Update on opening buildings for private prayer

Dear Friends,

It seems such a long time since we have all been able to meet together to enjoy worshipping at Church. I know many of you have joined in the Thursday morning Eucharists which Jordan has celebrated in her home and that they have been a very welcome opportunity to share fellowship together.

We have now been given permission to reopen our buildings for individual visits. The PCC met on Zoom last night and, in collaboration with the other King’s Way Benefice PCCs, we have decided that we will start to re-open St Aidan’s on Sunday 28th June from 10.30am to 12.00pm and then every other week until further notice. St John’s will be opening their church building on the afternoons of the intervening Sundays so there will be a King’s Way Benefice church open each Sunday. Please note this will be for individuals to come into church for quiet prayer and reflection. It will not be for an actual service, which is not yet permitted.

This is how it will work:

Before the 28th, the church building will be cleaned and aired. Most of the chairs will be stacked at the sides of the nave but about ten will spread out in the nave to allow for the required 2 metre social distancing.

This is what will happen when you come into church:

  • Only one entrance is permitted to be used so we will use the disabled entrance into the Lady Chapel. Please be aware of others who may be coming out and give them sufficient space.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available for you to use just inside the door. Please use it.
  • There will be at least two volunteers on hand to supervise the session, maintain cleanliness, give assistance and answer questions.
  • Please come into the nave and find an empty chair. Every time a person leaves, their chair will be taken to the right hand side of the church and replaced with a new one from the left. The volunteer doing this will then sanitise their hands.
  • No books or prayer sheets will be available. However, you are very welcome to bring your own Bible, prayer book or other devotional aid with you.
  • The votive candle stand will be at the front of the building should you wish to light a candle. The candles will be spaced out on a tray.
  • At some times there will be silence and at others there will be some quiet organ music playing.
  • The toilets will not be in use. We expect most people’s visits to church will be no more than half an hour so we hope this will not be a problem. The refreshment and children’s areas at the back of the church will not be in use either.
  • When you are ready to leave, please walk towards the old, large font at the back of the church and walk down the south aisle to the Lady Chapel, watching out for people who might be entering at the same time.
  • This is primarily an opportunity for people to spend time in prayer and reflection so it would not be appropriate for conversations to be going on at the same time. If you wish to have a chat with friends, please do this outside the building and remember the social distancing rules which are still in place.

We very much hope that many of you will wish to take advantage of this opportunity to come into church and we look forward to welcoming you back on Sunday 28th June.

Assuring you that you all remain our thoughts and prayers at this challenging time,

Best wishes from

Saint Aidan with Saint George PCC Members

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