Tuesday, 5 January 2021
Dear Friends in Christ,
Yesterday evening we heard the Prime Minister announce a third period of lockdown. Many of the restrictions we lived under throughout mid-2020 have been put back in place, along with specific guidance regarding the need for those who are especially vulnerable to return to a period of shielding. Having said that, there is one significant difference this time … our churches are not being forced to close during this period of national constraint. However, it is important that we pause at this moment to re-consider how we protect each other as the new variant of the coronavirus seems to be spreading at an alarming rate.
The Bishop of London, who chairs the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group, has issued a brief statement acknowledging the severity of the current situation across the country whilst highlighting that: the Government has chosen not to suspend public worship in England at this time. Later in her statement the Bishop goes on to say: however, some may feel that it is currently better not to attend in person, and there will be parishes which decide to offer only digital services for the time being. Clergy who have concerns, and others who are shielding, should take particular care and stay at home. We also cannot ignore the fact that the number of infections in our area is continuing to rise, a fact that has to be borne in mind as we consider the best course of action for us to take in the coming days.
In the light of all this, I have decided to proceed in the following way:
- The churches in Corby Glen, Irnham and Burton-le-Coggles will continue to open for Private Prayer on the same days and at the same times as has been the case since churches were re-opened in August 2020.
- There will continue to be daily services of Prayer & Reflection on our website, and CD versions of these services will continue to be available on request.
- The Daily Offices of Morning & Evening Prayer will be offered in St John’s Church, Corby Glen at 8.30am and 4pm every day. You are welcome to join the clergy at these short services.
- The mid-week service of Holy Communion will continue to take place at St John’s Church, Corby Glen on Wednesday mornings at 10am.
- On Sunday next (10 January) there will be two services of Holy Communion at 9am and 10.30am. These will be in St John’s Church, Corby Glen as previously advertised.
- Sunday services will continue to take place on alternate Sundays in St John’s Church, Corby Glen and St Andrew’s Church, Irnham, and prior booking continues to be essential.
- But … whether we continue to conduct two services on each Sunday will depend on your reaction to the recent statements and advice that have been issued by the Government and the Church of England. Depending upon how many people choose to engage more with the on-line services, and the CD alternative we can offer, I will decide whether or not to reduce the number of Sunday services to just one.
We continue to live through strange and challenging times, and some of you will hear of benefices that have decided to close completely for the coming weeks. It is my intention to continue to offer the comfort and spiritual support of Public Worship as long as I can, but there remains a need for us all to take care of each other. I hope that that overriding priority will help you all to understand the need to keep a constant watch on the most appropriate course of action for the Church in our parishes.
With every blessing to you all,