On Tuesday of this week I convened a special meeting of your Parochial Church Council to discuss ‘moving on after July 19th’ and I have pleasure in sharing the decisions made by the Trustees.
- With effect from this Sunday – which happens to be St James’ Feast Day – the new pattern for service times will be Holy Eucharist at 8 am (a said service) and Holy Eucharist (partly sung, with hymns and an anthem) at 10 am. The 10 am celebration will continue to be livestreamed. There will be a choir of up to 20 choristers who will process in single file in and out, faces masked.
- There is a high expectation that people will continue to sanitise their hands and wear masks while they are inside the Church building. There will be no need to book ahead, but again, please note the strong steer towards signing yourselves in on arrival.
- The congregational limit of attendees will be 100. This number may well be reviewed in future weeks or months. On entry you will be given pew sheets with hymns and readings for the day and an Order for the Eucharist booklet, and you will be given polite instructions when the time comes to receive Holy Communion from the (Nave) Altar steps – in one kind only and wearing a mask when actually moving about.
- After receiving the Holy Communion you may return to your seats for the final prayer of thanksgiving, the blessing and the final hymn. Choir will then lead minsters out. You will be directed to leave, rear pews first, by stewards.
Please understand that there is no obligation to attend in person if you feel worried about any of this. The main service will continue to be livestreamed for those unable to attend for whatever reason. The clergy and stewards will be more than happy to listen carefully to any such concern that you may have.
I so look forward to implementing these steps, small thought they are, and to finding our new ‘norm’ we dreamed about many months ago! Rest assured that I will continue, with the best interests of the Parish Family at heart, to prioritise care and provision for those who are compromised health-wise in any way.
May the Lord continue to bless us all and to give us the grace to grow as his friends.
Alleluia! Christ is risen. Alleluia!
Rector of St. James’.