Lockdown Closures January 2021 

Lockdown Closures January 2021 

Dear Parishioners,

On Tuesday the 5th of January the standing committee and I met to discuss the way forward for our services of worship during this new time of lockdown. In the light of the very real risks of spreading the virus we have decided unanimously to suspend face to face worship. This will help us to protect each other and to protect the NHS. The public authorities have left it up to every parish to make this decision. It is not lightly taken.

I want to thank the leadership team for putting good Covid safety measures in place. And I wish to thank everyone who has helped to keep to the regulations, and to those who have enabled us to keep our services open during the last few months. These experiences will make it much easier for us to come back to face-to-face worship in our buildings in the future. It is of course very important for us to meet and worship together Sunday by Sunday. We aim to be offering one live service per Sunday, streamed directly either from the church of St Peter and St Paul in Ewhurst or St John the Baptist in Okewood. We will have the minimum number of people in the church on Sunday, probably one person to lead and preach and one to play music and one to help with technology. This Sunday we will be live from Okewood. God willing we will have wifi in Ewhurst church in time to broadcast next week. Please pray with me that this would be the case, David Steel has been doing sterling work to make this happen over the last few months. In addition, I am making plans to offer a live streamed communion service every other week. 

For safety and risk reduction we have chosen not to open our church buildings for private prayer at this time. We will be contacting all those who have keys to church premises separately, as we need to regulate the incursions into our church buildings.

The leadership team and I are very aware that there are some in our parish who find it difficult to access worship via technology. If you are one of these people or if you know someone who fits into this category, please make yourself known to one of the church wardens or Liz in the office or myself. We will be contacting you as soon as possible to discuss the best way forward. 

We do not know how long this period of lockdown will last. The leadership team propose to extend this current plan until the end of February. We will be reviewing the situation regularly. This is not what we hoped yet we believe that it is the socially responsible thing to do as the body of Christ in this parish. We pray that God would bless and guide us in this difficult time. 

 

Thank you for your understanding,

Reverend Clare


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