• Fr John

St Lawrence re-opens for individual private prayer

13 June 2020

I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’.

Psalm 122.1

Dear all,

Good news!

On Tuesday 9th June, the Prime Minister announced at the government's daily press briefing that places of worship could open for private prayer from Monday 15th June. This is on the proviso that parishes are able to ensure that precautions are taken to minimise the risk of virus spread.

I have worked with the Church Wardens to complete a risk assessment as provided by the Church of England on 9th June. This is what the PCC have approved:

· The church will be open for private prayer on

o Thursdays between 10:00 – 11:00 and

o Sundays between 14:00 – 15:00 · Social distancing will need to be observed by those using the church for individual prayer · Those using the church will need to use hand sanitiser on arrival into the church and again as they leave

· Whilst face masks are not compulsory, they are advised to avoid the risk of passing the virus to others

· Books, paper and pens will not be available for use due to the risk of virus transmission · Individuals’ use of the church will need to be supervised to ensure that the advice given is followed

Please note that:

· A votive candle will be left alight for other candles to be lit from (this avoids the risk of virus transmission through shared use of lighters / match boxes)

· Chairs will be spaced out to support social distancing

· If the space for individual prayer reaches capacity, it may be necessary for those wanting to use the church to wait outside the church until those inside leave

If you are able to supervise the churches use for individual prayer, please contact Elaine or Sadie, who will be drawing up a rota to support church opening.

The provision above seeks to ensure that individuals from different households remain socially distanced. It follows that public worship is not yet permitted. We await government guidance on when this will be possible.

Let's give thanks for this step forward and pray for the next. We should also remember those who will not be able to use the church in this way, particularly those shielding.

All good wishes,

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