From Rev Veronica Batchelor, The Churches of St. Birinus, Morgans Vale & St. Mary’s, Redlynch
July 12th, 2020
We are looking forward to re-opening our church in line with Government and Church guidelines and we will do so once all the relevant documentation is in place and it is safe to do so. Re-opening our churches for public worship will inevitably be a time of mixed emotions – joy at being able to come together to worship in our church buildings but also anxiety about gathering together and perhaps uncertainty about what the future may be. It is, as I am sure you are aware, not simply a matter of unlocking the doors and saying ‘Come’.
So, in August, there will be two open air services, these will give us an opportunity to physically see each other in a safe environment, and will help us to support each other as we start to plan the re-opening of our church buildings. These services will be held outside, on the grass at the front of St. Birinus Church, Morgan’s Vale Road (next to the school), they will be socially distanced and within Government and Church guidelines as our main concern is gathering safely together. Please bring a chair (and a drink if you wish).
Sunday 9th August 10am – Come along for a service of Praise and Thanksgiving
Sunday 23rd August 10am – Come along for a service of Holy Communion
In the meantime, church will continue and every Sunday an online service available on YouTube will be uploaded to the websites of both churches.
You can view the latest one by clicking here to go to our Services page. Worship and prayer will continue at home and we will keep connected through the church Facebook page Together@10 and meeting together on Zoom.
St. Mary’s will continue to be open for private prayer on two mornings a week – on Mondays and Thursdays from 10am to 11am.
The care and safety of those visiting and those supervising is our prime concern and numbers visiting at any one time will be limited to 4 persons from a maximum of two households. Children and young people under 18 should be accompanied by an adult. This is just a first step towards opening all our local churches and anyone is welcome to visit, however please do not come to church if you are exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19.
If you need to talk, have a specific prayer request, require pastoral care or have an enquiry with regards to funerals, weddings or baptisms then please contact me by telephone on 01725 513878 or by email email@example.com.
These have been unprecedented times for the Church of England as our church doors were closed but in the words of the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who leads the Church of England’s Recovery Group:
“Churches and cathedrals have risen to the recent challenges, finding new ways of meeting for worship, of serving our neighbours, and of reaching new people with the love of God. The challenge before us now is to take the next steps carefully and safely, without forgetting all that we’ve discovered about God and ourselves on the way.”
We are taking the next steps of a journey, so let us walk trusting his Spirit as he leads us to experience the new life of his church.
With love and prayers
Rev. Veronica Batchelor
Team Priest – Forest and Avon Team