We were greatly encouraged to see many of you return to worship last Sunday. 24 adults and 4 children were in church. It was all very new and it is fair to say there was a certain amount of anxiety about how the new procedures would work but, although it felt different and strange at times to worship in this way, it was lovely to see so many people back in church. We will adapt over the coming weeks and hopefully be a little more comfortable with everything. When you arrive at church you will be met outside the door, rather than inside the porch; this is because we must not encourage people to stay and chat indoors. Below is an extract from the Bishop’s letter this week which sets out the current situation.
Understandably, church leaders, lay and ordained, are concerned about the implications of the restrictions announced by the Government last week, which come into force today. This restriction is, of course, to be taken very seriously – but it’s key aim is to limit ‘social interaction’ (that is, the ways people congregate socially, outside work or other organised activity). However, we are required not to visit (that is, to arrive at) our churches in groups of more than six people, and not to interact during or after worship in groups of more than six people.
As such we also ask you to come in and sit down straight away rather than moving around or standing and chatting to friends (even at a distance). Also because of the need to restrict movement inside the building please remain seated throughout the service. During communion services we ask you to wait to be directed to go up to receive. After each service, you will be directed to leave the building straight away and row by row in order to avoid congestion. We realise this is not what we are used to but please be assured that we have taken very careful note of the guidance issued by the government and the diocese and we want to do everything we possibly can to make sure everyone is safe. It is strange for all of us and all of these measures are intended to enable worship to continue week by week until this dreadful situation is under control. Please bear with us on this. It is still possible to chat before a service from your seat by turning round and of course you are still free to chat outside in small groups before and after services. Please be understanding towards those who are wary about coming back and may find it very difficult. We all need to feel safe and comfortable so please respect that and keep at a safe distance at all times.
Ann Powell sent us this cartoon which illustrates the current measures really well, though we hope it isn’t TOO accurate in the case of All Saints!
Of course, we understand that for many of you coming back to the church building is not an option and at the moment we are only able to offer Sunday morning worship. We hope that you are able to join in online but be assured that you are in our thoughts and prayers wherever you are. The text of the service is available before the service on the website but if you do not have access to that and would like to have the order of service please contact us and we will make sure that you get it.
We have been asked to clarify the position with regards to giving. There are no offertory plates on a Sunday at the moment and we cannot take cash from people. You can make your offertory by standing order or direct debit and if you would like to do this please contact Ian Halliday (contact details on the church Contact Directory) who can advise you. Alternatively, you can put your offering in a sealed envelope and we can accept it that way.
The Annual Church Meeting will take place on Sunday 11th October at 10am in church, in place of the usual service, though there will space for prayer and reflection during the meeting. If you are not on the electoral roll and wish to vote at the AGM you will need to get forms as soon as possible from Chris Booth (again, contact details on the church Contact Directory) to enable you to do this. If you already on the electoral roll you do not need to do anything.
The annual report will be available the week before the AGM and you will be able to submit questions and also to vote by post if you are unable to attend the AGM in person. More details on this over the next few weeks. There are 4 vacancies on the PCC and if you are interested in standing you will need to get forms from Chris Musther (again, contact details on the church Contact Directory).
There are also 2 vacancies for churchwardens as Angela and I are standing down after 3 years in the role. Please remember that if you nominate someone for the PCC or to stand as churchwarden, you need to have spoken to them BEFORE you do so!!!
At the moment we are uncertain what the plans might be for the Christmas period. It is unlikely that they will be the same as in previous years. We were hoping to distribute knitted angels all around Totley again this year but we are unsure as to whether we will be able to do this under the current restrictions. If you want to knit angels just in case, we would be very happy to supply patterns. If we can’t “Angel Bomb” Totley this year we will be sure to have enough angels for a heavenly multitude when we can!
Ken and Vivien Filleul celebrated their Diamond Wedding anniversary (60 years) on September 17th. We send out warmest congratulations to both of them.
Catherine Wrigglesworth shared this with us
At the start of our service on Sunday a member of our congregation gave me this beautiful new book as a donation to our Church library. More Than Words by Hannah Dunnett is a
collection of twenty-four detailed pictures all containing relevant verses from the Bible, with the story behind each one and some questions to reflect on. Many of the pictures are reproduced as posters or greeting cards and are available in the CLC shop. As we are unable to use church hall at the moment the library is not available to us, so if anyone would like to borrow this book please do get in touch with me and l’ll bring it to you. It really is a lovely way to re-engage with favourite verses.
The reading, last Sunday (Romans 14: 1-12) reminded us that we should not judge others. Phil’s sermon spoke into the current situation and (in the Hayden household at least) was a timely rebuke!
It is very easy to fall into the trap of making judgements about the way others are dealing with life during a pandemic. The reasons for this are not always immediately obvious and it remains true that each one of us will deal with this in the way that we feel is best. It certainly makes listening to the news or reading the newspaper a challenge!!!
Take care and stay safe With love
Angela and Liz
PS. Just for fun, we have attached a sheet called Sermon Bingo. It’s an idea given to us by Mell Camateras for children (or adults if they choose) to use during a sermon. All you have to do is to mark each word on the sheet as you hear it. (This means you will need to listen to the sermon, but don’t worry, all the speakers have agreed to keep them as short as possible) We can’t give out the sheets in church at the moment so if you want to play along you will need to print it out(or write a list of the words) and bring it with you on Sunday, or play along at home as you watch. Please DO NOT shout Bingo if you complete the sheet if you are playing along in church. We don’t want you to wake anybody up!!!