The Beaminster Area Team
From The Hub Covid – 19 Weekly Update Friday 7th August 2020
Having now completed a full month since returning to worship most of our churches have held services and my understanding from conversations I have had is that those attending feel that they are safe whilst doing so. If I have misunderstood it would be good if you got in touch to let me know.
From tomorrow it will be mandatory to wear a mask in an enclosed public place including places of worship but, of course, as with every instruction that comes out of No 10 it is not as simple as that. It is only mandatory unless you have an exemption – which is not defined. But I believe to be based on medical grounds and does not require any certification by a medical practitioner, indeed you can print your own exemption certificate off the HM Government website. We cannot police the wearing of masks, only point out the requirements of law. Please could I ask you to review your risk assessment in light of changes to the guidelines and amend where required before signing and dating? Thank you.
A regular conversation both Jo and I have been engaged with is, ‘Will we be able to hold our Harvest Supper?’ The most likely answer is ‘No’ – certainly not under the present guidelines on gathering in numbers. I have suggested that parishes may like to consider the approach taken by Jo Stephenson at Toller Porcorum who organised a virtual cream tea event with great success. I am sure that Jo would be happy to share how this may work for your village. As there is no need to match services with supper dates I have allocated Harvest Service dates on the September rota with a couple which will take place in October and will show on that rota. This allows me to share Harvest Services equally with Jo and Fiona.
I have been extremely heartened to hear that in some of our parishes, whilst unable to worship in church, the number of people joining their church’s giving scheme by signing up to direct debits and standing orders has increased. I would like to thank you all, as indeed I would those who put aside their weekly giving and have put it on the plate. I know that the present time is very challenging in many directions and the churches are not exempt from this challenge as they still have day to day bills to pay. If you would like to know more about this form of giving please get in touch and I will direct you to your church treasurer who will be happy to assist you.
God Bless and keep safe
It has been great to see photos and videos come through from different families as they explore some of the craft activities and ideas in the summer holiday activity bags. We’ve been posting photos on our Facebook page and some will appear at the beginning of worship again this week.
The best part is having contact with our families through messages and conversations, it is so lovely to connect again after so many months apart. We also pray for the seeds of faith that are planted through this holiday activities.
We continue to pray for children and young people in our team as they prepare to return to school in September and for the schools as they prepare for much larger numbers of children attending. It is a fraught process: with changing guidance, media pressure, union involvement, parental concern, and staff well-being sitting alongside the priority of keeping everyone safe and completing the risk assessments necessary. We pray too for those waiting for exam results and perhaps having to change plans or facing uncertainty.
Fear is a huge part of life currently. It is part of our Gospel reading too. Jesus tells us to not be afraid. I think that we need to hear the reassurance that we have nothing to fear because Jesus is with us, rather than hear it as a telling off, as if we have no right to be afraid. There is much that brings fear into our life today. But God cares about our fear and meets us in it. We don’t need to be afraid not because things aren’t scary, but because God is with us and will take care of us.
Worship continues on the website and in churches throughout the team. We have our first outdoor service this week at Salway Ash. Bring your camping chair or picnic rug if you would like to join us on the grass behind Salway Ash church. We meet at 10.45 with the service beginning at 11am. 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 Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 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!