Church Life

CHURCH LIFE – UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2020

Where we were; Where we are; Where we are going

The past few months have been strange, worrying and unsettling for all of us, but our church life has weathered the storm thanks to God’s mercy and grace – remember Jesus’ walking on the Sea of Galilee where he said to his disciples “Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Matthew 14:27.

Where we were
Only six short months ago (although it seems much longer!) we were aware that the Coronavirus was about in the world, but it had not then touched our way of life here in Britain.  We should have guessed it was coming, but we were not ready, and it took us by surprise with the speed with which we had to rearrange our life routines.  Almost at a moment’s notice we had to close both church buildings and stop all forms of collective worship.  It was amazing how rapidly, thanks to the vision, skills and hard work of a few of our people, we were introduced to the wonders of on-line pre-recorded services, and how quickly these became a regular part of our lives.  For those unable to access the internet the Sunday morning telephone service was a wonderful alternative.  Whilst no substitute for the “real thing”, these did enable us to retain an ability to worship in the company (albeit remotely) of others.

And on the pastoral side Brockcare were very fast “out of the blocks” in arranging for every household in the village to receive a card offering comfort and support for those unable or afraid to venture out of their home.  Very quickly more than 100 people volunteered to do shopping, collect prescriptions, or chat by phone for the most vulnerable in our community.

Where we are
During the past six months great strides have been made in developing a church-based service for our community, while remaining warm and welcoming to visitors:

  • St Saviour’s church is open again for three service each week – 9.00am each Sunday for Said Holy Communion; 10.30am each Sunday for a Service of the Word; and 10.00am each Thursday for Said Holy Communion.  All services are conducted in complete Covid safety and in accordance with the Diocese and Church of England guidelines - that is face masks, hand sanitising, track and trace and social distancing.  Surprisingly we can still fit up to 60 people in despite these restrictions.
  • The on-line pre-recorded Sunday 10.30am services continue, and the Thursday 10.00am services are streamed by Zoom.
  • St Nicholas’s church is open every day from 9.00am to 5.00pm for private prayer, contemplation and visitors - again strictly abiding by Covid safety guidelines.
  • Brockcare continues its invaluable service, although demand for this has reduced of late as people have become more confident about going out and about, and so emphasis has slightly shifted to exploring ways of enabling safe social contact for those feeling more isolated.
  • Weddings, funerals and baptisms are taking place again – albeit slightly restricted.

Where we are going
But it doesn’t end there, there are plans to improve what we are currently doing, and introduce new things, for instance:

  • Commence a more informal service on Sunday afternoons once a month.
  • Live stream the 10:30am Sunday service, involving people both at home and in church.
  • Start an online Alpha Course.
  • Restart various The Year of Prayer teaching sessions.
  • Plan for a Harvest Festival Service on Sunday 4th October launching EcoChurch; A service of Remembering Loved Ones Departed on 1st November; and a Remembrance Day Service on 8th November.
  • Introduce a Covid-safe afternoon tea once a week.
  • Reintroduce the news section of Spotlight to keep you posted of developments and events.
  • Support our school through the production of on-line assemblies.

Thank you to everyone who has made all of the above possible and who continue to explore ways of this parish being a support and encouragement to many in these difficult and uncertain times.

More details will follow, so do watch this space ... or to be more accurate, listen to the Notices given out at each Sunday service; read Spotlight News, read the Parish News magazine, and look at the church website.

We have come a long way in a very short space of time, making decisions and taking action as quickly as we have been able to help you continue in worship and keep in touch as much as is possible, and we have plans to take us further.  It is unlikely that we will return to the old way of doing things in the near future, and maybe we never will, but we are trying very hard to provide you with what you need to keep the faith – and so remember -“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” Joshua 1:9

Yours in Christ,
Churchwardens & Simon