04 Jul Guidance about public worship and private prayer
From 5th of July, Sunday services will resume in the Churches of our parish. Please see our bulletin for the detailed schedule of services as well as church opening times.
Update as of 23 July 2020: Face masks need to be worn by all those attending the Church
Update as of 23 July 2020: The Church of England has strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus COVID-19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.
Detailed guidance about public worship
Having prepared our three churches safely for private prayer, each church is celebrating the eucharist this Sunday. If you feel ready to come, you will be very welcome, but there are a few things you need to know in advance. If you are shielding, please do not feel any pressure to return just yet, although we are offering St John’s as an option for those who wish to return. Of course, if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must not attend.For those who plan to come, please can you aim to arrive up to half an hour before the service begins.This is because we will have 2-metre-spaced queueing and you will need to sanitise your hands before each individual or family unit is taken to their seats. We will also be making a note of everyone who attends and a contact telephone number, in order to assist with NHS Test and Trace. These details will be kept securely and destroyed after 21 days.
Once you are in your seat, there will be no movement, except for the carefully-organised receiving of communion (and toilet access remains for the churches).
For this Sunday, Holy Trinity will have an upper limit of 45 people;
ChristChurch 36 people;
St John’s 20 people.
We will consider a booking system for future Sundays if it seems necessary.
The service from Holy Trinity will be recorded and added to our Merton Priory Parish YouTube Channel. We hope to have Facebook live-streaming up and running at the earliest opportunity, rotating around the churches.
Let us all hold each other in prayer as some return to church, while others still wait, asking that God will protect and guide us in the days to come.
Church Buildings open for private prayer
As public worship restarts, weare keeping the buildings open for private prayer at the published times (see page2). If you come, you will find a range of precautions to enable good hygiene and social distancing and there will be two church members on duty (do let us know if you can help for an hour or two in this regard). It will be possible to light a votive candle and these will be supplied. There are suggested prayers/readings on the website, but do bring your own copy of these or your own Bible or other resource with you.
If you have any questions, do get in touch with Alison or Mark.
Pastoral letter from the bishops
Download the Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of the Diocese of Southwark.