Vicar’s Blog

Coronavirus update 14th February 2022

When we first looked at the impact of Covid-19 and began to think about what
measures we needed to take to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in March 2020, few would have imagined that we would still be making adaptations to the way we live our lives – including our worship – almost two years on. It has been a very challenging time.

We have all made huge sacrifices to protect each another. We have shown good grace and put others first in the way we have adapted our practices in church and other forums. Zoom and live streaming have become a feature of our church DNA. We’ve learnt again something of what it means to love our neighbour, as Jesus

The cost however has been great, in so many ways. Isolation, loneliness and loss of loved ones have all taken an enormous toll. All our lives have been changed and impacted in one way or another.

So many in our churches have made sacrifices for one another. I want to thank our PCC, our church leaders, our volunteers and our congregations for all you have done and continue to do – not simply to keep worship going, but to embrace such fastpaced change and be so open to bear with each other during what has to be the most difficult and challenging time for churches in a lifetime.

As restrictions come to an end the future remains uncertain and we must continue to be cautious. In our churches national government rules have been eased but we still need to reflect on what mitigation can best protect others as we continue to embrace the common good and look out for each other.

As a PCC we have reflected on our response to the recent guidance which is
summarised as follows:

  1. Lateral flow tests: If you are able to do a lateral flow test before attending church then the PCC would encourage that. In addition, if you are feeling unwell then please do not attend church.
  2. Face Coverings: It will no longer be a legal requirement to wear face coverings.
    We are therefore recommending face coverings at our Twinspires@10 and
    Twinspires@11Traditional services become a personal preference, though we would ask for good grace to be shown to one another. In addition, face covering will continue to be worn at our Twinpires@6:30 services.
  3. Hand Sanitising: The PCC recommend that hand sanitising is undertaken upon
    arriving and leaving our church buildings. Sanitising will also continue to be a feature of our Communion services.
  4. Social distancing: Although social distancing measures are no longer required by law, the church nationally recognises that decisions to retain some of these
    measures may be necessary to help people to feel more secure in worship and other uses of the building. The PCC have therefore agreed that there will be a different approach to each of our services.

    a. Twinspires@10 services will allocate the rear of the church, the transepts,
    the gallery and the choir stalls as designated areas for those who wish to
    continue social distancing.

    b. St Boniface services, Twinspires@11Traditional, will allocate the rear of the
    church, behind the font, as the area designated for those who wish to continue
    social distancing.

    c. Twinspires@6:30 for those who may still have reservations about the
    consequences of fully open church without restriction, will continue with social
    distancing, wearing of masks and singing.
  5. Refreshments: Please feel free to bring along your own coffees, teas and other
    refreshments to drink outside after church as these in the short term will not be
    served at church.
  6. Funerals, weddings and baptisms – will be managed on an individual basis, though sanitising will be mandated.

    This guidance will be reviewed at our next PCC meeting – after the APCM in April this year.

    In our Churches we believe that everyone is known and loved individually by God and that as members within one body we are called to be responsible to and for one another, respecting the more vulnerable whose suffering is our suffering (1 Cor12:12-27).

    In every situation there is likely to be a range of feelings about risk, both to ourselves and to others. We have tried to be flexible such that our services may differ to accommodate different groups of people.

    Let’s pray that we continue to have good grace with one another and bear with one another during this time of transition and that God will be with us through His Holy Spirit in the days and weeks ahead.

    Grace and peace

    Graeme Dixon