Pastoral Letters -July 25 2020

Dear Friend from Bridport United, Uploders Methodist or or Hope and Radipole United Reformed Churches,

Well it seems we have survived another week of lessening restrictions on the one front and thankfully no indications of a second spike so far, which is really positive and I thank God for it.

I hope I am not being too optimistic but it has prompted us to move forward to the next stage of opening up the church for corporate worship.  I had feared that it might not be until September but, all things being equal, I think we are looking at a mixture of physical services and being able to gather to watch either the Circuit Video Services or the Zoom Service on the screen at the United Church. 

Important things to note:

1.  We will need to wear masks whilst inside, just as from yesterday we have to do so in shops, but many of us are getting quite used to that,

2.  We shall have to listen to hymns rather than sing them,

3.  We will have to keep more spaced out than normal and there will be no coffee afterwards.  This latter restriction is going to be hard as it is over a drink that we often catch up and chat, but it appears from the guidance that, even though we can drink together in cafes, pubs and restaurants, there are different regulations covering community buildings, as we are classified. 

4. On the positive side, taking food and drink when a part of the worship is allowed if we can work out a way of doing so safely - which will mean that, all things being equal, we shall be able to share communion at our first service, led by me, on Sunday 2 August?   

More details will follow in next week’s email?

I appreciate that for quite a number of us we won’t feel safe to come and join services quite so soon and that is fine and we will continue to deliver your Written Services into the future.  Indeed nobody should feel pressured to come yet, though to help the decision-making process I shall include a personal risk assessment for you next week.  Let us take it slowly and move forward in the words of the old hymn, “One more step along the world I go …”?  More news next week?

All of the Sunday Service options are on the website calender and the Homepage, including links to YouTube videos and websites.

Blessings from your Minister,
Peter Clarke