The New Reality

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Ernest
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The New Reality

Post by Ernest » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:14 am

The Government has now released the guidance for the reopening of Churches or Places of Worship, meaning those for all faiths, not just Christianity. The terms of the guidance are clear and in some cases a bit vague in terms of what constitutes worship practices for instance sacred parts of worship i.e the sacraments, which sound strange to our ears.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... troduction

There is also separate guidance for the conduct of weddings (in secular and faith settings).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... troduction

The CofE is about to issue its own guidance based on the government guidelines, which we as a parish are waiting for to assess the ways that we can take to make church "Covid Safe" but it will possibly take several days for the extensive guidance already issued to be updated.

But what is obvious is that gathering for worship or private prayer or other activities will require substantial adjustments to what we have done so far, and it is obvious that the burden on Incumbents, PCC's and Ministry Teams and volunteers will be substantial. And there will be much reliance of younger, people (as those over 70 are advised that attending or volunteering will be a conscious choice they make, against the advice in the guidance). I wonder whether our insurers will refuse to cover people (like me) as we are going against the guidance?

I await developments with interest to see, what if any, effect this will have on my own public ministry and worship, let alone that of others. What is obvious to me is that online worship will have to continue alongside B&M worship for the for some time to come. No going back, because it will exclude so many.

What do others think? : :blink: :hmm:
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Joyce
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The New Reality

Post by Joyce » Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:24 pm

Whar do others think ? I think stay online.
Jumping through hoops to set up a limited access to a place isn't worth it until it's known what's going to happen with the virus. Lockdown may come back. OTOH we may beat the virus and get back to normal. Some congregations for now might just have to 'Wait yer hurry' as they said in the place where I spent my other childhood.

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Pam
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The New Reality

Post by Pam » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:48 am

Joyce wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:24 pm
Whar do others think ? I think stay online.
Good plan, Joyce! :thumbs:

As far as i can see, getting the average church ready for 'socially distanced' services is extremely difficult. Most Dioceses are assuring vicars they are under no pressure to go back quickly. I can understand some people's keenness to get back into church, but the average age of attenders and those who usually help has to be taken into account. Better to go slowly and work out what's viable than rush into it and have to go backwards to lockdown, IMO.

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Ernest
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The New Reality

Post by Ernest » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:30 am

Yes, we plan to stay online. It is likely that we will only have one service on a Sunday in the church. Our seating capacity is 240 people, but that will reduce to perhaps 42 in the nave, particularly as we have a choir, who will have to occupy the front pews. I am told that the choir members have established a social bubble to come into force when rehearsals can restart, which at the moment is out of the question, but they have been rehearing online together, also as they are doing the RSCM courses, they need to continue to develop their musical knowledge at whichever stage they are at. At the moment, singing, shouting or speaking loudly to other people is on the forbidden list in church and as far as I can see, outside as well.

We have a sound system which can play CD music or can use a plugin USB disc to broadcast music, so we will have to learn to listen and to discourage the congregation not to sing along.

Our BCP services have small congregations, so could possibly proceed. One 8 am and one midweek and Evensong once a month, said only.

But our main services are normally Sung Eucharist, so this will have to become a said service with music played in the service.

We used to do Morning Prayer in our Lady Chapel during the week, which had a maximum of six attending. This could continue as there is sufficient space in the lady chapel for social distancing that number, alternatively we could use the nave pews, socially distanced if needed.

Morning prayer is particularly important as it is the Ministry Team meeting for it, and I and we really miss this opportunity to pray together. The issue is that we apart from the Vicar, are all over 70.

I am still waiting for the Covid19 Safe risk assessment to be completed, which won't be before 4th of August as the Vicar and his family are shielding due to one of their children receiving Chemo. And we only have one Church Warden, who is a Police Officer and necessarily engaged in his main role. The PCC are the ones who will have to do most of the work and preparation, again, most of whom have day jobs and are back at work.

None of this is insurmountable, but it will take the will and commitment of a wider range of the congregation to make us able to return and to worship safely. My prayer is that we can do so, if God wills it. :votive1:
Where there is hope and love there is life!
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Joyce
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The New Reality

Post by Joyce » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:47 am

Joyce wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:24 pm

Some congregations for now might just have to 'Wait yer hurry' as they said in the place where I spent my other childhood.
I thought on re-reading the above I'd better explain, in case anyone thinks I was behind bars or something. :)
Many wartime children sometimes refer in later life to having 'had two childhoods' because they were evacuated for up to as long as five years and had two totally different experiences. I'm too young for evacuation to have happened to me but I'm one of those whose parents halfway through their childhood took children to live in another area after they'd played with neighbours, been to a local school, learned the three Rs and established friendships and habits. How one copes with moving to England from India or China like many of the children I've taught, goodness knows. To me it was like being uprooted rather than transplanted and I'd only moved from Wales. A cousin of mine who moved in the other direction, I eventually learned,felt similarly. To my parents it was their home town so they hadn't a clue. It was only when I was grown up that I realised, from certain gestures she made, that a teacher, Miss Widop, understood. One thing she did was give me a Scottish new girl to take under my wing : only now do I wish I'd had more skills to have made a better job of that.
Change and newness isn't always as good as a rest. I'm thinking in some cases disruptions over the last few months must have happened to children and families that could have an unsettling effect. Going back to school to a wholly different way of doing things from what they remember may suit some more than others. One child's excitement is another's fear. For children who'd find the new ways of classroom management disturbing, if they've got used to home schooling it might not be a bad idea to continue down that home education route for a while. It's quite legal so long as parents go about it the right way.The Education Otherwise website can advise on procedure.There are lots of non-school-hours ways to socialise in person and to learn how to take instruction. Remember, today's young are accustomed to interacting with their friends over screens on phones and not all of them find it weird at all.

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