Weekly Update – Friday 24th July 2020
– from Revd Emma.
Everything is changing… Face masks in Church:
You may remember just last week I was reflecting that things all around us keep changing, often with little notice and with immediate effect… well true to form, this Thursday, late afternoon, government changed its instructions, which in turn led to the Church of England updating many of their policies. With less than 24 hours’ notice all churches have been ‘strongly advised’ that all individuals who attend a church service, or private prayer session, or a wedding, funeral, baptism or any other activity should wear a face mask/covering whilst inside the church building. Church buildings are considered enclosed public spaces and so are subject to the legal rules which came into effect today! Now the phrase ‘strongly advised’ could be read as a recommendation that we might choose to follow if we wish – however, it reflects a much stronger sentiment – indeed an instruction that should be followed. To ignore this advice, would be to put all who attend church, me, as Incumbent, and the PCC at risk. Whilst I am aware that there is conflicting scientific opinion as to the efficacy of wearing a face covering, it is of primary importance that we do all we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our church family and our local community.
So therefore, I must ask that anyone who attends All Saints, be it for public worship, private prayer or to a wedding, funeral, baptism or any other activity should wear a face mask. If you do not do so, very sadly you will not be allowed into the building. There are exemptions for children aged 11 years and under, and for those who have medical conditions that affect their breathing.
Now I appreciate this has come with very little notice – so for this week only we will provide disposable face masks for those who do not yet have washable, reusable masks – but we do ask in future weeks you attend with a clean mask, in a plastic bag ready to use. As you arrive you will be asked to sanitise your hands and make sure your face mask is fitted correctly. You will have to keep these face coverings on until the service finishes and you are safely back outside. For those attending public worship with Communion we will also offer specific instructions that will regulate the administration of Communion. Please note that at this point face masks are not compulsory for outside worship, but this may of course still change!
As staff we have all missed annual leave and time off in recent months. I have encouraged all our staff to make sure that during these remaining summer weeks we take some time to rest, relax and get some sort of a holiday in. So, starting first, Lewis Jones is on annual leave for two weeks beginning this weekend. He will not be available by phone, email or in person during this time. Any urgent enquiry please direct to me or a church warden.
As we move through the summer weeks, I shall let you know who is on Annual Leave as the time approaches – and give any alternative contact information as needed.
Online services from All Saints this Sunday and next week are as follows:
- This weekend Sunday 25th July at 10am there will be a short act of worship including hymns and songs, confession, prayers, Bible reading, and a short Sermon from me on the last section of Romans 8.
- Next Sunday 2nd August again at 10 am there will be a short act of worship with hymns and songs, confession, prayers, Bible readings, and a short reflection. This service will also include Communion – so if you would like to participate, please have suitable bread and wine ready to join in!
Both are available on our Facebook page, or on our website:
There is also the opportunity to join with a Eucharist service from the Diocese:
Diocesan Morning Eucharist, Sunday 19th July at 9am. Join with senior Diocesan staff who will lead worship with others from around the Diocese. This Eucharistic service will include hymns, readings, and prayers. It will be live on the Diocese's Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/portsmouthdiocese and Facebook page:www.facebook.com/CofEPortsmouth
- Tomorrow Sunday 25th July 10am at All Saints. This service will include confession, prayers, Bible reading, and a short reflection. This service will also include Communion.
- FACE MASKS MUST BE WORN AT THIS SERVICE.
As the service ends, we will ask you to leave the building. However, you are welcome to bring your own flask of tea or coffee, plus a snack, and maintaining small groups, gather in our large church garden to talk and share.
- Next Sunday 2nd August 8am at All Saints. This will be our first week of a traditional, said, BCP (Book of Common Prayer) Communion Service. For this service we will be introducing individual service booklets, one per household or individual, which will be stored in individual wallets and not touched by anyone else.
- Again, FACE MASKS MUST BE WORN AT THIS SERVICE.
- Also, on Sunday 2nd August at 7.00pm we welcome you to bring your own supper and drink to our church garden. There will be opportunity to chat and enjoy time together, before sharing in a simple service of Evening Prayer (also known as Compline). This is a gentle, reflective, quiet service rooted in Scripture and prayer and a wonderful way to end the day.
PLEASE NOTE – if the weather is wet, because of the current changes relating to the wearing of face masks, this supper and service could not take place in our church hall and so will be cancelled.
Part-time re-opening of the Parish Office
Just a reminder that Claire Holland, our Parish Administrator, remains on part time furlough and the Church Office is therefore open for telephone and email enquiries on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday morning only.
I say this each week – and I will keep saying it, if at any point you have questions about Summer Church, our building re-opening, or you have a prayer request, or would just like a friendly chat, please do ring me at the Vicarage on 9226 2647. At times I am out, but if you leave a message, I will return your call.
With every blessing,
Revd. Emma Racklyeft - Vicar at All Saints, Denmead