Towards Reopening - Public Worship

Dear Friend

Towards Reopening Our Churches

“I was glad when they said unto me, ‘let us go to the house of the Lord.’” (Psalm 122 v1)

As I hope you are aware from the news, we will at long last be able to open our churches to public worship from July 4th – as long as this can be done safely.

The final detailed advice from the Church of England on how we should carry out such a safe re-opening was only issued on 1st July (available on the Church of England website) leaving us little time to make the changes required.  As a result we will be having our first public Sunday service at 10:30am on Sunday 12th July at St Saviour’s.  All will be welcome and we very much look forward to seeing you should you feel able to come, bearing in mind the advice issued by the Government and NHS with regards to your own risk factors.

To re-open as safely as possible the church and the service will look and feel very different from that previously experienced.  The key differences will be:-

  • The service will be a Service of the Word with no singing - although reflective music will be played at points in the service.  There will be readings, prayers and a sermon as normal.
  • There will be a one way system in operation with people entering through the Church Hall doors and leaving through the South porch door – sides-people will be on hand in addition to signage to help direct those who come.
  • Those who attend will be asked to sanitise their hands before entering and on leaving the church – sanitizer will be available at church.
  • Those who attend will be asked for their names and contact details should ‘track and trace’ be necessary at a later date.
  • Chairs will be placed in pairs 2m apart (3m between rows).  There will be no chairs in the side aisles allowing for plenty of room to enter and leave the church.
  • Pews at the back of the church will be roped off.
  • Only the disabled toilet in the hall lobby will be open for use.
  • After the service there will be no refreshments served in church – you will however be encouraged to go outside to chat to others at 2m distance.
  • No children’s groups will be run.
  • Face masks do not have to be worn – but please do feel free to wear them if you would like to.
  • Liturgy to be used will either be displayed on a screen or printed on leaflets and placed on seats at least 72 hours before service begins – sides-people will not be giving any material out on the door.

Once we have established a safe routine for this service we intend to launch a 9am Eucharistic service conducted in the chancel of the church (the 10:30am service will be restricted to the nave area). 

The online service will continue in its current form catering for those who are unable or unwilling for whatever reason, to come to church – as will the Thursday morning Eucharist (although from the 16th July people may choose to attend this in person or watch online).

St Nicholas will remain open between 9am-5pm every day of the week for private prayer.

Thank you to all of those who have put so much thought and work into enabling our churches to open once again.  We so look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible back to church and to continuing to make those of you who cannot come still feel very much part of the family through our ongoing online presence.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of the above please do not hesitate to contact me.

With love

Simon Newham
(Vicar of Brockenhurst)

Towards Reopening - Private Prayer