As you will have seen in the media, church buildings are now able to be opened for 'private prayer.'
Following a PCC meeting recently, a decision was made to try to get this to happen as soon as we can. Following that meeting I am very grateful to Anne Short, Elaine Dobbs, Alex Cutmore, John Clifford, Tony Funnell and no doubt others who have worked had to risk assess opening and the necessary cleaning in preparation for this happening.
Initially, we are opening St Peter's in Mill End on the following days only:
You are warmly welcome to come!
When you enter the building, you should only enter and leave the church via the main doors. Both main sets of doors will be open allowing you to walk straight in. The will be no water in the stoup in the porch for the time being. Please read the notices on the main door and in the porch.
Hand gel & tissues will be on the cupboard as you walk into church. Please use the gel on entry and exit.
You will notice areas that have been blocked off with chairs. These are out of bounds areas and must not be crossed. These areas are: the North Transept, the Lady Chapel, the Choir & Organ and the children's area at back of church.
You are welcome to pray and contemplate in the main body of the church building. To ensure social distancing for individual prayer and to make sure that the same spot isn't used twice during the hours of opening. Notices will be placed on the pew which *must be removed* after you have sat there and put into a box at the back of the church as you leave.
On the pews in the main body of the church will be green paper seat notices; one on each pew. This is where individuals are to sit or can kneel (on the kneelers) for private prayer, nowhere else.
When you are ready to leave, please pick up the green sheet and put it in the box provided at the back of the church. This means that this area will be 'quarantined' and not used again during that session or until after the area has been cleaned.
We cannot ensure social distancing in the aisle and therefore we ask you to give way where possible and use some common sense if moving around the church. Kneelers around the altar rail have been removed.
Lighting candles will not be possible but please light a virtual candle using the QR code on the poster on the main door.
This is not a return to public worship; that will come in time. This is enabling the church in this parish to offer the wider community we are called to serve the gift of space and time to express their longings to the God who loves them.
All of these arrangements will be under constant review as we look to open St Thomas' too, I hope within a week or so.
Please feel welcome to use the space and the time in these special places, and do receive them as a gift to you and the wider community.