On Saturday Ian and I ventured into town, it was my first foray into the City of London this year. I have to admit I was a little nervous using the tube, on the whole people were very responsible and kept their distance. Being able to walk around and enjoy a pint in the Princess Louise in Holborn, one could be lured into a false sense of security, of course there were face masks and the streets were relatively quiet, but you could be fooled and consequently relax your guard. I was brought back to earth with a bump when the Government announced the introduction of a 14 day quarantine for those holidaying in Spain. In fact nothing has changed, the virus is still out there and we still need to be extremely vigilant. It’s wonderful to see you in church on Sunday. Again, now we are open it’s easy to relax and slip into a new normal routine, so the advice we received last week has reminded us of the need for continued vigilance. The House of Bishops Recovery Group has offered new advice for churches about the wearing of face coverings whilst in church.
“We strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present.”
We are therefore asking all people who attend church on Sunday to wear a face covering as well as maintaining adequate social distancing, the group continues to say.
” Remembering that face coverings are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus COVID19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.”
So we will be continuing to encourage social distancing in church at all times. Please be directed by the stewards when you arrive.
The clergy have discussed this advice and had concluded that it would be almost impossible to conduct a service and preach whilst wearing a face covering, therefore we will not wear a face covering whilst we are at the altar and at the lectern, recognising that there is a gap of over 4 meters between clergy and congregation. However, to welcome people as they arrive and to say farewell at the South porch we will wear a face covering, as we will whilst administering communion.
With my continued prayers.
Please see the update here on face coverings.