A prayer for a time of sickness from the Book of Common Prayer
ALMIGHTY God, who in thy wrath did send a plague upon thine own people in the wilderness, for their obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron; and also, in the time of King David, didst slay with the plague of Pestilence threescore and ten thousand, and yet remembering thy mercy didst save the rest; Have pity upon us miserable sinners, who now are visited with great sickness and mortality; that like as thou didst then accept of an atonement, and didst command the destroying Angel to cease from punishing, so it may now please thee to withdraw from us this plague and grievous sickness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
COVID STRATEGY FROM 20th JULY 2021 FOR ST MARY & ST EANSWYTHE
On 20th July our PCC made the following decisions about our church worship. Despite the relaxing of legal restrictions, we remain extremely concerned about the current rapid rise of Covid infections, and our strategy reflects this.
- The common cup will not be re-introduced until Covid rates are low enough for our priests to feel safe to consume leftover wine.
- Presiding priests will continue to practice present hygiene protocols, with the use of masks, gel and gloves, and by keeping the ciborium covered during the Eucharistic Prayer.
- Presiding priests will not invite people to move to share the Peace physically with those not sitting near them.
- Priests will not shake hands with people as they leave, because the risk of passing infections from person to person is too great.
- We will invite those attending to continue to check in using the NHS app or our contact slips.
- We ask the congregation to continue to practice social distancing in in family and friendship groups, and to use face coverings and hand gel.
- We will leave the seat cushions where they are to encourage social distancing.
- We will not re-introduce refreshments until we can make arrangements to do so hygienically.
- A crucifer will lead the procession and recession and Altar Servers may assist those Presiding priests who are happy for them to do so, but they must wear masks and gloves at all times.
- We will communicate our expectations clearly through signage, notice sheets and announcements.
- We will not re-introduce a collection using offering bags or plates, or an offertory procession at this stage.
- We will re-introduce congregational singing on the condition that those who sing practise social distancing and wear face coverings. Singing will not be permitted in the pews at the back of the church, which will be reserved for those who feel unsafe singing.
We hope this makes sense to everyone, and we will review these strategies as we track the impact of Stage 4 on the spread of Covid locally.