Welcome to the family of St Mary’s Godmanchester and St Mary Magdalene Hilton from Revd. David Busk
“We believe that the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Godmanchester, exists to build up the individual and corporate spiritual life of our Church and to spread the love of Christ through word and deed, by enabling those who live and work within our town to come into contact with God’s love and come to faith in Christ”.
Live Services in Church
Dear Family of St Mary’s, Godmanchester (Hilton will have a separate message)
Each week there will be one ‘live’ communion service on Sunday in each church, 8.00 am at Hilton and 9.30 am at Godmanchester.. The normal service books will be available for people to take from the table – they won’t be handed out. Please bring them back to the table after the service. Since they won’t then be touched for a week, there should be no hygiene concerns. The congregation will receive only the consecrated bread (in the form of wafers), not the wine. The vicar will clean his hands with alcohol-based sanitizer before touching the bread. Of course, no-one attending should feel under any compulsion to receive communion if they do not wish to do so. A blessing can be given, without any physical contact. There will still be no singing, sadly.
For those unable to attend in person, the Sunday Eucharist on Zoom will still take place, but at 11.15am . https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/86232431955
Please see Zoom tab for details of other regular Zoom services .
There are several things to note about our worship in church which will be different from what we are all used to:
- The wearing of face coverings from August 8th is mandatory by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus COVID-19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.
Those who are leading services or events in a place of worship, and those who assist them (for instance by reading, preaching, or leading prayer) do not always need to wear a face covering, although one should be worn especially if physical distancing cannot be maintained (i.e. distributing communion). This exemption does not apply to worshippers, who should wear face coverings consistent with the requirements for any other public space. These exemptions will also cover the bride and groom at a wedding and those officiating at the wedding.
Please note that those reading lessons or leading intercessions do not need to wear face masks while they are carrying out these tasks, but they do at other times. I will as before not wear a mask while leading the service or preaching, but I will when distributing communion.
- Please use common sense in keeping your distance from those not in your own household, especially when entering or leaving.
- We are required to ask for your contact details (name and phone no.) for Covid19 contact tracing. Forms are on the table by the door, with a box to place them in. The details will not be used for any other purpose, and will be destroyed in due course. If at all possible, please bring your own pen – it is much better if we do not share pens.
- Alternate rows of the pews will be closed, and if you are not with members of your own household each row of pews should only have two people in it.
- Hand sanitiser is available at the entrance to the church should you want it.
- Pew bibles will be tidied away, and there will be a simple single-use service sheet to follow. There will not be the regular weekly news letter.
- There will be no singing, alas. I am delighted that Colin Thirlwall has agreed to play organ voluntaries before and after the service, and there will a recorded choir anthem during it.
- There will be no refreshments after the service, and the toilets in the hall will not be available.
My guess is that numbers at this service will not be great, and there should be room for all who come, as long as people spread out across the church. If I am wrong, and there do not appear to be enough spaces, please use your discretion about whether you wish to stand during the service or, sadly, leave. I do not think it is practical to set up any kind of booking system for public worship, so although this is an unfortunate turn of phrase in the context, it will be first come first served for seating.
As always, please get in touch if you have any questions or anything at all you would like to talk to me about.