Public and Online Worship During National Lockdown 3.0
We recognize that the Government has defined communal worship as an essential service, which provides people with the “reasonable excuse” to leave their homes during the National Lockdown. We also recognize that this comes with a certain degree of risk for the participants, from which those with underlying vulnerabilities are required to shield, and to which others may be reluctant to expose themselves.
Therefore, realising the need to balance what is possible, what is prudent, and what is pastoral for the congregations of Chingford Parish, we propose the following changes to our public and online worship during the National Lockdown:
from Sunday 10 January
There will be ONE act of communal worship offered in the parish each Sunday
10.00 am Holy Communion in the Parish Church.
Social distancing will be required, and we will continue to adhere to the risk assessments imposed upon churches by the government regulations.
There will be ONE act of online worship offered by the parish each Sunday, which will be published to the Parish Youtube Channel. You may find the order of service for the Online Eucharist, which includes a prayer for Spiritual Communion, here:
Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer will be streamed by the clergy team via Facebook Live, each morning of the week (Monday-Friday).
The Daily Office will also be said in the Parish Church by the Rector, Monday-Friday, with Morning Prayer at 8.30 am and Evening Prayer at 5.30 pm. The church will be opened for those who wish to join in physically.
Church Opening for Private Prayer is, at present, discontinued.
There will be no baptisms conducted in the parish until further notice.
There will be no weddings solemnised in the parish until further notice, with the (unlikely) exception of marriages needing to be contracted in extremis.
Funerals may continue to be conducted in the two churches. Numbers for the congregations are limited to 30 people (amongst whose number those “working” do not count – ie, officiant, verger(s), organist.
This is an extremely fluid situation, and the regulations controlling the Lockdown have not yet been published. We may need to change some of these arrangements according to regulation or guidance, from the government or from the national church.
We continue in our prayers for each other, for the poor, the anxious, and the vulnerable, for those in positions of responsibility in the Health Service and the government. Even so, as we trust in God to be with us in all the changes and chances of this life, we trust in Him to be with us now.
8 January 2021
(updated for Ordinary Time, 4 February 2021)