The Prime Minster last Monday delivered a picture of restrictions being removed from July 19th. A more precise picture will emerge later today, July 12th, but it looks likely that we will all be encouraged to make our own wise decisions instead of following governmental decree.
This is a step forward in allowing church life to become more as we would wish. The chance to sing, to sit where like, to abandon limitations in numbers attending will be a joy. However, I do need to offer a couple of words of caution. Firstly, once the Government make its announcement we will need to wait in case there any restrictions which will not be removed. This would appear unlikely but Methodist Church House in London will advise as soon as they hear from the relevant Ministry
The second word of caution is, I think, more significant. You may have heard Chris Witty, the Chief Medical Officer responding to a question of when he would wear a mask and making the point that we wear masks to protect others and so his suggesting he would do so in a crowded space. He talked about it being a courteous act. So I would want all of us to consider whether we should, out of respect for others, continue to wear masks in Church until the number of cases begins to move significantly in the right direction. I know this is not ideal but I suggest it would be an act of loving kindness towards our fellow pilgrims.
In a case of poor timing on my part, we will need to change the booking arrangement for next week, July 18th. If you have a regular booking you will be on the list, but, for everyone else you will need to book through Gill Marks on 01296 748659 or email@example.com again if possible by Wednesday.
If the Government decide to change their minds in light of rising case Gill will also be the contact for July 25th and then for August 1st it will be Jackie Simpson-Tyda 01296 398832 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thereafter, if required, responsibility will come back to me. Hopefully none of these measures will be needed.
It has been so good to see the steady flow of folk returning to live worship. I know this will continue especially if the number of new infections begins to go down as we have been promised. Many of those who have returned have found it be a moving experience, it is a thrill to see their faces light up.
Let us hope and pray that our direction of travel will mean we can recover from the scars of lockdown and embrace what the future holds.