News of the recent lockdown will have come as a source of disappointment and anxiety to many of us. Nevertheless, it will be important in the weeks and months ahead for us to support each other, to care for one another and to pray for each other and for the many people who put themselves at risk for others. Following the government announcement on Monday, we have reviewed our risk assessments for Sunday worship. We need to balance the need to reduce social interaction as much as possible in order to reduce the risk of infection against the need to allow worship to continue and people to receive comfort and strength from the sacraments.
We have therefore decided that although church will remain closed in the course of the week, worship on Sundays will continue with the 8.30am and 10.30am celebrations of the Eucharist. We will not allow choral singing until we have further information about the transmissibility of the new variant of the virus. We will also reduce numbers so that there will be 10 tickets at the 8.30am and 30 tickets at the 10.30am services. By reducing the numbers, we increase social distancing and ensure that any risk of infection is minimised as much as possible. If you are unsuccessful in securing a ticket, please put your name on the waiting list and we will endeavour to give you priority the following week. This will ensure that as many of those who wish to attend worship will have the opportunity to do so in the course of the next few months. Please ensure that you wear a mask or face covering (unless you have an exemption), that you use the hand sanitiser provided, and that you leave the building promptly at the end of the service. If you wish to greet a friend, please do so outside the building.
Midweek services and events will be on Zoom. Further details will be released in due course, but for now, I want to offer the assurance that we want to support you and to make sure that you remain safe during this period when the vaccine is being rolled out and the infection rate remains high. It is a source of great pride and thanksgiving that research scientists from the University of Oxford have made such a significant contribution in identifying an effective vaccine. These are our neighbours and friends, and we should offer our thanks and praise to God for them. We will be keeping questions about opening and the pattern of worship under constant review over the next weeks and months. When we make adjustments to our risk assessments, we will communicate with you via the Epistle.