Note: This article was written before the new government guidelines were released on Friday 31st August 2020.
The Beaminster Area Team
From The Hub Covid-19 Weekly Update Friday 31st July 2020
We continue to receive updates from the National Church based on the Government’s amended guidelines which includes an increase in numbers allowed to attend funerals, weddings and other celebratory services. This is based on a number which the PCC and Incumbent feel is safe within the Covid Safety guidelines and will differ from church to church. Also, we have been given the go-ahead to hold larger meetings outside of worship in church buildings so the APCMs can now be held. I have copied the advice below.
- Annual meetings must normally be held each year by the end of May.
- The Bishop has made special provision extending the time for holding annual meetings of parishioners to choose churchwardens and annual parochial church meetings (APCMs) to 31 October 2020.
- The terms of office of churchwardens and PCC members have also been extended.
- You can now meet physically in a church or a church hall if the guidance for the safe opening of these buildings is followed, and good physical distancing and hygiene measures are employed.
- If, exceptionally, that is not possible, another option is for the Bishop to make provision modifying the procedure for annual meetings so that they can be held remotely using video-conferencing software.
- If you think you will need to meet remotely for your parish annual meetings, you should contact your Archdeacon.
- Diocesan registries have received advice from the Legal Office of the National Church Institutions about remote meetings, and will be able to assist in meeting particular needs that arise in their dioceses.
I have assessed that our churches can hold the number that usually attend these meetings so we can hold our meetings physically within Covid safety requirements however, we will need to amend church risk assessments. I will be contacting PCC secretaries over the next few days to discuss how we meet the timing requirements but would ask in advance that all reports are available for distribution or collection no later than two weeks prior to the date of the meeting as we cannot distribute them at the meeting and oral reports will not be an option.
Similarly, nominations for all offices must be made two weeks prior to the meetings so that In the extremely unlikely event that an election will be required the necessary arrangements can be put in place. I have set the dates for all twelve meetings as below this will fit into the three week period between Jo returning from leave and me commencing my leave.
- Mosterton 2nd September
- Toller Porcorum 3rd September
- Melplash 7th September
- Netherbury 8th September
- South Perrott 9th September
- Stoke Abbott 14th September
- Salway Ash 15th September
- Hooke 17th September
- Seaborough 21st September
- Beaminster 22nd September
- Broadwindsor, Burstock, Blackdown with Drimpton 23rd September
All meetings to begin at 7.00 pm and to be held in the Parish Church.
With my best wishes for your continued help and support.
This week started with a flurry of activity on a wet July Monday as we distributed all 28 holiday resource packs to nine different villages within the team. The idea had been that people would collect them from their local church, which some did but we ended up delivering more than we intended to, as the bags were paper and wouldn’t have stood being out in the rain. As a result, we had the opportunity to chat on the doorstep to families who we haven’t seen for months.
It was good to check in with them and share an update on life. We have had some lovely photos and comments back as the children have got stuck into the first set of activities based on creation. Check out the Beaminster Team Facebook page for pictures and some will feature in our worship video this week. A huge thank you to the Messy Church team who packed the bags, to Richard at Cilla and Camilla who donated the bags, and to David for hand delivering the Beaminster bags, a true team effort.
A suggestion came through from Blackdown this week. Why can’t we have single individual glasses for communion? The simple answer, according to Church of England guidance, is single individual cups are not customary in the Church of England, their use presents significant public health risks and there are also practical problems for their liturgical use. The official response is available here on the Church of England website.
The other side of the debate is presented on the Psephizo blog. However as an obedient priest I will continue to observe the current guidance from the Bishops which tells us, communion in one kind only.
I went to an interesting meeting this week about community fridges and how they can be used to share food in communities that might otherwise go to waste. If you want to find out more there is an excellent YouTube video on the subject.
Please do pray about food use in our town and villages, about the foodbank and for those who struggle to have access to healthy food. We have been flagging up the hidden rural poverty in our local area over the last few years. As we look to build resilient communities in a post lockdown world I wonder how we as the church might want to be involved in local community partnerships around food access? As Jesus says in our gospel reading this week, “they need not go away; you give them something to eat” Matthew 14:16. It is food for thought.
Worship continues on this website and in churches throughout the team. We continue to meet to pray every Thursday evening on Zoom, email me if you would like to join in. Keep an eye on the website for news and join in the conversation on our social media @beaminsterteam via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. There is no need to feel isolated, keep connected and don’t forget the weekly sheet which can be printed off and delivered.
Have a lovely week and enjoy the sunshine