Update end November - St. Mary's Site

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Update end November

Coronavirus
From the Vicar Margaret, and the church wardens
Way back in the Spring, who would have predicted that the Covid epidemic would
still be raging across the world nearly nine months later, causing mayhem in its
dreadful wake and that St Mary’s church building would be mostly closed again?
But here we are.
So that there is no confusion we would like everyone to know that to comply with
current regulations and to keep everyone safe, the church building is closed at
least until 2nd December and it could be longer. There is one exception to this and
that is that we continue to open our doors on Wednesday afternoons between 2.00
and 3.00pm for anyone who would like to come into church for private prayer.
This is not a formal act of worship but a quiet safe space, for people to sit, reflect
and pray.
Like everyone else we do not know what will happen after December 2nd and this
makes it difficult to plan for the weeks ahead, including Christmas. But it’s not all
doom and gloom. There are still lots of positives and blessings for us as a church
to take hold of. Over recent months new skills have been developed, new ways of
communicating and staying connected have blessed many in these difficult times.
The Sunday morning ‘live’ services when permitted, were received well. Week on
week numbers grew to such an extent that on the last Sunday we were open, we
had to turn several people away, as we were at our safe capacity limit.
Although circumstances forced us into one service on a Sunday, we rose to the
challenge and developed a blended style of service. A service which we prayed
would offer all our varied church family, a variety of ways through which each one
could worship God and receive from Him. All of this called for a real sharing of
graciousness, forgiveness, patience, and forbearance amongst us as a church. But
through the struggles that each one of us will have faced in working these things
through, and because of our trust in God, I believe we have been blessed in this
new way forward. Recently some people have shared some lovely, positive and
encouraging comments, about how they have really connected with God and each
other in a fresh and meaningful way through these services together. And others
have expressed their very real hope that we keep moving forward and not
backwards.
Through all these weeks we have kept up and improved our Zoom services and all
our digital communications. This year our Remembrance Service was delivered on
Zoom and 47 adults and 2 children logged in. And this week’s attendance rose
again. It is clear, that we may just be starting to grasp and successfully work with,
the reality of being a ‘church without walls’. The ‘church’ which is made up of
living stones-its people, and not just the church building. With the current
situation and the moving on of time, it is vital that we keep up and improve all
our technology and capabilities. We have a dedicated but small team who deserve
our thanks and who need your prayers and support, as they try to keep up with
demand and stay creative and happy as they do it!
As I wrote earlier, we do not know what will happen after December 2nd, but we
have put plans in place to help us navigate a way forward, mostly involving Zoom
and if possible other digital platforms.
We all need to note that if current government rules relax then some of the
services and events may be done live in church and if that happens, we will make
you aware and send out other instructions.

 


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