REOPENING PLACES OF WORSHIP
West Mersea – St Peter & St Paul
Notwithstanding all the cares and worries involved, we have decided to re-open our building at St. Peter & St. Paul’s, too, albeit in slow and steady, incremental steps, to allow you all access to the building once again, for private prayer only at this time, always following C of E and Govt. guidelines.
With apologies to all for the necessarily disciplined approach we are forced to take, we have decided to adopt the following procedure, as outlined below:
Sunday 5th July 8am (each Sunday thereafter)
We shall start our 8am service. This will be a book of common prayer communion service. Only the bread will be offered to all, there will be strict social distancing in place and the priest will wear a mask when offering the bread.
Wednesday 8th July 10am (each Wednesday thereafter)
The Church will be open for prayer on Wednesday mornings from 09:30-12:00, and we shall start a short prayer service at 10am to replace our midweek communion.
It is up to individuals to decide if they feel it is safe for them to attend these services, wearing a face covering is optional.
The Sunday Morning Zoom Services of United Worship & Spiritual Communion will continue for the foreseeable future.
1 – NB. All Pew cushions and Kneelers have been removed and will remain covered up in the children’s SW corner. NO kneelers, nor pew cushions, nor soft scatter cushions may be used anywhere. They are to remain stored below covers, to protect them from retaining any virus. Bibles, Hymn and Prayer Books, and all extant paperwork have also been removed and are now stored in the Upper Room.
2 – Terry will, alone, hold his Evening Prayer offices in the building, to maintain this part of his Daily Service, on behalf of us all. It is hoped he will be able to offer invitations to a Zoom facility for any others wishing to join him in this service in the future. NB. He will lock the interior porch door behind him, so nobody else may enter with him then. Door handles and his pew will be wiped after his finish. We will continue this practise for the next two weeks. Thereafter, allowing for any Govt. relaxation of rules, we will review this, to decide upon what next incremental step might be taken, e.g. Perhaps, opening early on Sunday mornings, once we can hold spoken only services again, or even, move to an unmonitored open church on weekdays and weekends?
3 – We are very sorry and regret to announce, but the Vestry door must remain locked whilst the church is open.
Therefore – NB. No toilet facilities will be available for now in our church.
4 – Church copies of Bibles, hymn books, or prayer books may not be used by visitors or congregation members, only those brought in by them for their own personal use. People wanting access to the Holy Word are henceforth required to bring in their own Bibles / Prayer Books each time and take them home with them directly after.
5 – Our cleaner, Jo, will clean the open pews, handles and doors, etc, after this open Wednesday session, and before any subsequent Sunday opening. NB. This will remove the need to restart our Cleaning Ladies’ Rota, which would not be possible under current guidelines. There will then be just the one, regular, cleaning person involved, allowing us to keep things under proper control. This will leave the church interior free between public entry periods, for any missed corona virus to disperse and die off over the following 72 hours.
6 – Central pews have been selected for use where they are open at either end, so parties from different households may enter and leave without each disturbing the other. This will leave only alternate front rows in the Nave and in the Lady Chapel, available for people to sit in and self-distance. We have roped off the rear sets of pews entirely. Other pews have been shut off, using string loops and “CLOSED’ notices.
7 – For visitors wishing to light a candle for their prayers, we intend to leave a hand sanitiser & notice up there beside the candle holder. The lighter is to be cleaned after each use by the person touching it.
8 – One Warden, initially Alan Brook, will initially be required to stay inside, near the door on Weds mornings to help with any questions. This will permit the Warden to explain the new rules, ensure social distancing is maintained, and monitor where people sit, noting where special cleaning may be required.
9 – Face masks are NOT required to be worn by visitors, but any Warden, or volunteer, standing by the door and helping ensure guidelines are followed, will need to wear one.
10 – We very much hope we will be able to hold the postponed, but very important, APCM Meeting in the church at a date TBC in September. We do hope you will agree these steps represent a sensible way forward, to try to move steadily and safely, but slowly, towards our new church future.
East Mersea – St Edmund King & Martyr
St Edmund King & Martyr at East Mersea shall be opening on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm. This is on a trial basis, if cleaning becomes an issue then we will reduce it. There will be a one way system in place, books and service sheets are not available and the whole of the north side of the Church has been roped off.
The Church will be unattended whilst open.
Sunday 5th July 09:30
There will be a Service of Holy Communion.
St Stephen’s Church – Gt Wigborough
Due to the delay in the Nave work, and the need of the Chancel to store electrical items of heaters and lighting which will shortly be arriving, we can not at the present time open the Church for private Prayer safely, and therefore St.Stephens will remain closed .
We have put an article into the Parish news magazine and a poster up outside the Church explaining the reasons why as attached.
Although the Nave work continues, it will probably not be completed until late July. Unfortunately the wall heaters and new floods can not be fitted until Mid September, due to instructions regarding not to disturb the Bats. However the bat issue should not stop us accessing the Church and we will review the situation again when the Floor and decoration work is completed .