to the Government guidance. This will need the co-operation of everyone; from the moment you enter the Church door, to your leaving. The rule of thumb is to keep 2 metres from anyone else (unless you are a couple or family). Hand gel will be provided on entry. You may wear face coverings and gloves if you wish. Seating will be regulated appropriately in every Church. A service book and notice sheets will be given to you but no hymn book. There will be no hymn singing for the moment. Please take the notice sheets home with you. The service books should be left in Church. The collection plate will be positioned in a suitable place but there will be no passing of the plate at the offertory. The peace must be exchanged with a suitable gesture rather than any physical contact. Communion will be in one kind (the wafer) and received standing at the front (with distancing) rather than kneeling and touching the altar rail. After the Service there will be no refreshments for the time being. You are encouraged to leave quietly.

This is going to be different from what we have been used to, hence the new normal. At the same time we know that the pandemic is not over and that a second wave is a possibility. This is why Wedding Services will be limited to 30 people and Baptism Services to one family. There will be no School Services for the time being.

Many of our usual Church activities will either be postponed or take place in a more limited way. For the latest on this keep an eye on this website and the Parish magazine. The Benefice Office will be open from the 1st July.

If you are going to continue to shield then please let the Benefice Office (446381) know or the Vicarage (424235). If you would like to receive Communion Wafers, the reading and notice sheets and an order of Service, then mention this when you phone.

The coming months are going to challenge us all as we face up to the consequences of this pandemic. What is our new normal going to be? Is there anything we are going to change in our lives? What does our faith have to say about the future? Certainly this is an important moment which will give birth to many changes, not least for the Church. My prayer is that Jesus will be at the heart of everything that we do.

Mark Binney