The present public health emergency challenges all of us in the church:
To live out the Gospel
To support one another as members of the body of Christ
To reach out in compassion to the community around us.
Our particular aims at present are:
• To help slow the rate of infection
• To do all that we can to protect the most vulnerable
• To support those who have to self-isolate
• To spread reliable and accurate information
Further details of how we are trying to do these things are in this leaflet, which will be updated regularly as events unfold.
Anders Bergquist, Vicar
Penny Greenwood-Penny, Churchwarden
Tomas Freyman, Churchwarden
There will be several things that you will not notice, but which are going on. Pew-door tops and door-handles are wiped down between services (we are in general keeping the “inner inner doors” of the porch locked open, to reduce repeated touching of door-plates and handles). The frames of folding chairs, and the folding tables, are likewise cleaned each time they are got out or put away. Clergy and servers do a full hand-wash before each service.
After the 9.30am service, tea, coffee, and juice are available in the Ambulatory. We are using one-off compostable cups. Please allow the coffee-server to pour the coffee for you (including any refills), and to put the milk in. Don’t pick up the cafetiere or milk jug yourself. You can, though help yourself to sugar, using the compostable spoons. When you have finished, put the cups and spoons yourself into the clear rubbish bag provided. This will be stored safely for 72 hours, and then put into the compost bins. Remember the principle: no-one else should have to touch anything that you have touched.
We will for the time being not be serving wine or drinks after the 11am service (and it is, after all, Lent). We will look again at this when we get to Easter.
We are in very close touch with St John’s Wood Pre-Prep School about our arrangements, and are helping one another out with (e.g.) cleaning supplies. There is also close liaison with the Archdeacon’s offices, and with neighbouring churches. When it meets on Wednesday 18 March, the PCC will be refining a fuller Risk Management Plan, which covers various other eventualities (like both the clergy having to be self-isolated at the same time).
You will notice a number of changes in the practical arrangements on Sunday morning. They are mostly directed at minimising the extent to which many hands touch the same object. We are not handing out hymn books and service sheets. Instead, you should help yourself to a one-off order of service from the table in the aisle. This includes the words of hymns. At the end of the service, please leave the order of service in the baskets at the back of church. Do not hand them back to a welcomer. If you would like a hymn book because you follow the printed tune, you are welcome to help yourself (so long as the hymn book hasn’t been touched for 72 hours, it will be clean of the virus at least).
Please put your collection offering into the large dish in the middle of the central aisle. One of the servers will come to collect it during the offertory hymn, and it will be presented and blessed as usual. But it won’t be passed round. Avoid hand-shaking and similar physical contact. We will “greet one another with a sign of peace” in other ways. Similarly, forgive the clergy if they don’t shake hands with people after the service. They will go to the porch as usual, but will substitute bows for handshakes (or elbow-bumps, if you prefer…) The Archbishops have advised that communion should be received only as bread, rather than in two kinds. Please be assured that the fullness of the sacrament is received, when communion is received in one kind only. Christ’s gift of himself is not halved!
We have sorted our children’s toys into two boxes – one for Little Locusts on Tuesdays, and one for the creche on Sundays. Each box will have been unused for a week when it is got out. We will do our best to wipe toys down between users, if more than one child uses a toy.
Good to know…
Your first port of call for up-to-date guidance and information is the Public Health England website
You should self-isolate for 7 days if:
– you run a temperature higher than 37.8 deg C,
– you have a new persistent cough.
You should self-isolate for 14 days if you have been in direct contact with someone confirmed to have the virus (longer, because of the possible incubation period before you develop symptoms).
The PHE website has really helpful guidance on what you do/do not need
to do if you have to self-isolate.
If you do have to self-isolate, feel free to let the clergy or the church office know. Apart from staying in touch, and keeping you in our prayers, we
may be able to arrange help with getting groceries or collecting prescriptions.
The NHS is anxious about the pressure on its 111 phone line. They recommend using this website in the first instance: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
Keep washing your hands properly and regularly. 20 seconds is one sing-through at moderate pace of “Twinkle, twinkle, little star”, or one verse
of “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow” (NEH 244) with a pause at the end of each line. It’s best to wash with soap and lots of hot water. That’s better than alcohol-based hand sanitisers, although they are good if there isn’t soap and water to hand. Anti-bacterial handwashes are good in themselves, but not especially useful against a virus.
The virus lives for max. 72 hours on a hard surface.
Please note that Quiet Eucharist with prayers for healing will take place as usual, this Thursday 19 March at 6pm, all are welcome.
Traidcraft and Zaytoun Days
Bible Study and other learning opportunities – Autumn 2019-Spring 2020
Please feel free to contact the clergy, should you wish to attend any of the following:
Introduction to Christianity
We will be running an Alpha Course in the New Year, with eleven weekly sessions, starting in the week beginning 3 February 2020, and meeting in the Vicarage on dates and at times to be agreed with the intending participants. There will be a concluding Saturday awayday on 22 May. The course is an introduction to the Christian faith. It will be run in a St John’s Wood Church sort of way, setting the course materials in the context of the teaching and practice of the Church of England, and with plenty of opportunity for discussion. Places are limited, so priority will be given to enquirers and those who are new to the Christian faith. If you are interested, please contact either of the clergy.
COMMUNITY SPACE AVAILABLE FOR HIRE
We have two well equipped rooms within the church hall complex, which are available for hire.
The Church Hall can accommodate up to 100 standing or 80 seated and we also have available a projection screen and a sound system. The Perry Gore Room can seat up to 25 people.
Please contact the Church Office on 020 7586 3864 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details or to arrange a site visit.
Charges vary, according to the nature of the booking. Discounted rates are offered to charities and local community groups.
Please note that we do not take bookings for private parties, including children’s parties
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