LOVE IN THE TIME OF CORONA: Day 174

Warden’s blog, stardate 8/9/2020 (Day 174)

Hello to all my friends from St Peter’s and further afield. I hope you are all okay and keeping well. Apologies that it has been a while since the last blog post, but as our lockdown has eased a little, life has become busier.

The Church seems to have settled into a routine with services on both Sundays and Wednesdays. The congregation for Sunday services has numbered just over thirty people, but interestingly, different people are coming each week. It has been lovely to see people again and although we cannot have coffee and fellowship inside church, people have had conversations outside to catch up, as long as the weather has been okay. Last Sunday we had some organ music before and after the service with a quiet, reflective piece as communion took place. We are grateful to Stephen and he and the music have been missed over the last few months. The Wednesday communion service has been well attended too and again a slightly different group has been present for these services.

Revd Rachel has had some holiday time and we are grateful to Graham W and Kevin P for stepping in to cover for services. The team providing online prayer services has been expanded and thanks go to Gordon B and David H for their help in this respect.

Currently for Sundays we are looking at ways of having the service live streamed in order to reduce the huge amount of work going into the production of the online service. The aim will be to move back to a service that we are all more familiar with, but it will need some time to work on the equipment and how it is set up before we can go with it. Our choir director is looking at the possibility of having the choir sing some parts of the service too. A risk assessment is needed after the government has allowed choirs to perform. I don’t think congregation singing will be allowed yet though. Look out here or on Facebook for more information.

The staff group and finance group have met in the crypt as there are not many members of these groups and it is possible to easily keep to distancing rules. It has been good to work face to face rather on Zoom. PCC meetings are much larger, but we are thinking as to how we can manage an “in person” meeting with distancing and are going to try the Narthex area in church to see if that is feasible.

As you may recall, St Peter’s takes part in the Heritage Open Days scheme organised nationally by Heritage England. We are taking part this year, but with limited opening for a week from the 14th September. The days will be hosted and carefully monitored, but people are welcome to come down. Details are on the HODs website for this. Also that week, the conservator will be working on the Baldachino. He will be giving it a thorough clean and repairing the damage to the pillars before re-gilding them. This has been planned for some time and we are looking forward to the final result. Look out for pictures of the work on Facebook if I can get some good shots!

Outside of church, Jane and I have done some volunteer days as Station Foremen at Whitby as the NYMR has got back to running again. The trains have been made covid secure and people are booking on to them on-line. They were busy but there were lots of smiling faces on them which is good to see. The third day we worked was really wet, with rain all day, and we were very glad to get home to dry off! We certainly slept well when we got back to Huddersfield.

I thought this prayer was helpful at this time when we think of all those people who are affected by tragedy:

O Lord our God,
source of all goodness and love,
accept the fervent prayers of your people;
in the multitude of your mercies look with compassion
upon all who turn to you for help;
for you are gracious, O lover of souls,
and to you we give glory, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
now and for ever.
Amen.

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