Dear parishioners and friends of Knockbreda,
I trust you are keeping well.
We had our farewell to Jonny Booth on Sunday morning (9th Aug). Jonny has done a marvellous work with our children and young people and I know that many older people in the church too have been deeply appreciative of his ministry. We were able to present him with a gift from the congregation – thank you to everyone who contributed – and a new, leather-bound Bible from the Vestry.
Jonny’s farewell enabled a few of us particularly associated with his children’s ministry to be in church and test the protocols for restarting church.
We are delighted to be reopening the church for services this coming Wednesday (12th) and Sunday (16th). However, as I am sure you can appreciate, there are several adjustments to church which will make the experience different to before lockdown. One major difference is that due to social distancing the number attending a service will be limited to less than a third of our normal capacity. Therefore if you plan to attend church on Sunday I am asking you to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, by Friday at 4pm. We need accurate numbers each Sunday to comply with social distancing measures.
I would be very grateful if you would read the following points carefully.
- If you are not feeling well please stay at home. There will still be a church service on YouTube.
- If you are coming to church you are asked to wear a face-mask – these have become mandatory for everyone in church (except children under 13 and those leading at the front).
- When you arrive at church you will be met outside by one of our welcome team who will be glad to see you and will tell you all you need to know about what to do and where to sit.
- In the porch you will be asked to use the hand sanitisers provided and continue to observe 2m distancing.
- We have to record the names of everyone in church – for contact & tracing.
- You will be shown to a pew (not your usual pew) marked with a green dot. Please keep the pews labelled with red dots free.
- We will fill the church from the front pew first – an usher will direct you. The gallery will be limited in use, so you will very likely be sitting downstairs.
- Sadly there can be no congregational singing.
- At the end of the service we will leave from the back first. Please try to avoid a bottleneck in the porch after the service.
I know these protocols make the service sound quite different but I am sure you understand why they are in place. We are trying to follow diocesan guidelines as closely as possible.
Because Sunday service attendance will be limited by number we are also having a Wednesday morning service each week at 11am. This will be a traditional BCP service. If you have your own prayer book please bring it. Sunday mornings at 10.30am will be an informal family-style service to encourage boys and girls to come. Sunday school will not resume for a few weeks but we will make Sunday mornings as child-friendly as possible.
You do not need to let me know if you are coming on a Wednesday but for the foreseeable future please do email me by Friday if you intend to come on a Sunday. And let me know how many will be with you. It is possible that if numbers are too great I may reply by asking you to come the following Sunday instead. If you feel that you will be unable to return to church at all over the next few weeks please do let me know because we would like to support you in some other way.
I really do appreciate your understanding and patience as we move forward gradually.
I believe that what Paul urged the Ephesian church is of special relevance to us today:
‘Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.’
Sincerely in Christ,