In light of the Government guidance around non-essential contact, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended until further notice.
It is our view, in light of the continued increase of COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom, that it is now necessary to suspend the administration of the chalice as well as physical contact during the sharing of the peace, blessing or “laying on of hands”.
As concerns about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) gather momentum – there are some simple things we need to do as a worshipping congregation. This is for the protection of ourselves and for the many others who use our busy church.
The Altar rail has been removed and we ask that communion is now taken standing up. You will currently only be able to receive the bread before returning to your seat. This has always been considered as a full receiving of Communion.
We are now asking everyone to avoid all forms of direct physical contact during the sharing of the peace; a smile and the traditional words are enough. Whoever is taking the service will offer the peace by extending their hands towards you in blessing but without touch.
For those who come forward and do not receive communion – for the time being a personal prayer of blessing will be offered accompanied by the making of the sign of the cross over you.
We have been advised not to pass round collecting plates or bags – there are two offertory plates, one at the front of church and one at the back; please place your offering in either plate during the peace, then it can be blessed in the usual way.
Refreshments will currently not be offered after any services.
depending on the scale of its spread and further guidelines issued by the Church of England.
Whatever your personal views about measures to control this virus, it is vital that we take these emergency precautions because we have a duty of care, not only to ourselves but to all the people who come to us. We ask you to accept these temporary changes in the generous spirit that always typifies our church.
Julia Elfred & Chris Roulston