Many of you will have heard on the news, or perhaps seen online, that the Government has just announced that church buildings may re-open for private prayer from today. I wanted, therefore, to write to you immediately to explain what is happening with regard to the re-opening of our own church building.
We will be re-opening the church building on Monday 15th June, for one hour each weekday, between 10 and 11 in the morning on Monday to Friday. This will be for private, individual prayer only.
A very substantial amount of work has been done to set the church up in such a way as to make this safe. Only some areas are open, and places to sit are limited. There are sanitisation stations at the main door and elsewhere. A member of the clergy will be present on most days. A new cleaning regime has been established to meet strict hygiene requirements.
We will not, in this first period of re-opening, be able to offer refreshments or toilet facilities.
Those experiencing symptoms of Covid-19, and those who have been advised to self-isolate, should continue to follow Government advice to stay at home. This will be more difficult now, I recognise, knowing that others are beginning to return to church. Please do get in touch with me if you would like to talk about this.
In order to continue to open the church daily, we are going to need some help. I. am grateful to all those who have already offered. We need people to volunteer to help staff the periods when the church is open, and to help clean the church according to the new requirements. Please get in touch with me (07792 423927), or with Joan Beresford (01522 520729), if you can offer some help with this.
This is an early step in what I expect to be a long journey. In all likelihood, some aspects of how we use our church building will never return to how they used to be. But I hope and pray that we will soon be able to return to sharing in public worship together, which is our duty and our joy.
With every blessing,
Vicar – St Nicholas Church