Here are Rev Jo Richards and her team, negotiating the latest twists and turns of policy around covid-19.
Good morning to you all, on a warm sunny morning, and I hope this finds you all well, as we are here at the Rectory – an exciting weekend ahead, and just to update you…
Seating arrangements in our church buildings: updated from Church of England, 30th June 2021:
From Step 3 groups of 6, or larger groups where everyone present is from the same two households (or linked support bubbles), can sit together. Everyone else will need to observe appropriate physical distancing at all times. It may be helpful to remind people as they enter, and to supervise this if needed. When entering and leaving church particular care needs to be taken that there is no mingling between groups. This can be particularly hard for people to do when encountering friends and clear paths for entrance and exit need to be considered as well as stewarding where this is considered to be an issue.”
What this means is: Attendees may sit in non-household groups of up to six on a pew together, but they must not mingle with other groups. Mask wearing is mandatory (unless exempt), and there is no congregational singing, track and trace in place, and hand sanitizers.
We are expecting quite a few folk to come to our services on the 4th July and the 11th July, not only is it [new curate] Jenny’s first services with us, but we have couples hearing their Banns of marriage being read (5 couples at St Dunstan’s and 2 at St Mildred’s).
When you arrive, if you would rather sit alone (which is absolutely fine) please do indicate this, otherwise we will ask if you are happy to sit in a group of six on a pew. At St Dunstan’s we have rearranged the ribbons, and closed off every other pew, as that brings us to just under the 2m social distancing between open pews; whereas before it was over 2m social distancing.
We as with everyone else await to hear if there will be any restrictions with the ease of lockdown, and will let you know accordingly.
Welcome party for Rev Jenny (4th and 11th July), following government guidelines: to take place in churchyard only (so if wet it will be cancelled), overall group size max 30 (so split into 2 groups in separate parts of churchyard if necessary). Smaller groups of 6 to be maintained, and sat together with no mingling between the groups. Drinks will be provided and brought to you (or byo); we are not permitted to stand and drink/eat. Individual snacks will be available or bring-your-own. If you do have a collapsible chair and can bring it please do.
Link to the Cathedral for the Ordination service 3rd July at 5.30pm : https://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/worship/online-worship/#evensong
As we prepare to welcome Jenny to our Benefice – today’s reading in Morning Prayer spoke to me most profoundly: Romans 16:1-2
“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae, so that you may welcome her in the Lord as is fitting for the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a benefactor of many and of myself as well.”