Re-opening of St Mary’s SW for Public Worship 

September 2020
 
In essence: There will be a service in church each Sunday morning at 10am except on the first Sunday of the month when a traditional Holy Communion service (BCP) will take place at 8am. The church will also be open for private prayer from 2pm to 4pm on Sundays and Wednesdays. Online services will continue.
 
Thank you for your support for our church during these difficult weeks of lockdown, and a big thank you to our ministry team, Paula, Tim, Alex, John and Caroline for all the online services which have enabled our worship to continue. These online services on Zoom will continue for the time being.
 
This will inevitably be a time of mixed emotions; joy at being able to worship together again in St Mary’s; and uncertainty about what the future “new normal” may be and how we will cope with the requirements for physical distancing, hygiene and safety.

Having no rector or curate at this time imposes a significant constraint on the number of services that can be offered. With the support of the ministry team and the assistance of our retired clergy, we hope to have one service each Sunday at St Mary’s.
 
Compliance to social distancing caps the number we can safely have at any one service in St Mary’s at 50 (couples and families count as one). To avoid having to turn people away at the church door prior booking will be necessary for all services (the procedure will be detailed in the weekly bulletin). To assist in ‘track and trace’ we are required to record the names, contact numbers and postcodes of all worshippers. This information will be kept for 21 days and then destroyed. You will be asked to sanitise your hands on entering the church, before receiving communion and again on leaving church. We ask for your understanding and forbearance.

Please book your place for church services in advance– our services are now close to capacity and we cannot guarantee that you will be able to enter the church if you haven’t booked.  You can now book your places for the principal services online by clicking on the link next to the service.  You will be taken to the Eventbrite website – and you will need to ‘register’ your email address with the site and the ‘register’ again to book your free places.  Alternatively, email or telephone the Parish Office before noon on Friday (01799 506024 office@stmaryssaffronwalden.org); remembering to give your name, telephone number and postcode. Masks are compulsory unless you have an exemption. We will not be providing copies of the Grapevine in church so please print and bring your own with you if you wish and then take it home. Service books will be provided.
 
At present, communion will be administered in one kind only (wafers) with no sharing of the common cup and hymn singing is not permitted. The toilet in church will be available.  We are unable to provide coffee/tea after the service and will be encouraging you to leave the church promptly in your family groups rather than congregating at the back for a chat. Please note the latest government guidance is that everyone attending church should wear a face mask (unless aged under 11 or having a specific reason why a mask is not advised)

Details about the measures we are taking to ensure that receiving Holy Communion is safe can be downloaded here.
 
We will continue to be open for private prayer on Sundays and Wednesdays from 2-4pm. The church will remain closed at other times as we are unable to meet the requirements for stewarding and cleaning.
 
At present we continue to offer a number of online services via Zoom on Sundays and during the week (See our Online Services page) and  we will soon be in a posiiton to livestream our services for people to logon to from home.
 
Our present service arrangements will, of course, evolve as and when new guidance is forthcoming. In the meantime, we thank you again for your understanding and send you all our best wishes and the blessings of the risen Christ.
 


COVID-19: Click here for latest government guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic - Updated 14 September 2020