Sent Sunday 18 July, 2021
To all at St Luke’s Church,
We hope that you are keeping safe and well, as once again we enter a new phase of the lifting of COVID restrictions. As I write we hope and pray that things are moving in the right direction. About 39 million people (69%) have now had at least one dose of vaccine, and 30 million people (51%) have had two doses. That said, there needs to be a reality about our situation. On Saturday nationally 41 people died of COVID and 4000 people were hospitalised.
Though shops and places of entertainment will be fully open, the future is uncertain and the pandemic is by no means over, in fact the risk of infection may run for years.
Now, one day away from restrictions easing on Monday July 19th I wanted to write to friends and members of our church community to explain how we propose as a church to emerge slowly from lock down. In theory we could go back to full normal. In reality we are moving forward cautiously.
Basically, we want to be wise and we want to be kind: to protect the NHS, and the most vulnerable members of our community.
Here are our plans for worship as we run our services over the summer:
- Would you please continue to sanitise your hands and sign in as you enter the church building?
- We are asking leaders to have facemasks ready and to wear them when in close proximity to people.
- Facemasks are still good – they are helping us to beat COVID. Please bring them with you
- We suggest social distancing. Whilst the 2-metre rule is relaxed we ask you to keep different bubbles and family groups at least one metre apart
- We will keep the back door open and aim to keep the services to below an hour. On some weeks we have a gap before communion to allow children’s groups to finish on time (within an hour).
- From July 25th we will have drinks in disposable recyclable cups. We encourage you to (carefully) take your drinks outside.
- Singing is okay – please wear a mask whilst singing, it will cut the risk to others down dramatically.
- For your protection we encourage church leaders to lateral flow test at least once a week. If you would like a lateral flow kit we will gladly give you a box
- We will still give Holy Communion in one kind – just the bread – for the moment.
- We ask you still to gesture (nod, smile make eye contact), but not physically, share the peace.
- We hope to be able to live stream the service from church next week. More news to follow.
Thanks so much for following our suggestions. They are to protect the NHS and the most vulnerable members of our community. Please be wise, be kind.
Love and prayers
Alistair and the team at St Luke’s Holbeck