I expect you will have heard that the Government has said that churches may open for private prayer from June 15th. The Bishop has told us, however, that the announcement gives permission to open church buildings, but it does not require us to do so; and that we can only open if it is practical and realistic.
In order to reopen, churches are required to undertake a (lengthy!) risk-assessment, and to put in place measures for church-cleaning, preferably a one-way system into and out of the building, social-distancing and hand hygiene.
In consultation with CWs at St Albans and All Saints, Alan and Dennis, we have agreed that it is not practicable for our churches to be opened; so, for the time being at least, our churches will remain closed.
Last week, I visited St Alban’s and was greeted by three rooks, flying around the church. Since the building has been closed, they have taken up residence in the church and clearly didn’t enjoy being disturbed by me!
All Saints’ has fared better during the lockdown, with no feathered inhabitants, thank goodness; but it will certainly need a good clean before it can be opened in due course.
However, the other two churches where I serve, St Saviour on the Cliff, Queen’s Road, Shanklin; and Good Shepherd, Sandown Road, Lake, will be open twice a week for limited periods for private prayer, to which any of you would be very welcome.
Parking is available around the church at St Saviour’s and in the vicarage driveway at Good Shepherd.
Specifically, we will be providing an hour’s Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Fr David and I will officiate on a rota basis.
From Sunday 21 June:
Church opening times will be:
Sunday 10:30 – 11:30 in both churches
Wednesday 10.00 – 11.00 St Saviour’s
Wednesday 18.00 – 19.00 Good Shepherd
If you have any questions, do get in touch with Alan Philpott, Dennis Owen or me.
Thanks to Fr Gregory for this week’s homily.
Scripture Readings – CommentaryCorpus-Christi-Readings-Commentary
The image is a Medieval stained glass window (13th century) discovered in 2019 behind the Corpus Christi altarpiece of the chapel of Sant Francesc and Sant Martí of the Cathedral of Girona (Girona, Catalonia), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vitrall_del_Corpus_Christi.jpg