Hopefully the success of the vaccine roll out means that the time is drawing nearer when life will begin to feel more normal as the restrictions we have endured are eased. As a Church we are in the difficult position of trying to work out when in the midst of the Government's road map is the right time to open our buildings and recommence public worship on site. I want to assure you that both the Leadership Team and Church Council have been looking at the situation trying to weigh up the best response to the evolving situation.
Here is the current thinking but I do need to stress that all is dependent upon infection rates, government advice and other factors that come into consideration. You will all understand that these comments are provisional and could easily change with altered circumstances.
Church council when it met on March 4th felt that it was right to wait and see the impact that re-opening schools will have on the R rate both nationally and locally. This will also allow more time to await wisdom on the impact of the vaccine roll out. They were all of the view that the suggestion that non- essential retail might being allowed to reopen in April should also be considered. They felt it was really important to safeguard people as well as waiting news on the easing of the restrictions which faith communities currently operate under.
Bearing all this mind, at this stage in our collective journey, the view was to look to no earlier than May 16th as a reopening date. Obviously if new information comes to light which might advocate an earlier date that will be considered. We are all aware that to some this news will be welcomed as a good response to circumstance while others will have hoped for an earlier recommencement date. We are confident that all our protocols to keep folk safe work but so conscious that the threat is still real, it is a very difficult balancing act. We will keep you all informed and if anyone wishes to make a case for an earlier or later opening I am happy to listen and pass the wisdom on for consideration. The thought was that a cautious response was the best way forward.
Roger Kirk our Treasurer has issued another appeal for help with the financial challenges the church is facing. If you feel able to offer any additional contributions Roger would be delighted to hear from you. His number is 01296 415312 or email 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. Any additional support would be gratefully received.
I also need to express thanks to those who have spearheaded our efforts to keep in touch with the members of our community as we all contend with continuing impact of the pandemic. The hope is that soon we will be able to worship together with the freedom to sing and socialise but until such time we remind ourselves that we are united in Christ.
Rev Richard Atkinson,