Changes following relaxation of covid rules

Listen to Drew’s message about changes in our services by clicking on the picture below. The text is also given underneath.

New Rules for Worship Services at St John’s Carterton

Dear Friends,

As you are probably aware, the Government has today cancelled almost all legislation concerning the coronavirus pandemic. In response to this change, the Church of England has delegated decisions about how we will now operate to the Incumbent of each parish, so the buck stops at my desk.

At the same time they have reminded us that the virus is still at large and dangerous and that we are all responsible to and for each other. We are called to be especially mindful of the more vulnerable among us, ‘whose suffering is our suffering’ (1 Cor 12:12-27).

Having consulted with the PCC, Churchwardens and my fellow Ministers, I have decided to continue with a fairly cautious and gradual unlocking of restrictions. This will allow us to make some immediate and significant changes but we won’t be casting caution to the wind. Here are the changes you will notice and hopefully welcome straightaway:-

• Most but not all the comfortable chairs will go back into the worship area on Wednesday 21st July. Alternate rows will be left clear and within each row the chairs will be in groups of four.

• Communion will still be taken round by the Minister, just bread for the time being.

• Singing will be allowed during services but we will ask people to wear a mask whilst singing, unless they are unable to or particularly uncomfortable in the mask. Masks need not be worn for other parts of the service.

• We will have a ‘safe area’ in which there will be no singing and masks will still be worn, probably in the Hall, just beyond the partition screen. This is for people who are feeling particularly vulnerable and don’t want people around them singing or not wearing masks.

• The side altar will be moved back to its usual position and as far as possible the unused chairs will also be stored in the alcove under the RAF window.

• The 8.00 Communion, still just on 2nd Sunday of the month for the time being, will take place in the main worship area using the main altar.I

If things go well in our services and in control of the virus, we hope to relax the rules further, some time after the beginning of September. Changes being considered include the serving of refreshments after the 10.30 service and the distribution of wine as well as bread in some way, perhaps by intinction (dipping). We are also hoping to resume breakfast events from September but it is too early to make that a firm decision.

I expect that these changes may go too far for some people and not far enough for others. However I am confident that the whole Church community will respond in the right spirit and continue to show patience and consideration in these challenging times.

Yours in Christ, Rev Drew Tweedy, Team Rector 19th July, 2021

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