From Rev Veronica Batchelor, The Churches of St. Birinus, Morgans Vale & St. Mary’s, Redlynch
January 6th 2021
Following the Government’s announcement on Monday 4th January and subsequent correspondence from Bishop Nicholas, even though it is permitted for churches to remain open for worship during the current lock down, it was clear that the decision whether it is appropriate to continue meeting together for worship in our church buildings was a local one. Considering the age of our congregation and the churches priority to offer pastoral care not just for our congregation but also our community, doctors, hospital staff etc and after consultation and with the support of the Churchwardens of both St. Mary’s and St. Birinus, the view together with Woodfalls Methodists, is that we should suspend worship in our buildings for the time being. This is a decision that we hoped we would not have to make but with the increased transmission rate and the number of cases growing locally we all feel this is the right decision.
With regards to when we re-open our church buildings representatives from all three churches met last week and a decision was made to re-open in line with ‘step 3’ of the Government’s road map; when two households are permitted to meet indoors, so we will be looking to all physically gather together again in May. Veronica March 28th.
We will continue to offer worship digitally and with vaccinations being rolled out to many of our congregations over the next months we look in hope to being able to revert to worship in church buildings as soon as it is safe to do so.
Every Sunday an online version of the Sunday service will be available on YouTube and uploaded to the websites of both churches. You can view the latest one also on our Services page.
Worship and prayer will continue at home and we will keep connected through the church Facebook page Together@10.
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.
Please do take care and keep safe.
With love and prayers
Rev. Veronica Batchelor
Team Priest – Forest and Avon Team