We’d like to start by saying thank you to Angela for compiling and printing a new Fellowship Directory and to Phil for organising the link for sending our contact details to her. The directories are available for collecting from the church porch. We will deliver copies to those of you who are not able to get to church.
The PCC met on Wednesday evening to discuss how to respond to the ending of mandatory Covid restrictions. For the first time since lockdown we met in person, sitting out on the South Lawn which we really appreciated. We decided that we still need to be cautious, given the current rising numbers of infections and the average age of our congregation. We want people to feel safe in church.
We will meet again on 25th August to review the situation but until then we will continue to ask people to wear face coverings unless exempt, use hand sanitisers, record contact details and ventilate the building.
The changes we agreed on were to remove the distancing restrictions on seating in the South Aisle but maintain the social distancing in the rest of the church. We will create space for small children to play by pushing a row of seating back and putting carpet down in the space by the vestry door. Parents are ask to bring their children’s own books and toys.
We are aware that being able to sing is one of the things we really miss. We also know that singing produces more opportunities for the virus to spread. After much heart searching we decided to compromise by singing but wearing our face coverings.
It was also agreed that we will continue the online provision for those who are unable to come to church.
On 1st August there will be a baptism and the family would like to invite 70 guests. On this occasion it was decided to offer a service after the 10 o’clock service at 11.30. This is what they would like to do and they are intending to ask all their guests to have a LFT beforehand. We hope that a few people might like to be part of their service to represent our congregation.
Under normal circumstances the small groups would have offered a programme of social activities during the 6 week holidays. It feels too early to do this at the moment but they have suggested that on Sunday mornings, after the service, we bring our own chairs and a drink and sit outside to catch up with each other. If the weather is not suitable we would be able to move into the hall. We can continue to provide the zoom coffee and chat at the same time from the church grounds (details available from the Wardens). The wonders of modern technology! We will try it on Sunday and see how we get on.
Catherine Wrigglesworth has sent us news about the Open Gardens weekend. After expenses, a total of £5,492 was raised! This is more than previous years and will be divided between Cherrytree Support Services; Transport 17; Totley Scouts (towards their new hut) and Totley Library. Congratulations to Catherine and Celia and to everyone who worked so hard and opened their garden.
We appreciated Catherine’s response to last week’s announcement about the Church Graft: “I like the word graft as it is a gardening term meaning “a permanent joint for the purpose of growth and strength.”(It is also a Yorkshire word for hard work of course!)”
Thank you to everyone else who contacted us to share encouragement.
Next week’s letter will be the last one until the end of August so please let us know if there is anything you would like us to include.
As the school term ends we send our best wishes to everyone and hope you are able to have a well-earned break.
Ann & James