Important Liturgy Update

Dear Friends,

As you will know, in the last couple of weeks our social habits have had to change once again as we have come up against the difficulties created by the new strain of the Coronavirus. It is with sadness that we have to tell you that our worshipping life cannot remain unaffected. For the moment we need to observe the following practices:

  1. In compliance with the law we must ask that all those who attend our services wear appropriate masks, which should cover both nose and mouth. We recognise (as do the government regulations) that some people are unable to comply with this, and will not refuse to admit those who are exempt.

  2. The Archdiocese has asked that our Parish Councils ensure that congregations return to observing social distancing in church. Complying with this will mean unfortunately that we will have to return to our practice of booking places at services via Eventbrite. Happily, we are able to have more people attending each service, as the current social distancing guidelines ask masked attenders to keep a distance of 1 metre between themselves and those who are not members of their household or support group (“bubble”). So we will be able to have 30 attending each service, not including those who are responsible for the celebration of the services. The links for sign up will be sent out very soon.

    We do appreciate that this is a retrograde step, and likely to be distressing for many as Christmas approaches, and we have tried once more to make the availability of Holy Communion to people our guiding principle. There will be three Liturgies in the immediate Christmas period: an evening Liturgy with Vespers on the 24th, and morning Liturgies on the 25th and 26th. We would ask all of you to sign up for only one of these services in order to allow as many as possible to attend. We are grateful to all who helped us manage a similar arrangement last Christmas, and trust that a similar spirit of goodwill and affection will prevail this year, too.

  3. The Archdiocese has also asked the Parish Councils to ensure that the Church is well ventilated throughout services. We know that in the winter the Church can become quite cold when windows and doors are opened, but we believe that this is a price worth paying for our continuance of the services. It does mean, however, that we need to advise those who are coming to Church to wear suitably warm clothing!

  4. It is now possible for people to test themselves at home, using free Lateral Flow Tests which are available via the NHS website or helpline. We strongly recommend that people should make use of these tests,especially before coming to Church.

  5. Please remember that we are very willing to bring Holy Communion to those who for whatever reason are unable to attend the Church.

We will be re-examining our practices regularly, in line with the requirements both of the government and the Archdiocese, and we very much hope that these restrictions will be able to be lifted soon.

With our love to you all,

Fr Seraphim, ​​Fr Ian



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