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I am writing to let you know that a decision has been made today with Church Wardens and both PCC’s regarding the opening up of our churches for public worship.
It has become clear that many of our local churches are closed or are closing. This is due to the upsurge of virus cases and because many of our congregations are older and more vulnerable. The advice from the Government is to stay at home and keep safe. Many of you travel in to attend church and we feel just at the moment you should stay at home where possible.
The decision was made today having received notification from Bishop Will and the Rural Dean.
I have also spoken with all Church Wardens who support this decision.
The churches will be closed on the 3rd January and the 10th and will then review it with Church Wardens on the 11th. Online services will be made available.
Those of you who have booked, will receive notification from Andrea.
Here is the resolution
1 the canonical requirements in relation to the holding of public worship are currently in operation. However, Clergy are able to make decisions based on their own situation.
St Mary the Virgin Church, Hartfield and Holy Trinity Coleman’s Hatch.
“The Rector, Rev Julie Sear and the parochial church council of St Mary the Virgin Church, Hartfield, and Holy Trinity Coleman’s Hatch, acting jointly authorise dispensing with the celebration of the Holy Communion as required by Canon B 14 on the following occasions: There will be no return to worship in either church in the Benefice on the following dates.
Sunday 3rd January 2021 No service or private prayer
Sunday 10th January 2021 No service or private prayer
Sunday 17th January 2021 To be decided
Sunday 24th January 2021 To be decided
Sunday 31st January 2021 To be decided.
The reason for the dispensation is that in the light of the Government’s guidance on preventing the spread of Coronavirus in Tier 4, we have been told to stay home and not travel. Those who are older and more vulnerable should stay at home and not put themselves at risk. We have cases of Coronavirus in the villages and people self isolating.
The churches will not be open for private prayer on either of those dates.
There is a short reflective service online for the 3rd January with a sermon from Bishop Ruth Bushyager. We will use the worship at home service sheet.
Trevor and I will then record a service for the 10th January.
Please pray for our NHS; paramedics, especially Rob McGlew and his team who are in the front line.
Use the time tomorrow to pray and keep in touch with each other.
You are all very much in my prayers. Thank you for your understanding.
Rev Julie Sear
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