GOOD NEWS!  Opening up our Churches

You will be aware that the Government is beginning to relax the restrictions on churches being open, and there are more than 35 pages of Guidelines with respect to the opening of churches for public worship. 

These guidelines include handwashing or sanitising on entry; social distancing of 2 metres, hence numbers attending would be limited; no singing, and Holy Communion receiving bread only. 

These Guidelines include ‘advice’ to our over 70’s and ‘Shielded’ members to not attend public worship at present, but it is up to individuals to make their own decision – you will never be turned away because of your age! 

Face masks are not compulsory, but you can wear one if you wish. 

We should note that events held in our church grounds are subject to the same Guidelines as in church buildings.

Hence, at St. Barnabas and St. John’s we are not recommending opening the churches for public worship on Sundays in the near future. 

We will review this situation as and when Guidelines change and formally at a PCC meeting in September. 

However, this month we are intending to resume our informal Morning Prayer at St. John’s on Wednesday mornings at 9.15am and Holy Communion or Morning Prayer at St. Barnabas on Tuesday mornings at 9.30am (starting with Communion on Tuesday 4th August), subject to the special guidelines for Holy Communion. 

If you have any thoughts or queries about these matters, please e-mail the office.

In addition, we are planning to open the churches for special ceremonies such as Funerals and Weddings, with the number of guests strictly limited to 30. Furthermore, it is possible by prior arrangement to welcome individuals or small family groups into our churches for a time of prayer or peaceful reflection, especially for those who are bereaved and wanting to say some prayers. 

If you or someone you know would like to avail themselves of this provision, please telephone Janice on 01202 302468 or Roger on 01202 515498, or e-mail the Parish Office at office.holdenhurst@gmail.com                             

                             Revd. Andy McPherson and the Churchwardens