“Know your limitations!” an often quoted phrase, employed sometimes when to make a supreme effort feels like just too much. It’s a phrase I often employ during my daily online fitness class!
At a time of mixed messages and confusion as to how to proceed post lockdown many of us are understandably happy to stay within our limitations and it is up to each of us to decide for ourselves what those should be. So the news that churches can open presented many of us with a dilemma. On the one hand it would be great to meet together but on the other hand do we really want to take the risk? The news this week from the diocese is that churches should aim to open by September and as a PCC we have had to make plans to enable this to happen. This has been a daunting prospect and initially we felt constrained by our limitations, there is much to do but we need to ensure that those involved in preparing are kept safe. However, we began our discussion with prayer and after careful consideration of the rules and requirements, plans are now in place to open the church for worship on September 13. This will be different to anything we have known before and over the next few weeks we will begin to set out just what this will look like. It won’t be for everyone and we understand that many of our church family will not want to attend but we have formulated a plan that only a week ago seemed impossible.Sometimes we forget that whilst some things feel too difficult for us, God has no limits and can inspire us to work together and come up with new ways of doing old things. That will certainly be the case where Sunday worship is concerned. Watch this space! ( We intend to continue with online services too so please don’t worry if you know you wont be able to come to church.)
You will have gathered that Liz wrote the first part of this week’s newsletter – it was the mention of the on-line fitness class that gave it away – unfortunately, I have failed miserably in that department! Yes, reopening the church for regular Sunday worship is proving to be an unbelievably complicated task, but absolutely necessary to ensure we don’t spread the virus. Apart from all the cleaning etc, we will have to keep a ‘register’ of everyone attending so if anyone does display symptoms we can track and trace all those who were with them in church on that particular Sunday. One of the things Liz and I love is standing in the porch and greeting everyone as they arrive; walking, in cars, on scooters, in prams one minute, then before you know it, running down the drive! Catching up on people’s news, their health, a handshake or a hug, greeting visitors and newcomers, and the latecomers!
This is what we miss so much, the interaction with others and worshipping God together, young and old. But until September, and it may well be beyond that for some of us, we will continue to worship via our wonderful virtual services. They may not be as professional and polished as larger churches such as Fulwood or the cathedral, with their manpower and sophisticated equipment, but our team do an amazing job, week by week; keeping us all united, keeping us together as a church family, our All Saints family, and I thank God for them and for all of you!
So, as we all move forward into the next phase in this strange period in our lives, we may feel a mixture of emotions. We may feel uncertain, even afraid or we may feel hopeful and optimistic or maybe a combination of all those feelings. Whatever you are feeling be assured of our prayers. This lovely statement from Corrie ten Boom has always been a great source of hope and comfort in the darkest of times. We pray it will be the same for you.
We have heard from her son, Peter, that Claire died peacefully on 6th July in Henleigh Hall, aged 86. Claire moved from Totley to Windsor House where she was a neighbour of Maurice and Marjorie Snowdon and Gordon Grayson. She moved to Henleigh Hall as her health deteriorated. Her funeral will be on 16th July at 9am at Hutcliffe Wood.
If anyone thinks they may like to attend could you please let Angela know as numbers allowed are limited.
Angela and Liz