Rector’s Weekly Update

The Beaminster Area Team
From The Hub Covid-19 Weekly Update Friday 28th August 2020

Dear friends,

I have spent the past week in prayerful discernment regarding what our next steps should be in the context of this Covid- 19 situation. The government is gradually increasing what can take place and, as we heard last, week choirs can sing in services but not the congregation (yet). Wedding couples can hold receptions following a service with a limit of 30 people, likewise funeral wakes can take place. We can hold concerts in church with limited numbers and all these must be fully Covid safe within the guidelines.

I was helped in my discernment by the Bishop of Loughborough who gave this morning’s Radio 4 Thought for the Day when she said ‘that Coronavirus is not going away soon so we have to learn to live alongside it, keeping safe, following guideline instructions until there is a vaccine to protect us.’

My dilemma in prayer has been whether we ought to open the doors of our churches unsupervised for our communities and the wider public to use for prayer, reflection and visits. I have come to the conclusion that we should trial opening up as we did before the outbreak began but closing from the Wednesday evening before a service on Sunday, thus allowing the recommended 72 hours clearance of any possible infection.

I have written a notice for display which, I hope, clearly explains what guidelines must be followed and how visitors must act and behave if they wish the doors to continue to be open. I will be guided by each individual church as to their willingness to allow this to happen but would be grateful if you could let me know your decisions once made. I thank you in advance for your help and support in what can be another small step forward in what is going to be a long road to any form of normality. If you would like further advice please call me and I will happily meet on site to look at how we can make this work.

There seems no end to Toller Porcorum’s fundraising ingenuity. Jo Stephenson has organised a photograph competition of photos taken during lockdown with proceeds going towards repairing the church roof and it is likely there will be a Village Harvest Scarecrow competition. Thanks Jo for all the hard work in supporting the roof appeal. Toller will also be holding a socially distanced Harvest Lunch. This will operate in the same way as the Cream Tea earlier in the year. Lunches will be ordered in advance and collected from various collection points to be enjoyed at home. For more information on this event contact Judy Miller.

I have been preparing a list of possible  parishioners who may like to receive Communion at home because they cannot yet return to services in church and so far I have 30 names. I am happy to receive more and then I will share them out between the staff team.

Please could Church Wardens ensure that APCM dates are announced at services over the next few weeks.

Both Jo and Fiona will be on leave this coming week so please contact me if you need any help.