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St Peter’s re-opening for worship

In keeping with government guidance, we are delighted to announce that we are re-opening St Peter’s for public worship this Sunday!

As you will appreciate, we are subject to considerable restrictions, and no doubt what we do will evolve over the coming months. For the time being, PRE-RECORDED WORSHIP will continue to be available online, and uploaded to YouTube late on Saturday evening as usual.

This Sunday in church, we will therefore be offering services of Holy Communion at 9 am and at 10.30 am. There will be music (but no singing), a short sermon, and communion offered in one kind (that is, wafer only); coffee will not be provided afterwards, and toilet facilities will not be available. Those who attend will need to use the hand sanitiser provided, and pews will be cleaned between services.

Because of the need to observe social distancing of 2m, we estimate we can accommodate roughly 60 people at each service, including limited use of gallery seating with restricted views. Those from the same household can obviously sit together. To ensure a place, some worshippers who would normally come to the 10.30 am service will therefore want to come earlier to the 9 am service. (We hope these arrangements will be sufficient for the moment, but obviously if we have to turn worshippers away this week because of lack of space, we will need to find ways of increasing provision in the future.)

Those who are shielding or vulnerable, whether on the basis of age or underlying conditions, will need to think carefully about whether they feel safe to attend. We also cannot as yet offer crèche facilities or Sunday Clubs for children; and children who attend will therefore need to be able to sit with parents throughout, and avoid breaching social distancing guidelines.

The use of face masks is not mandatory, but anyone with potential COVID-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or loss of or change to sense of smell or taste) should self-isolate at home, and will therefore not be allowed into church.

For this Sunday, we will not open for Evening Prayer in church, but hope to do so in the coming weeks.

Despite all of which, we are nevertheless excited to be opening again! We will have to experiment a little over the next few months as to how we best offer ‘blended worship’ for those who are able to come in person andthose who will be watching online at home.

But this is a significant and positive step forward, and I look forward to welcoming those are able to join us in church this Sunday!

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