The PCC (Church Council) met this evening to consider how we respond to the change in the Government guidance as we move to this next stage. We are very mindful that, although it seems hospitalisations are at a lower rate because of the numbers who have been vaccinated, cases are at the highest level we have ever seen locally and still appear to be rising exponentially.
We are acutely aware that there are many different opinions and responses to the latest changes, but two things stood out in our consideration. Firstly Bishop Pete and Bishop Sophie encouraged us to consider the verses in Romans chapter 14 where St Paul says
+Pete and +Sophie said “We take these texts to mean: go at the pace of the slowest!”
We are going to continue with Communion@4 throughout the summer, but we are going to ask everyone to continue to socially distance and to continue to wear masks where possible. We want to move slowly towards what might be possible in the coming weeks and months but we have decided to encourage and allow folks to sing quietly at Communion@4 whilst wearing masks. We think this one small change will make a huge difference to those who come and will feel like another tiny step towards what we all long for.
We are very sorry if you are disappointed that we haven’t chosen to open more fully. We are aware of Churches who have gone back with no restrictions, as they are allowed to do, but we felt that this more cautious approach better matched the mood of the PCC and those in the Church Family we had spoken to.
Hang in there. We are closer to the end of this than we were, but we don’t think we’re there yet. Indeed I leave you with a quote not from the Bible but from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. Gandalf says these words to Mr Bilbo Baggins, just before the battle which concludes his grand adventure….
“Things are drawing towards the end now, unless I am mistaken. There is an unpleasant time just in front of you; but keep your heart up!”
Let’s keep our hearts up, let’s trust in God, Care for each other, Be kind and gentle to those with whom we disagree and continue to travel this life trusting in God’s Grace and with Jesus as our Captain, our Brother, our Rescuer, our Friend and our Companion on the road.