GATHERED SERVICES & CHURCH OPENING
We are keeping our gathered services and the opening of our churches under weekly review in the light of the recent assessments of national and local risk to our health and well-being in the face of the Pandemic.
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Prayer for our nation
You will be aware that our Archbishops have called for us to pause, reflect and remember the 100,000 individuals who have died in the UK as a result of the Covid pandemic, and to pray for their loved ones. They said: “100,000 isn’t just an abstract figure. Each number is a person: someone we loved and someone who loved us. We also believe that each of these people was known to God and cherished by God.” You can read the details of their open letter here.
They have called for February to be a month of prayer for our nation, as our response to this tragic milestone. They would like us all to pause and pray each evening, particularly at 6pm, from Monday 1st February. As during the November lockdown, there are suggested themes for each day of the week, and suggested prayers for each week during the month of February, including litanies, family prayers and prayers for use in schools. You can read and download these resources from here:
The national C of E will also circulate prayers each day via social media.
Given the national guidance and the on-going local conditions (including vaccinations), the Rector and CWs have concluded that Churches of the Benefice will have to remain closed until 31st March 2021. The situation will, however, remain under weekly review.
Individual have been able to make use of a church for private prayer or reflection in time of need by appointment through the Rector (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01489 877422).
Whilst the future is never certain, the improving levels of prevalence of virus and the numbers of people being vaccinated make us as confident as we can be that some face-to-face services should be occurring at Easter.
Streamed services will continue to be provided for the foreseeable future too.
Our churches, the the others of the Deanery sadly remain closed due to the prevailing pandemic conditions. Whilst we cannot second guess precisely what the future may hold, it seems likely that the churches will remain closed at least until 31st March 2021.
In the meantime, a weekly service will be streamed, on-line prayer resources will remain available and should an individual feel the need to make use of a church for private prayer or reflection, then this can be arranged by appointment through the Rector (email@example.com or 01489 877422) unless legislation is changed to prohibit this.
Update 12Jan 21:
Given the national guidance and the local conditions (including vaccinations), the Rector and CWs have concluded that Churches of the Benefice will have to remain closed until 6th March 2021. The situation will, however, remain under weekly review.
It was agreed that should an individual feel the need to make use of a church for private prayer or reflection, then this can be arranged by appointment through the Rector (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01489 877422) unless legislation is changed to prohibit this.
‘We still have weeks to go before vaccines will start reducing COVID deaths and, some weeks later, the number of people being hospitalised. We cannot afford to let our justified optimism for the future come at the expense of difficult action today. That means for now staying home and avoiding all unnecessary contacts. By following the rules, we will save lives and help normal life return more swiftly.’ Professor Chris Whitty 10 January 2021 (www.gov.uk)
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night and a risk assessment carried out by the Churchwardens and Rector this morning, it is with great sadness that we have decided that we must close our churches with immediate effect until 23rd January.
The situation is being kept under constant review and formal evaluations will be carried out weekly. Updates will be communicated here, on Facebook (see link above), sent by email and put on noticeboards.
We appreciate how important access to the churches is and how much many people value gathered services, so the decision is made with a heavy heart but our principal responsibility is keep everyone safe and we should also show our support to the nation’s health and scientific leaders by sending the message to STAY AT HOME.
Services will continue to be streamed (see below) and on the on-line services page (tab above). Volunteers to read or lead prayers should make themselves known to the Churchwardens and you will be included in the rota and given an appointment to be recorded either at home, outdoors or safely distanced in church.
- 1030 3Jan21 (Meonstoke)
Family Service followed by optional Holy Communion for the Epiphany will take place.
- 1530 3Jan21 (Exton)
BCP Evening Prayer is cancelled
- All subsequent services are under review at this time
- There will be a streamed service on this website (and perhaps other platforms in due course) every Sunday
Please keep checking here to see our programme of services and events as they are confirmed.
Please do not assume that the programme will be identical to that published in The Bridge, which was prepared before the recent lockdown.