Back in Church again
Although we hoped for Tier 1, we now know that Herefordshire is in Tier 2 for the covid Protocols. Perhaps not ideal but there it is and of course for the greater good for all us. And what does it mean for our congregations? Well, we come out of Lockdown #2 on December 2nd and, as we read it at the time of writing, we will be allowed to return to communal worship in church once again.
As we wait for complete clarity, it would seem that we can host services in church in the way we did before the lockdown; that is to say with the same ‘rules’ for physical-distancing, hand cleansing, mask-wearing, and only interacting socially with those in our family bubble. Outside the church, social interaction will still be among a maximum of six people. What is still unclear is whether we can have congregational singing once again; our feeling is that, most probably the answer to that question will be ’no’. We wait to hear more about that.
But let’s take the positives and see this as a step forward. our various parishes will be managing their traditional Christmas services in different ways and so, if you’re in anyway uncertain about how a Carol service or Communion on Christmas Day morning will be managed, do please speak with your churchwardens who will be anxious to help and see you back in church again.
Our New Rector
As many will be aware, interviewing for the post of Rector for the Weobley & Staunton Group of Parishes went ahead on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. In short, the interviewing panel – which includes Representatives from each of the seven parishes, as well as the Bishop and Archdeacon and Patrons of the parishes – was unable to offer the post to a candidate, and that is of course a great disappointment.
Inevitably this will extend the process of finding our new Rector and already urgent conversations about ‘next steps’ are being held with the Deanery Leadership team and the Archdeacon and Bishop in Hereford.
So, disappointed but not defeated in any way. Our kind and hard-working clergy team have already made it plain that they are happy to continue to deliver our service rotas and pastoral care as they have done hitherto, and the Rural Dean Guy Wilkinson and the Deanery Leadership Team continue to offer the best of advice, counsel and practical support and we thank them all wholeheartedly for this. We are in an interregnum during an unprecedented pandemic but I feel – we feel – that it has been managed well so far – and that can continue if the parishioners, congregations and PCCs continue to work together, both parish by parish and as a Group. Roger Marshall, Chair of Weobley and Staunton Group Benefice Council
Produced three times a year. This publication includes news and information from right around our Diocese. It’s a pdf document which can be read online or downloaded.
Here is a video of a service down the road from our Parishes in Almeley. Our Rural Dean,Guy Wilkinson, leads the inspirational service. We hope you enjoy it the service as much as we do.
Wearing Face-coverings in Church
We have just received guidance from the Church of England that the wearing of face-coverings in church is recommended although not mandatory . Our feeling is that this is a matter that touches on personal responsibility and we noticed that the majority of the congregation at Weobley last Sunday felt comfortable wearing masks.
Re-opening our churches – latest updates
Changes to the Government’s guidelines on worship in churches are now coming thick and fast and clearly July 4th is going to be a bit of a red-letter day. Services – under controlled but as yet unspecified rules – will be allowed again, and we know we can hold weddings with up to 30 guests.
Hereford Diocese is working on the detail of this and as soon as it is available to us all, it will be published here and in People & Steeple, and locally of course.
In the meantime, and in line with recent Government guidelines, we are looking at how we can open our churches for individual private prayer and will post details as they become better established.
Each parish will be adopting its own tailored schedule and so it is advisable to look under individual church tabs to see how each parish church is moving forward with its plans for opening its doors once again.
For updates on Weobley, Letton, Byford, Norton Canon, Monnington and Sarnesfield parishes please visit their pages on the ‘Churches’ tab.
Please visit our Week-by-Week tab for details of our weekly Zoom Services and accompanying service sheets. Below is a link for a little taster of one of our Sermons that Rev’d John Thewlis gave us for Trinity Sunday.