My dear friends,
I have concluded my monthly letter since June with the question who knows how things will be when I write the next. That came to my mind when within days of going away the rule to wear face masks in Church was announced! Thank you everyone for observing this, I know first hand from my holiday how these can be to say, at the least, uncomfortable.
In preparation for September Ange and I have spoken a lot, and recently also with Fr. Andrew, about our Sunday provision. The pattern since July was arranged so that at no time would anyone be turned away or are asked to begin a queue for the next celebration. Understanding, that we can now fix our maximum numbers and run with the social distancing scheme we initiated, we feel it is now possible to merge the two Masses. Obviously some preferred the earlier and others the later—so compromise! We are going to celebrate at 10.30 each week until at least the last Sunday in October. Apart from the obvious reason of gaining thirty minutes in the morning, especially for those who travel a long way (you understand!), when things really return to normal there will be no need to change to accommodate a Parish Lunch.
It has now been announced that APCMs have to be completed by the end of October. To facilitate more of you being able to take part we are running with the physical, as opposed to the virtual, means. This will of course require social distancing and thus less movement of participants, so while it is mandatory to read many reports they will be published a week in advance and we would ask questions to be submitted to the Parish Office by Friday September 18th as public microphones will not be available.
I almost forgot—the meeting will be on Sunday September 20th after The Parish Mass.
On the subject of our wider parochial ministry which features greatly on the APCM agenda; we hope to reintroduce a regular pattern of Church opening again. We are proposing 1pm to 3pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and 11.30 am to 1.30pm on Fridays—volunteers for these slots will be much appreciated. The more volunteers we have the greater chance there will be to open on Tuesdays and Thursdays but we shall keep Saturday for general work around the Church in preparation for Sunday.
With the start of the new term seeing a return to school for our children we are delighted to say that from the first Sunday in September (6th) we shall be providing family tables at the back of Church for our young friends accompanied by at least one responsible adult. These will be socially distanced and provide a view of the Altar: a family will be welcome to sit at these and we shall provide some learning and fun material related to the particular Sunday: while you will not be able to move from table to table, you will be able to receive Holy Communion or a blessing at the appropriate time. Children are not required to wear a mask and as well as brining your own pencils etc. you may bring any other material for your own family’s use. We think we can provide at least three tables but you will need to book these (through the Parish Office) if there is a greater requirement then we shall investigate the provision.
So what will I be writing about for October—that remains to be seen.
With my love and prayers,