A Message from the Wardens – 3rd September 2020

Dear Friends

As promised, we are writing to let you know about how we intend to manage the return to church which is planned for Sunday 13th September. We understand that for some of you this will not be possible and we want to reassure you that there will still be provision online for you.

Attached is a letter which sets out in detail what to expect if you return to church. We hope this information is clear but if you have any queries or concerns then please do get in touch with one of us and we will do our best to help. Please note that at the moment we are only able to offer a Sunday morning service at 10am. (The picture on the left is an image of the welcome poster which is being printed for our church notice boards to show our community that we are back!)

We hope that you had a good summer and if you managed to get away on holiday that it was a happy and relaxing time for you. As the schools return this week, we ask you to hold in your prayers all our children, many of whom will be returning for the first time since lockdown. Some will be starting school for the very first time and others will be moving into the next phase of their education, an anxious time for both children and their parents. Please pray also for all school and university staff as they prepare for the new academic year, which promises to be full of new and unexpected challenges.

Work has carried on over the summer to remove the leylandii in the memory garden to allow for the area to be extended. Sincere thanks to Geoffrey Nixon and James Powell who worked really hard to dig out some very well-established roots! A survey is to be carried out next week and then the process of obtaining all the relevant permissions will begin. We are bound to follow all the legal and planning procedures in order to do this properly so this may take time. We apologise to those of you for whom this area is important as a place of comfort and solace and a resting place for loved ones. We understand that the privacy of the area is disturbed at the moment but we hope that when the work is completed it will be returned to an area of peace and tranquillity.

We were very sad to hear the news that Rev David Benson had died on August 10th. David was the vicar at All Saints from 1991 until 1998 and many of you may remember him. Please hold Margaret and the family in your prayers.

Sadly, the virus is still with us but hopefully we are learning to adapt to life within the restrictions. Please be assured that the PCC have considered the re-opening of the church very seriously and that we have done all that we can to ensure that everyone will be as safe as possible. We have said many times that we all perceive risk in different ways and there is no one size fit all solution. Please do not feel under any pressure to do anything you are uncomfortable with. If you come to church and find it is not what you are comfortable with, that is fine but we sincerely hope that you will feel safe and welcome and enjoy the fellowship of our church family. The church hall is not being used at the moment as there are numerous challenges to be overcome before the PCC can feel confident in allowing it to be used. At the moment there is no children’s work because the church hall is not in use, but there will be a meeting next week where the children’s work will be discussed.

You may remember that Maurice Snowdon sent us an article about the early years of his and Marjorie’s life together and how God had provided for them. He has very kindly sent us a further instalment which he has called Amazing Grace. This was inspired by something he had heard on the Daily Hope telephone message. It is wonderful to be reminded of just how God provides for us, even in the midst of what, for some of us, have been the darkest of times. We continue to pray that God will be with us in all the seasons of our lives and thank Him for all He has done for us.

Please do read the attached information about returning to church. We hope to send a letter every week again as we did before the holidays so if you have any news and encouragements to share with our church family please let us know.

Take care and stay safe. With love
Angela and Liz