Rev Jo RIchards writes about the next stage in the pandemic as numbers locally are high amongst school children, teachers and parents. In the three churches of Saints Dunstan, Mildred and Peter this is the new policy for worship.
Easing of covid restrictions
With the easing of restrictions we must remember that the case numbers of covid are still high. Therefore in our church buildings and hall:
Mask wearing is not mandatory but to be encouraged – I will continue to wear mine; Jenny and I also do a lateral flow test before all services.
Sanitise hands on entry
Remain mindful of social distancing – if you prefer not to be close to someone in church, please put bag/coat on seat next to you
Peace from afar
Communion: we will return to people coming forward and the intincting (dipping) of a consecrated wafer, for those who would like to receive, or just wafer only. If you would prefer to receive in your seat, that is fine and we will come to you.
Please note when coming forward at St Dunstan’s – the service is live streamed and recorded and you will be observed coming forward to receive. If you would prefer to remain off-camera please come receive in the Roper Chapel.
Coffee will be served in the hall after the 10.00 service
While I was away from the L’Arche garden in Canterbury, a few other volunteers descended on the place and made preparations for when people could come back to work, socially distanced of course. I’ve been back for a few weeks now, largely working 1:1 with me and my shadow, but sometimes socially distanced with Mr N.
We found the tool rack when we got back; there’s another one behind it. Thank you Mr B. These will save us so much time, provided of course, that everyone uses them. The tools will be accessible and visible, no hunting and heaving, not knowing if we even have a particular tool.
So perhaps a little organisation in other areas of life this Lent? I’ll say no more as Mrs T will be muttering about ‘do as I say but not as I do.’
Another slice of parish reality from Rev Jo Richards in Canterbury.
Good morning to you all, and another lovely day. We have been blessed with some good weather…. Just to update on a few things:
Rule of Six: The Government’s ‘rule of six’: attending worship is exempt, and services as per ‘new norm’ ie the capacity of each church building whilst maintaining social distancing. However we have to be very careful about socialising after the services, particularly at St Dunstan’s where we are so visible. We can only gather outside in groups of six, socially distanced, and not to mingle across ‘groups’…it’s a hefty fine if we get caught! We do live in such difficult times, especially when the social aspect of our services is so important, but we are where we are, and have to adhere to Government rules. We are also permitted to continue with our business meetings, such as PCC’s, APCM, which are ‘business meetings of a charity’ gatherings as long as all socially distanced and covid-secure.
Thank you to all those who have feedback re the Bishop’s questions. We had an excellent zoom meeting last night to explore these questions, and likewise again today at 11.00.
More reflection from Rev Jo Richards of Canterbury. I hope that by the time this is published the restrictions on people attending funerals will have been eased. Thank you again for allowing us to share your reflections, Jo.
Just back from another funeral, this really is tough with so few family and friends being present, to say goodbye to someone, and this morning reading Psalm 23 seemed to speak into the situation of being comforted by God’s presence in all that we are and all that we do. That sense of God with us both in the good times, and the most challenging of times.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil;my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
I saw this yesterday from the Mother’s Union prayer diary, which I thought was lovely: Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting and tedious of all works. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.’ Corrie Ten Boom 1892- 1983.
Rev Jo Richards,
Rector of the Benefice of St Dunstan, St Mildred and St Peter, Canterbury.
The Good Shepherd statue in St Mildred’s, Canterbury.