COVID-19: We're now having in-church services, subject to regulations. More Info
We are now back to having services in Church at 10am on a Sunday. Covid-19 Regulations continue to apply.
Although legal restrictions in England were lifted on 19th July, our PCC has agreed to retain certain measures for services in our church building. This is in recognition of continuing risks of transmission of the virus particularly in crowded indoor spaces as well as a desire that all who wish to attend can feel safe to do so. These include an expectation and recommendation that face masks continue to be worn by all adults attending (unless exempt) and social distancing being maintained. We will continue to facilitate social distancing by seats remaining well-spaced apart. We will also continue to provide the QR check-in for people upon entry.
I’m sure you will join me in welcoming the return of singing, and although we will have to do it behind a mask for the time being, we believe it is a good step in the right direction. We will also be returning to sharing the common cup at Communion. The cup will not be given into people’s hands, but will be held out by those assisting with the distribution. If people would prefer not to receive the wine at this stage, that is also completely fine and we will communicate to that effect during services. We will also return to serving refreshments after the services; however, we will do so café-style where drinks are brought to you. As in similar environments, we ask that you wear masks when moving around, but you can take them off when sat at your tables.
There is considerable room for interpretation in the new guidelines produced by the Church of England for Stage 4 of lockdown easing. For some, the end of many restrictions will be a cause of joy. For others, it will be a source of profound anxiety. Therefore, please can I urge and encourage you all to be mindful of one another. I think Paul’s words to the church in Corinth (as translated here by Eugene Peterson) are particularly apt for us at the moment:
‘Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.’
1 Corinthians 10:23, MSG
Priest-in-Charge of Christ Church South Ossett and Trinity Church Ossett and Gawthorpe