Returning to Public Worship at St Leonard’s

Following the Government’s announcement on 23rd June, stating that acts of worship can return to being held in church buildings, the Rector and St Leonard’s PCC advocate the following rationale to guide our next steps:

  1. To balance a return to worship and ensuring risk is low for our most vulnerable.*
  2. Honouring the need to have the Sacrament offered to all who would like to receive it.
  3. To enable a break for those who have given skill and time in creating our current online YouTube services.
    *Whilst social distancing regulation are in force, the church can accommodate up to 70 people.
    With these thoughts in mind a phased approach is proposed:

PHASE 1: FROM 5TH JULY
A spoken Eucharist will be offered in the in the main Nave of the church at 8am & 10am. Both services will be identical and will include a short homily.
Government guidance means there can be no music or singing at these services. Likewise we will not be able to make specific arrangements and spaces for children.
These two services are primarily for the receiving of the sacrament in person and to enable those who cannot access online worship to attend.
During Phase 1 Our main act of worship will continue online. This worship will include congregationally-led intercessions and readings, a full sermon, hymns and sung Eucharistic setting made available via the church YouTube channel.

PHASE 2: FROM 2ND AUGUST (Government guidelines permitting)
8am – Spoken Eucharist as per phase 1.
9.30am – The Eucharist with some musical elements*, but no congregational singing. This service will not cater for children.
11.15am – Identical to 9.30am but with an understanding the children with their families are likely to be present. Although specific (Children’s Church) groups for children will not be offered, because of pre-formed school based ‘bubbles’.
Our online You Tube services will cease but the 9.30am and 11.15 service will be live-streamed from church to enable those who are shielding or unable to attend to join in ‘live’ from their homes.
*Musical elements will certainly include the Organ playing the setting, the hymns and an voluntary, if permitted, we hope that it will also include some ‘choral voices’ singing from the East End of the Church (behind the altar). The congregation might enjoy humming along!

PHASE 3: FROM SEPTEMBER 6TH (Government guidelines permitting)
As per phase 2 with the addition of children’s groups.
We hope that by Phase 3 there will be permission for both choral and congregational singing to commence. If choral singing is permitted, Evensong will commence at the earlier time of 4.30pm.
It may be possible to resume Taize at 6.30pm on 2nd Sunday of the month, depending on feasibility within guideline.
Live streaming of the main morning services will continue.

Phase 4: TBC
Return to St Leonard’s historic patterns of worship as the national Covid status is considered no longer a risk. However, we anticipate live streaming services from St Leonard’s for the foreseeable future.

During the week the church will be open daily for quiet prayer
Mon – Fri 12noon – 2pm
On Wednesday there will be a Eucharist at 12noon.

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