A message from Gary
So, this week we reach the annual milestone of our final Newsletter for the church year, effectively drawing the year to a close! Quite unbelievable really, but true. Historically our Newsletter has, understandably, gone into recess during August summer-holiday month- church activities are at a low ebb, as we have a time of leisure and rest.
And so, it is opportune to express our thanks to our Newsletter publisher/editor, Elaine Humphreys, for her unstinting and gracious service week in and week out through the year. Thank you, Elaine. Bless you.
It is also opportune, and helpful, to offer a snapshot of how we see worship happening, come September. At this stage, it is our leadership’s view that we will be able to offer one covid-proofed worship service per Sunday. Our socially-distanced capacity in the church is calculated to be about thirty people, largely dependent upon the number of worshippers per family unit in attendance. As a result, reopening church for worship in September we will be introducing a system whereby anyone wishing to attend a worship service will need to effectively “book” a seat through our administrator, Janet, in the church office. This can be done by phone or email. Importantly, we believe that we must grant preference to those living on their own or without online worship access. It will also need to be on a “first come, first served” basis and once our capacity for a particular Sunday is reached, any further “bookings” will need to be allocated to the next available/suitable service. This is going to ask for a lot of patience and understanding from us all, and dexterity from Janet in the office!
Due to this very limited capacity, we will also offer a mid-week service on a Wednesday, time still to be finalised. This will substantially increase our worship capacity per week. The same Sunday-booking procedure applies. Understandably, it is expected that we all limit our attendance to one service per week, and if demand requires, to even consider attending only every other week (to give others a chance). Various online services that we have up until now relied upon, such as the Birmingham District one, will continue to be available for those we can’t accommodate. From September we also aim to link an audio recording of our services to our webpage/Facebook. We hope to develop our technological expertise to the point where we can livestream our services online.
Taking into consideration all evident and relevant factors, we will be holding our first coming-out-of-lockdown service on Sunday 13 September, at our usual 10.30am timeslot. Please assist our stewards for the day by phoning/emailing Janet the week before to “book” a place at the service (bearing in mind our above-mentioned very limited capacity). I need to emphasize, especially for the over 70’s and vulnerable, please do not feel any pressure or obligation to attend services should you feel vulnerable at the time.
Ending off, may I wish each one of you a bright, pleasant and relaxed summer break.