LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONA: Day 143

Warden’s blog, stardate 8/8/2020 (Day 143)

Hello to all my friends from St Peter’s and further afield. I hope you are all okay and keeping well. This is my 20th blog over a period of 143 days, which does sound rather a long time to have been going along, but I hope you’ve found them useful for news and to keep spirits up.

As you will be aware, I hope, and despite the rule changes, Sunday morning worship recommenced on 2nd August, beginning at 10.30am. Only on the Friday before this did we receive notice from the Diocese that provided we were covid secure we would be supported by them if we held a said service in church. Our risk assessment had already been done for the Wednesday services and we knew the measures were robust. The experience was very different to our old “normal”; all took place with stewards, sanitizer stations, a one-way system, social distancing and now masks. The use of masks is to lower the risks from a person who may be carrying the virus, but does not have symptoms, so it is to protect others in this circumstance. If you are planning to come, then do remember to bring your mask with you. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to have any singing, nor are we able to enjoy fellowship over a cup of coffee afterwards. The only cafes in churches that are allowed to serve drinks are those that are permanently set up and are able to ensure social distancing. Children are welcome, but it is worth noting that the service is said, and there is no possibility of us being able to run a Children’s Church, so children will need to sit within family bubbles in the body of the church. This would seem to be the new “normal” until rules are relaxed further as the government allows.

Having said all that, it was lovely to have worship in the building, and it will be interesting for us all to think, as Revd Rachel suggested in her sermon last week, about things we do that we’d like to leave behind and other things that we have learned to do that we’d like to continue, and offer these all to the Glory of God. These things will certainly challenge the minds of PCC members and all connected with the community of St Peters. It would be good to hear from members of the St Peter’s community about some of the things you have missed (or not) in the last few months, and also things you feel we should keep up in the brave new world. Let us know!

It is unfortunate that in Kirklees, we have seen some additional rules for the community regarding meeting people from outside our own households. It seems that these family visits have led to a rise in the incidence of the disease and the health professionals have grave concerns about the virus and its spread once more. Let us hope the incidence falls once more and that we can begin again to ease lockdown. Nobody said it was going to be easy.

The administration of the church continues, though in August some of the staff are on holiday, including Revd Rachel. The office is to be staffed, so if anyone needs anything then please get in touch with Verity and help will be sought.
You may have seen in the Examiner that the future of the Parish pub is unclear, they are moving to another venue for the music, and the pub itself may or may not remain open. If it does the we hope our new neighbours are good ones. We thought it was a good opportunity to clear the weeds from the carpark, have a sign fitted by the gate to show it is a private car park and to issue parking permits. These are Yellow for our rental spaces and blue for ours. If anyone comes down to church and parks up, then they will need to display a blue permit. Verity will have some temporary ones.

The other jobs around are related to the church gardens which need a tidy and there will be some jobs to do in church, so in September we might, if regulations allow, have a day or two catching up with a “working days”. Do look out for these days, they will be a nice gentle way of re-establishing some St Peter’s fellowship.

We don’t know what is round the corner in terms of the coronavirus regulations, but we are looking forward positively for September, which might be an opportunity for more social interaction. Let us hope that this does come to fruition, but who knows!

This is a prayer for Union with Creation which I feel is appropriate at this time:

God of love, show us our place in this world
as channels of your love
for all the creatures of this earth,
for not one of them is forgotten in your sight.
Enlighten those who possess power and money
that they may avoid the sin of indifference,
that they may love the common good, advance the weak,
and care for this world in which we live.
The poor and the earth are crying out.
O Lord, seize us with your power and light,
help us to protect all life,
to prepare for a better future,
for the coming of your Kingdom
of justice, peace, love and beauty.
Praise be to you!
Amen.

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