Next Steps at St John’s with St Mary’s

Thank you to everyone for completing surveys with all your thoughts ideas, openness and helpful suggestions. We heard from about 70 different households and it was really great to hear how so many of you have wanted to stay connected to church and have continued to worship, pray and show love and support to others in whatever way possible over the last 4 months. But we are very aware that for some these last few months have been so difficult and that looking to the future may bring anxiety for some and for others excitement as lockdown eases.

PCC met on Tuesday to consider what you said in the survey and to think about how we can be church in the coming months. And so from the 6th of September public worship services will restart in St Mary’s and St John’s on Sunday mornings, and also on Wednesday mornings at St John’s. We will continue to provide ways for people to connect online which many have found helpful while also doing all we can to support those who are most vulnerable or isolated.

The leadership of the church have been thinking seriously about how we can keep everyone as safe as possible as we gather together to worship in September. We want to ensure everyone will feel safe and at home in our buildings irrespective of age or circumstance. (I just want to say a huge thank you to Oli and Robyn who have worked really hard to follow the guidance given and create a workable plan – thank you!). Following your feedback, from the 6th of September we are starting a new 9am service at St John’s. This will give us a bit more capacity as the number of households allowed in our buildings for any one service will reduce because of social distancing. We will need to find ways of limiting the number of people at services without turning people away. We want to make sure it is possible for everyone us for worship in whatever way they find easiest.

We are looking at how we engage children and young people. What we do will likely change over time but to begin with there will be some simple children’s activities for families to use together on Sunday mornings during the services or to do at home. The live online Kids Church slot will move from the mornings to early Sunday evenings now to allow families to connect with Rachel Burnell and Rachel Maclure at that time and in that way. 

Over August we will be preparing all the details around what will be happening in September and also finding some time to have a break after the non-stop busyness of the last four months. Do be in touch, we are praying for you and please do pray for Oli and I as well as the rest of the church leadership that we would plan wisely, prepare well and that God would be at work powerfully in our church.

David Maclure