Church doors will open in our Diocese for the first time in six months this weekend – both at St John’s and Holy Trinity Thornhill. This is something that many of us have been waiting for in great anticipation – if we are honest – we have missed the gathering of the saints.
We do realise though that Covid 19 has been the tsunami that has swept over all our lives this past year – and we know that everything has changed – including that we have got used to face masks, social distancing, hand sanitisers and other etiquettes in order to prevent the spread of the virus and to protect other people.
Why am I telling you this? Because we have to follow similar protocols at church on Sunday and Wednesday, even though you may find many of these new etiquettes unsatisfactory, it’ll be good to take it in our stride as we find new ways of doing church for the immediate future:
- We will insist on all protocols on attending church, including wearing of masks, social distancing and sanitizing. You will be met at the front door and your temperature and name will also be recorded.
- We are allowed 50 percent of capacity in our churches, for us at St John’s that means 125 people in each service.
- Our Compliance Officers are Lance Shortt and William Walton who have been trained in these protocols.
- We have not wanted to put any age restrictions on anyone coming to church. So, if you are feeling well on the day, you may attend. If not, for instance you have a bad cold, please stay at home (and come along when you are feeling better).
- We also understand that you may have a co-morbidity like high blood pressure, diabetes etc which puts you in a high risk group. Please be aware of this risk. We implore you to rather be cautious in these circumstances. Covid hasn’t disappeared and is still very much part of our landscape, and so there is a still considerable risk.
- We will continue doing “Blended Services” that means that we will record the sermons and eucharist service and issue that on a Sunday as we have been doing over the previous six months in order to reach folks who cannot attend on a Sunday. It is quite amazing to hear that sermons have been shared in North America, UK, UAE, Australia, New Zealand and the like (as well as being listened to in bed!!).
- Also be aware that Communion will be of One Kind which means that we will not be sharing the common cup at the services. The bread will suffice as sufficient for Communion.
- We also have to refrain from singing – so this might be an opportunity to practice your “holy hum” behind the mask.
- The collection plate will be placed at the back of the church for when the congregants exit if you want to use this facility.
- There will be no processions into the church or down the aisle at any point. The Anglican “touch” of greeting the minister at the back of the church thus falls away for the time being.
- No bibles and prayer books will be in the pews – if you want to bring your own you are more than welcome. We will be using the overhead screen for the prompts during the liturgy.
- Passing of the peace will be via the “holy wave” again in order to limit contact.
Phew! That’s a lot to remember. Again, let me emphasise, let us be kind and gentle in our demeanour and dealing with each other. It is frustrating not to be able to have church how we remembered it in February.
We will do the best to make it special – and I can assure you there will be beautiful flowers in the church, the brass and silver has been polished and we have dusted off our robes, in other words we are ready to go!
And God is still on the throne (Psalm 139: 7-10)!
Mission Fete Pop-up Charity Shop
Please support our mission pop-up charity shop! With church now opening, we will extend the shop for the next three weeks.
Plenty of books and white elephant goods on sale. Please also feel free to drop off any goods from your Spring clear-outs – and help us to raise funds for mission.
Open Tuesday to Friday from 9.30am to 1pm,
or half an hour after each service on Sundays.
Please wear your mask!
All funds go to Mission.
The autographed books will be on sale in the hall foyer at St John’s,
while the pop-up shop is running – Tuesday’s to Friday’s from 9:30am -1pm.
Lesotho: Please continue to pray for Peter, Keila and the A4J team in Lesotho. They have started up their ministry again and have found that gang violence has become a problem in a nearby village. Please pray for those affected, for the teams working with them – and that this will be an opportunity for people to come to God.
We would appreciate it if you could deposit your dedicated giving contributions via EFT into our bank acount:
Branch Code: 050417
A/C Name: St John the Baptist Church
A/C Number: 080281206
(Please make sure your number & reference is included)
Contact Allan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not have a pledge number.
Please be aware that the recycling area is currently closed until further notice.