OPENING ST MARYS’ CHURCH
I am sure you have heard that places of worship can now be opened to the public for individual prayer. After careful thought, the plan is to open St Marys’ from tomorrow (Monday 15th June), with the building being open daily: Monday – Saturday 10.00am to 4.00pm, and on Sunday, 12.00 to 4.00pm.
This is all very new. We will keep everything under review and, if we encounter any difficulties, hope people will understand if we need to reduce the frequency or length of opening times.
Of course, we are asking people to maintain social distancing of 2m while in the building, and to use the hand sanitiser provided when they arrive and leave. Because of the need to clean regularly, and because there is work continuing at the west end, only the “blue chairs” area in front of the altar is open for the time being, with access via the door on the north-east corner (by the kitchen). We are so sorry that this means there is no wheel-chair access but, again, hope people will understand.
Sadly, there will not be the opportunity to light a candle as part of your prayer time. We know how important this is for people, but have decided it is not advisable for the time being. This is partly because of the risks of an open flame when people have used alcohol-based hand sanitiser. In addition, there is the problem of different people handling boxes of matches or tapers.
CONDUCTING FUNERALS IN CHURCH
We now also have permission to conduct funerals in church. We will need to discuss this possibility with each family concerned. Mourners will need to maintain social distancing and follow government restrictions on attendance (members of the person’s household and close family members – or, if they are unable to attend, close friends).
We do not currently have permission to conduct weddings or baptisms, or any other acts of public worship in the church building.
Please continue to join our worship on Zoom each Sunday.
We are grateful for your patience, and please bear with us on all of this. There is a lot to think about! We will be reviewing things as we go along, and keep you informed about changes.
If you have any concerns, please do contact us.
With love and prayers.
Poppy & Michele