The Beaminster Area Team
From The Hub Covid – 19 Weekly Update Friday 23rd October, 2020
As we hear and read in the news, the national level of Coronavirus cases continues to rise as was predicted it would in the autumn and winter. Whilst we in West Dorset continue to see numbers of cases that are well below the national average we must not be complacent and we certainly must not just flaunt the guidelines set out because we are getting tired and fed up by the restrictions they place on our lives.
Last week I asked that any churches that were using or intended to use a choir at their services to send me their updated risk assessments to allow for this to happen, however my request was totally ignored. This is not me trying to cause extra work, but a legal requirement set in place under the Covid safety laws. Under these laws every venue (church) has to have a Venue Manager who is responsible for maintaining the Covid Safety requirements. This task is invested in me as the incumbent of all 14 churches in the team.
I am required to ensure that each venue’s risk assessment is up to date and reassessed at least every 28 days even if there are no changes required. This should be recorded and the next reassessment date should be set. I am required to keep a copy myself and the individual venue should also hold a copy. This also applies in the case of music and singing at weddings and funerals when it should be a shared responsibility with the minister taking the service.
I have just had to complete such an assessment for a wedding in Beaminster tomorrow which also includes a trumpet player and a flautist which could have the added potential spread of virus particles by aerosol and I am grateful to Harry Neary for bringing this to my attention. I am sorry that this causes an extra burden on church and chapel wardens and key people who I ask to oversee the completion of these risk assessments in each church. But without your support I could not possibly oversee this task alone and failure to comply could lead to churches not being allowed to stay open.
It is with sadness that I let you know of the death last Saturday of Aileen Bishop, long time Church Warden at Broadwindsor. Aileen was renowned for her resolute defence of all things Broadwindsor at the Team Council and not afraid to speak her mind or give her opinion. I found her to be a deeply faithful and spiritual lady having been taught and steeped in the Anglo Catholic tradition. She will rest in Broadwindsor church this Wednesday night before her funeral and burial in the churchyard on Thursday. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
I have now written to all the families we have helped with funeral ministry over the past year, inviting them to attend one of the two memorial services next Sunday afternoon. There will be a limited number of tickets available for any of our church members who would like to attend and you can ring Anne in the Team Office from Wednesday next week to obtain them.
Thank you all for your continued support and prayers at this difficult time.
We celebrate with our schools for getting to half term in one piece. I was sure that certain bubbles might have been closed by now, but the schools have coped magnificently. Teachers are tired, as are all people working under vastly different conditions. We give thanks for all our schools, teachers, governors, support staff and of course pupils and parents.
One of the surprising highlights for me of lockdown was moving Thursday evening prayers from church onto Zoom. In doing so we have doubled, or even tripled attendance and it is lovely to end my week with an hour of conversation, prayer, encouragement and listening to God. We are a friendly bunch and would love to have you join us. If you need help working out how to use Zoom we can help you, just get in touch. This coming Thursday, 29th October, we won’t be meeting in person, but the prayer suggestions will be sent round and put on Facebook to enable us to set aside an hour at 7pm to pray. Email me, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Advent window preparations are going well, with just five windows left to fill in Broadwindsor and ten in Drimpton. If you would like to organise Advent windows in your village check out our instructions on the website and contact me if you have any further questions.
Our online worship this week is for the last Sunday after Trinity. We will then have online services for All Saints and All Souls and for Remembrance. Do join us online if you aren’t able to get to church in person.