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One way we can communicate is through our new E-Newsletter. If you would like to subscribe, please use the form below. Many members of the community are doing very practical things such as volunteering to do shopping, pick up prescriptions and just chat on the phone for those who are in greater isolation. Details about this can be found opposite or above. This e-newsletter however, is not another form of service broadcasting, and will refrain from offering advice as we live through Covid19. It is rather hoped that this e-newsletter may be a virtual dose of hope and peace!
|The Return of Sunday Worship
I am delighted to say that following the latest Church of England and Government guidance, the Church of England is seeing the reintroduction of public worship and Upper Stour is no exception!
"Proceed with caution: risk assessment, strict social distancing, restrained liturgy and an emphasis on safety." That was Bishop Nicholas' advice to clergy and Licensed Lay Ministers in respect to the latest guidance from the Church of England in his 17th Ad Clerum since the corona-virus outbreak began. Acknowledging that the PCC owes a common law duty of care to anyone that uses its churches, a careful risk assessment has been carried out and so we are ready to offer public worship once more.
It has been felt that to begin with, we will start with a service of the word on a Sunday following the pattern below and see the reintroduction of Holy Communion further down the line. The reason for focusing on our two larger churches at this time has been to make sure that we are able to provide the 2 metre distancing rule that is still in place for churches within the guidance I have received. If people feel passionately about wishing to receive communion then please do be in touch and I would be very happy to explore a midweek communion service.
Sunday 10am Worship
Weekday Prayers (starting from 6th July)
I am delighted to say that the Parish of Upper Stour has begun it's journey to normality! Each Church of England church must assess the risk of opening our churches for the activities we are now allowed to host - funerals and private prayer. These two activities are the only things that we are currently allowed to host, as per the Government Guidance which can be found here. It is worth remembering of course that no indoor spaces are open for tourism which of course influences decisions around how we open St Peter's in these first weeks, and St Mary's Kilmington was not previously opened to the public during the week anyway. The issue surrounding tourism is not Church but can be found under point one of the Government Guidance.
Some churches in England have chosen not to open yet (including my previous parish St John Devizes, and Sherborne Abbey), while others (including us) have opted to begin reopening with the necessary cleaning and restrictions. As can be seen here churches in the Diocese of Salisbury have opted for different approaches, however, the favored approach at this stage is to open churches for limited periods with regular cleaning and supervision, followed either by a deep clean or 72hrs closure.
We will begin our journey by opening the following churches at the following times:
St George's, Bourton
Monday 2pm - 4pm
St Martin's, Zeals
Wednesday 2pm - 4pm
Opportunities to Worship at Home
1.15pm BBC 1 every Sunday Afternoon
Sunday Morning Worship
8.10am BBC Radio 4 every Sunday Morning
The Daily Service
9.45am BBC Radio 4 LW Monday to Saturday
or you can listen to them here – I never know how to get Longwave!
Thought for the Day
7.45am BBC Radio 4 Monday to Saturday
3pm BBC Radio 3 every Sunday and 3.30pm every Wednesday
If you are in the habit of saying daily prayers, then these links will take you to an order of service for the day, along with the readings for the day. The Prayer booklet is a special booklet of prayers for this time and the links below will either take you to Common Worship or Book of Common Prayer, depending on your preferred style.