COVID-19

Update

31st July 2020

We are now following new local restriction. This means:

  • The church is still open
  • You can attend services with members of your household and social bubble
  • Social distancing is to be observed – unfortunately this means no staying for a chat at the end of the service
  • Hand sanitiser should be used on entering and exiting the church
  • A face-mask must be worn inside the church, unless medically exempt
  • Communion will continue in one kind only
  • You will be asked to wipe down your pew before you leave

further information can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-of-england-local-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do

 

 

23rd July 2020

Update on face coverings in churches
The Church of England Recovery Group now “Strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship,including ministers, worshipers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer,
from coronavirus COVID-19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.”
There are the usual exceptions for those under 11, those with certain disabilities, etc. And unlike the situation in shops, this is advice not a legal requirement.

27th June 2020

The church will, God willing, open for worship from Sunday 5th July.

As you have probably heard, there will be no singing permitted. There will be Holy Communion, which will be received standing and in one kind (only the consecrated bread will be received).
The fact that church is open for worship should not make anyone feel obliged to come at this stage. Those who are shielding should NOT attend worship before the start of August at the very earliest. Others who are or live with those at increased risk should they contract COVID-19 should think carefully about whether or not it is right for them to come at this stage.
We are taking the steps necessary to make it as safe as practical for people who attend. Please do your bit by using the hand sanitiser when entering and leaving the building, by keeping your distance from others and by following the instructions of the wardens/sidespeople. Pews which are not to be used are clearly marked.
We will need to record the name and contact information of those who attend in case this needs to be supplied to contact tracers. This will be kept securely and destroyed after three weeks.
If you bring children with you, they will need to remain in the pew with you. Do bring your own quiet toys/books/colouring as the bags, toys, etc have all been tidied away.
A collection will not be taken during the service, but there will be a plate available if you wish to place anything on it as you enter or leave church.  The simplest and safest method of giving is to do so direct from your bank. If you haven’t done so yet, perhaps now is the time to switch to giving by standing order? We can easily let you have the details.
Churches will open from 15 minutes before the advertised service time. Once the service is over you will be asked to leave – starting with those nearest the exit. There will be no refreshments or fellowship time after the service. People must not congregate in groups for conversation, particularly indoors.
I anticipate that there will be sufficient space for those who wish to attend to do so safely. Should there be a situation where the church has no more safe seating please don’t be offended if you are told that unfortunately you can’t come in on this occasion. We’ll make sure you get priority seating next time!
We will stream the 11am service from All Saints’ Church for people not attending to watch at home, either live or on catch up. Other times of worship will continue as at present to be offered via Facebook – 10:45am short family worship on Sunday mornings, 10am Morning Prayer on Wednesday and Friday mornings, 6:30pm Friday Praise and 9:30pm Night Prayer (except Friday). The pattern of worship will be reviewed when we reach the school summer holidays.

17th June 2020

Good News!

Private Prayer

From Sunday 21st June we are able to open the church.

Following government advice and ensuring all social distancing and hygiene measures are met,

the church will be open between 9.30 – 10.30am each Sunday for private prayer.

 

 

2nd June 2020

Statement on latest Government guidance on coronavirus

The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, said: “We note from the Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy that churches could be open from July as part of the conditional and phased plan to begin lifting the lockdown. We look forward to the time when we are able to gather again in our church buildings.

“We are examining what steps we will need to take to do so safely and are actively planning ahead in preparation. We strongly support the Government’s approach of continuing to suppress the transmission of the virus and accordingly, we recognise that at this time public worship cannot return in the interests of public health and safety.”

(Church of England – 11.05.20 – churchofengland.org)

 

17th March 2020

Very sadly, but understandably in light of the government’s advice on social distancing, the church of England has decided to suspend public worship until further notice. So no services at church for now. We can still pray and support each other and those in need. Suggestions for both will follow in the coming days, so please keep an eye out for further notices.

Thank you.

A plea from the treasurers during the Covid 19 Crisis

With the suspension of public worship by the Church of England and instructions to self-isolate for those considered more vulnerable, it is likely that church attendances will fall dramatically or cease completely during the period of the crisis. This will put an enormous strain on the finances of both churches in the Benefice as costs will still have to be paid. We are urging all who give regularly to move immediately to making your weekly offering by bankers standing order. This is very easy to do if you have internet banking. The details you will need are the bank account number, the sort code and the account name. These details will be available from the respective treasurers:-

Les Moore for St James Altham on 01254 497441 or at jlesmoore@gmail.com.
For All Saints it’s Linda Bracewell at linda@troutbrookfarm.co.uk

If you do not have internet banking then we can supply you with a standing order instruction form for you to complete and send to your bank. You can also make donations to the All Saints boiler appeal by contacting Linda.
If you are unable or unwilling to transfer to payment by standing order we urge you to continue to place your weekly offering in the envelope dated for each week then bring all your accumulated envelopes when our churches re-open.
That way, our annual income should stay roughly the same as it would have been, even if we have a period where we don’t actually collect it. If you use the Yellow Gift Aid envelopes intended for more casual giving, we ask that you save the money you would have given to the church and put it in an envelope when the churches re-open.
Alternatively, each church will be open on Sunday mornings for private prayer and to receive any financial offerings.
We are living in strange times but life will eventually get back to normal. Please help us to ensue that our churches are still there to greet you when that happens and to provide succour and support during the crisis.

 

During these uncertain times we are taking our response to Covid-19 (Corona Virus) very seriously and we are adopting the Church of England advice on dealing with the virus.

This means:-

  • You will be encouraged to wash your hands when you enter church until we can obtain some supplies of hand sanitizer.
  • There will be no collection during the service.  The offertory plate will be at the door for you to place your money or envelope in as you leave.
  • We will suspend handshaking during the Peace
  • Please stand as you receive communion to avoid excessive touching of the altar rail
  • We will suspend all catering in church, so no coffee and biscuits after the Family services.
  • We will offer communion in one kind only, that is, the consecrated wafer, with the priest alone taking the wine. Under the rules of the Church of England, you are deemed to have received full communion if you receive any part of it.
  • We will not be carrying out pastoral visits to people who are self isolating.
  • Open the Book school visits will be temporarily suspended.

Our thoughts and prayer go out to all those who are suffering or are affected by the virus.

Keep us, good lord

under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainly and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, 

and lift up all who are brought low:

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our lord

Amen

Church of England.org