Rev Chris update

Rev Chris update – 23rd August, 2020

Dear all,
We have now had a trial service at both of our churches, and I found these helpful as I develop my thoughts about the ongoing worship during challenging, and changing, circumstances.

In recent discussions with colleagues we talked about how we develop different ways of being church in the current environment, which is likely to be with us for some considerable time. Of paramount importance is how we re-think our children’s and families ministry and our work with the schools – Fiona and myself are working on various new strategies and it would be appreciated if you would keep this valuable area of ministry in your prayers.

In terms of the worship life of the church, as previously mentioned, I am keen to take gradual steps as we ‘learn’ what is the appropriate way forward. Something interesting that came up in discussion was the concept of developing smaller ‘groups’ or ‘hubs’ within our congregations – such thinking has come out of the lockdown concept of ‘bubbles’. I believe that this is worth pursuing.

For now, what I wish to do is to take a short to medium term view of the structure of our worship that gives space for worship online, and in church, but provides flexibility and adaptability to changing circumstances, and particularly as we head towards Advent & Christmas (I can’t believe I’m thinking about that already!).

With that in mind I have detailed, on the attached document, how services will look up to the end of September. Beyond that I cannot say at present as I need to see how things work over the coming weeks, and then I can have further discussions about next steps and the direction of travel. Do make the most of our online services – if you wish to attend any of those held in one of our churches please book accordingly.

Through all of this we need to keep a sense of the bigger picture in mind by continuing to ask the following questions;
• What have we noticed during the last few months?
• What are we learning though this time?
• What do we need to let go of and what do we need to pick up?

Thank you for your patience as we take further steps on the road to a ‘new normal’ and work out how we can best develop the life of the church and the value that it brings to the wider community.

In the meantime, I shall be ‘online’ this coming Sunday, 10am, at an outside location. The bible passage I will using is from Matthew’s gospel, chapter 20 verse 1-16. To accompany that please view the following videos;

Rev Chris

MONTH DATE ONLINE (Facebook/website) CHURCH (booking required)
August 23 10am Morning Worship
6.30pm Encounter Worship
30 10am Morning Worship

September 6 10am Morning Worship 8am Communion @ St Nicholas
10am Communion @ St Andrew’s
5pm Oasis in the Afternoon
@ St Nicholas (Outside)
13 10am Morning Worship 10am Oasis Communion @ St Nicholas
20 10am Harvest Oasis Parade Service 10am Harvest Service @ St Andrew’s
27 10am Morning Worship 10am Harvest Communion
@ St Nicholas
6.30pm Encounter Worship

Telephone: 01622 299715 and leave a message

When leaving a message, or emailing, please provide your telephone number and the number of people attending in your family group/bubble.
These details will be kept for Test & Trace purposes and will be destroyed after 21 days.

Please do be aware of the following;
• The wearing of face coverings is now MANDATORY
• You will be greeted at the outer door by a welcomer who may ask you to wait, socially distanced, until it is clear to enter, at which point you will be asked to sanitise your hands.
• A further welcomer will be at the inner door who will direct you to an appropriate place to sit.
• The service will last 30-45 minutes, including communion, and the hope is to have music, but there can be no singing.
• If you wish to receive communion please do so as instructed by the priest. Communion will be provided in ‘one kind’ (bread/wafer) only.
• The toilets will be available with clear guidelines given as to their use.
• At the conclusion of the service you are welcome to remain in your seat for private prayer, otherwise please leave, as directed, ensuring that you continue to maintain social distancing.
• Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to provide lifts to church – only those within the same household can car share.