September is always seen as a time for change and new beginnings. Meteorologically speaking it is the start of autumn, the new school year begins which involves changes in class, a new teacher maybe or even a new school setting. Change often brings with it challenge, we can be asked to see and do things differently.
This year has indeed been a year of immense challenge for us all, we most definitely have had to see things in a different way and to adapt our lives accordingly. Some of our children returning to school this week will not have been there for almost six months. I wonder how they might be feeling, probably a mixture of excitement and anxiety.
Last Sunday (30th August) after 166 days, we finally gathered in our church building to share in an act of worship, albeit, a very different gathering to usual, with social distancing, the wearing of face coverings and the need to book to attend. I know that I was excited to actually be able to meet together with fellow human beings in the flesh, rather than virtually via a screen, to worship God, our loving maker and redeemer, but I was also slightly anxious at just how that might pan out, how people might feel challenged with all the restrictions in place. I needn’t have worried! Initially it did feel a little strange but God’s peace was with us as we shared together.
As far as I can ascertain, it is the first time in the history of the Church of England that churches have closed for worship. The Church has a set of rules by which it is governed, these rules are called Canons. The Canons require that public services are held every Sunday and on principle feasts and holy days. In normal circumstances, individual incumbents and parochial church councils (PCCs) would apply under Canon B 14A to bishops for dispensation from holding the public services required by the Canons of the Church. However, on the basis of legal advice, and in the light of the Government’s advice on preventing the spread of Coronavirus, it was decreed that public services required by the Canons should not take place until guidance was given by the government that it was okay to do so.
In my naivety I thought we would be in lockdown for a few weeks and then everything would be back to normal, that we would return to church and have an amazing, “all singing, all dancing” celebration (not that we do much of the second but we do like to sing!). I couldn’t have been more wrong. In all truth I do not know when many of the activities we do week by week or any of our larger fun raising events will return, I wish I did. Nor do I know how our worship will develop over the weeks to come. This period in the churches calendar is usually pretty busy with Harvest thanksgiving, the annual Memorial Service, Remembrance Sunday, Christingle and all the Christmas Services on top of our weekly pattern of services. All I can say is that I will do my very best within the restrictive boundaries in which I have to work to put on a limited amount of services. Keep your eyes on our church website for up to date information. I pray that you will all continue to keep safe and well.
The Rector, Reverend Sarah Corry, can be contacted on 01474 852265, or use our contact form.
Website by Laidbackwebsites