Since the government’s announcement that businesses (including churches) can now, albeit somewhat cautiously, start to reopen, Revd Paul has had a lot of planning and thinking to do concerning how best to implement the appropriate measures and keep people safe. He is acutely aware that for a while there are some, including the particularly vulnerable who may prefer to continue to worship at home via livestream worship. This is how Revd Paul put it in one of the extremely helpful weekly newsletters that has been sent to everybody in the Parish of Henfield, Shermanbury and Woodmancote throughout the pandemic.
‘Once the guidelines arrived it seemed clear to me that it was going to take some time and that it would be easiest to have a phased return to all three churches starting with Henfield, because it is a larger space and much easier to adhere to social distancing. To manage numbers we would ask that people email the office to say whether they intend to come and to which service (and it’s OK to change your mind, we won’t hold you to it).
In August we hope to reopen Woodmancote for the 11.15am services and then Shermanbury, and perhaps a return to our usual pattern of services in September. It will be church, but not as we know it. We aren’t allowed to sing, or to share the peace, or to share in the wine of the eucharist. That will be hard for lots of us. But perhaps it provides us with space to reflect on what really needs to stay the same, and what needs to change.
If you wish to attend any service, please don’t forget to contact Nicki in the Church Office for your name to be added to the list. (01273 495532 firstname.lastname@example.org)
Weekly Sunday worship resumed at St Peter’s Henfield on Sunday, 12th July with two services 8.30am (a Book of Common Prayer service) and at 10am (Common Worship) and this pattern will continue. Additionally on 22nd July the10.30am Wednesday morning Holy Communion service at Henfield will restart again.
Initially when services resume at St Peter’s Woodmancote in August they will be fortnightly starting with 9th August Holy Communion CW and 23rd August Mattins BCP (i.e.2nd and 4th Sundays both at 11.15am as before the pandemic) thereby alternating with St Giles Shermanbury (1st & 3rd Sundays) when its services (Mattins and Holy Communion both BCP) return in September. Paper orders of service will be provided at each church when there is a service. Those who wish to watch the services at Henfield Church via Facebook can obtain the words of the services by contacting Nicki in the Church office. Revd Paul will be continuing to update everyone with his highly comprehensive weekly news sheets. I am sure we all wish to thank Paul and Harriet for all the work they have done to keep us informed throughout this worrying time.
A Prayer for all those affected by Coronavirus
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.