St.Martin of Tours
Church Road, Chelsfield, BR6 7SN
© 2020 Chelsfield PCC
Charity Number 1131573
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‘Staying in Touch’ – Church Communication in a time of Crisis
Please find links to the communications we have posted, The rules and regulations are changing on a daily basis. Please check that you have the latest information.
‘‘Staying in Touch’ – ‘Covid 19 update 24.06.20’
You will no doubt have seen the news last week that churches may now open for private prayer, and this week the Prime Minister has lifted the restriction on opening for public worship from July 4. But before you rush to put on your ‘Sunday Best’ clothes you need to note the Bishop of London’s comments as leader of the Churches Recovery Group:
"The last three months have been an extraordinary time - the first period without public worship and the sacraments in England in more than 800 years. There will be real joy as we begin to come together again – if even at a physical distance – but I also know that many will be understandably cautious at this news.
“We will not be returning to normality overnight - this is the next step on a journey. We’ve been planning carefully, making detailed advice available for parishes to enable them to prepare to hold services when it is safe and practical to do so. It is important to say that the change in Government guidance is permissive, not prescriptive.
“There will still be restrictions and we must all still do everything we can to limit the spread of the virus to protect each other, especially the most vulnerable. The online services and dial-in worship offerings we have become used to will continue.
“This has been an incredibly difficult time for the whole country, especially for those who have been ill, who have suffered financial hardship, the loss of livelihoods and indeed, for many, those they love. We know that is not over and the Church has a task ahead to bring consolation and hope.
“Churches and cathedrals have risen to the recent challenges, finding new ways of meeting for worship, of serving our neighbours, and of reaching new people with the love of God. The challenge before us now is to take the next steps carefully and safely, without forgetting all that we’ve discovered about God and ourselves on the way.”
In response to the news, Bishop James and Bishop Simon have issued the following message:
"We welcome the announcement from the Prime Minister that from 4 July, church buildings may reopen for public worship including weddings. We also echo the Bishop of London’s comment that, while there will be real joy at this prospect, we are still very much on a journey. There will be many who will understandably be cautious at this news.
"We continue to be thankful to all who are responding so responsibly and carefully to each new possibility, and in ways that are right for them and their communities. We are particularly conscious that many of these careful decisions come at a time when many are feeling fatigued.
"There is no rush to next steps – each place must make its own decisions based on local circumstances – and we also await further detailed guidance from Government and the Church of England nationally. Please continue to seek guidance where needed and to support one another.”
What does this mean for St Martin’s?
In the last two weeks the churchwardens and I have been preparing for the re-opening of the church building and it is with great pleasure that I can announce that we will be opening St Martin’s this coming Saturday, 27 June. Opening is still restricted and for the time being the Brass Crosby Room remains closed.
Private Prayer –
St Martin’s will be open each week on Tuesday and Saturday from 10:00am to 1:00pm for private prayer only.
Please follow signed instructions on notices
Stewards will be in attendance to offer direction.
There will be a one-way entry and exit system
Please use hand sanitizer provided
On arrival you will need to register your attendance for tracking
You will need to bring your own pen to sign in
Take all belongings home with you
It is my intention to be present from 10:00 – 11:00 on Saturday and 10.30 – 11:30 on Tuesday if any wish to make specific requests or would like me to light a candle on your behalf. Prayer requests can still be forwarded to me by phone or e-mail.
It is still too early to share plans for public worship. We await guidance from the National church and our Diocese. But rest assured that as soon as we can we will open for public worship.
In the meantime we will continue to provide the following:
A Sunday service on the website,
Holy Communion services on your behalf in the churchyard on Tuesday and Friday at 11.30am, and on Sunday at 10:00am.
Daily Prayer on Facebook with Jon on Tuesday and Val on Thursday at 8.15am
Quiet meditation in the churchyard on Thursday evening at 7.00pm
We are expecting further details about baptisms, weddings and funerals in the next week or two.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT WE ARE STILL FACING A TIME OF UNCERTAINTY.
COVID-19 HAS NOT GONE AWAY AND WE NEED TO TAKE SENSIBLE PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT ALL WHO VISIT THE CHURCH.
Weekly newsletter – will still be produced but available only via this Web site. This will contain the Collect and Readings for Sunday I together with a short message from the clergy and other prayers and notices.
Magazine – we are no longer permitted to produce printed material but will continue to produce a monthly issue electronically. Please continue to share stories and messages.
Our Lord’s Summary of the Law continues to point the way forward:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength . . . Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
I remind you that you may call me at any time for prayer or a chat, and please let me know if you have any bright ideas about how we might develop our ministry in these difficult times.
Please do refer regularly to the church website www.stmartinchelsfield.org.uk for updates. If you have any pastoral needs, or are anxious and need prayer please contact Rev John at the Rectory on 01689 825749
Keep safe, keep secure, keep hoping and keep in touch.
Rev John Tranter