Government announcement

Places of worship to
re-open for individual prayer

Following the Government announcement: “Places of worship to re-open for individual prayer”, I wanted to give some background and set some expectations for the 15th June. The announcement coming when it did after online services had been uploaded and without prior warning to local church leaders has meant that we have not been able to contextualise the announcement for the local church. There are many misleading headlines and comments flying around on social media at the moment. So to be clear individual prayer as defined in the announcement is: “… a person or household entering the venue to pray on their own and not as part of a group, led prayer or communal act.”

Whilst it is not a corporate act of worship it is very good news for those who find our church buildings a helpful place to pray. I would of course want to remind all of us that right now sat where you are, you can pray to God through his Holy Spirit. That said we normally open our church building St Thomas’ every day for prayer because we understand that to many it is an aid to quiet and prayer.

There is much that is unclear or to be “announced shortly” with regards to the details of how we must operate. Certainly we will need to make the church venue a safe place for all who enter. It seems from the Church of England’s Recovery Group follow on announcement that we may need to provide “supervision”, in which case our ability to open will be impacted by the availability of safeguarding cleared individuals to operate a rota. These issues along with the need to deep clean areas open to the public will mean that it will not be clear if or how we will be able to operate from the 15th until later this week.

Be assured that our guiding principle will be that we will not put you at risk, whilst we will also do all we can to aid you in your walk with Jesus. We will be guided both by the central Church of England and our own diocesan bishop.

Places to stay informed of how we hope to proceed are:

Surgery: Rector’s weekly online open house:
Weekly News Sheet: Email to be added to the distribution list.

As always Bedhampton remains in our prayers.

Max Cross.
Rector to Bedhampton Parish.