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St. John's Pevensey Road

Worship in Church

WORSHIP IN CHURCH

 

Worship at St John’s.

We note that the Church of England has left Incumbents and PCC’s in a difficult position regarding changes to the way we conduct public worship after 19th July 2021.

 

That said, we have consulted other churches across Hastings, St Leonards and Battle and Bexhill. A moderate and cautiously optimistic attitude is what seems to have been universally adopted, recognising the huge extremes of individual’s responses to risk. At St John’s our guiding theological principle is that of inclusion. We desire to make worship of God as accessible to as many people as possible. The difficulty is that some people quite rightly feel vulnerable for a variety of reasons and would therefore prefer tight restrictions upon what we do, whereas others find ‘restricted’ worship spiritually unsatisfactory and consequently depressing. As a Christian Church family, we need to find a way to accommodate everyone. This is frankly difficult!

So, with a great deal of extremely valuable and prayerful input from a number of people with widely differing views I think the following proposal may be helpful and should be reviewed in the first week of September.

 

  1. None of what follows is legally enforceable, but as ever what is legal and what is right are not necessarily the same.
  2. We shall invite Richard Eldridge our fabulous  organist to reconvene our choir to lead the singing of hymns and to sing anthems and other items as liturgically desirable such as the Gloria. The choir will not need to mask as they will be more than 20 feet from the nearest worshippers. They may however mask if they wish. We shall not for the moment reinstitute liturgical processions.
  3. We shall have a choir item for the Gradual, or a soloist as is the current practice. The congregation may join in with a ‘processional’ and a final hymn but for the moment masks will need to be worn whilst singing. This is the usual practice at local churches and is how major churches such as York Minster operate. We shall investigate the supply of singing friendly masks.
  4. Whoever is the Liturgical Deacon will prepare the Altar at the Offertory.
  5. The Peace will continue to be non-contact apart from those in a bubble.
  6. We shall re-establish as soon as possible a rota for lesson readers and intercessors.
  7. The Nave Altar will be returned to its normal position.
  8. As members of the congregation move around St John’s the expectation is that masks should be worn. Once seated and for all spoken responses masks may be off but a soft voice is encouraged.  This is also the case for responses where we would normally stand, such as the Creed.
  9. The western part of the Nave will have a socially distanced seating arrangement where people who are clinically vulnerable or who share a home space or workplace with those who are clinically vulnerable may wish to sit.
  10. The eastern part of the nave will have undistanced seating for those who feel that is right of them.
  11. We shall reinstitute the said 8 o’clock mass on a Sunday and will seek to establish another worship provision of either mass or evening prayer at 5 pm on a Sunday.
  12. We shall continue to receive the blessed sacrament in one kind.
  13.  For those who worship seated at the west end it would be sensible to exit by that door. For those closer to the east end who may wish to stay and chat after the service they should be encouraged to leave by the organ door or if weather conditions permit to chat outside.
  14. Lastly, whoever is presiding should explain the above for the first Sunday of changes (15th August) at least ten minutes before the service starts.

 

God be with you,

 

Fr D