You will, I’m sure, be very aware of the rising numbers of Covid infections on the island. With the new variant being so much more infectious, this places our congregations, most of whom are in what is deemed to be the “vulnerable” group of the population, at a greater risk of infection.
Although our teams at both churches have done a great job with hygiene and distancing measures, this worrying increase in numbers of infections means we have to look again at the local circumstances, in order to keep people safe.
The Bishop sent an email to all serving clergy yesterday, to offer guidance during these challenging times. +Christopher urged clergy to consult with their churchwardens to make local judgements about service provision because, as he says, “what may be permitted according to Government guidelines, may not actually be advisable”.
In light of all this, I have consulted with Dennis and Alan Swanborough and we have agreed that our Christmas Day mass will need to be the last public act of worship at All Saints’ for the time being, until we can see the number of infections on the island starting to fall again.
This is, of course, very disappointing news for everyone. It has been so lovely to be able to gather together for worship again but, if it serves to keep people safe, it will be worth the sacrifice. Hopefully, as the vaccine is rolled out to increasing numbers of people, it won’t be too long before we will be able to gather again.
Dennis has kindly offered to open All Saints’ daily from Tuesday 29th, so people can go in and pray privately, and resources will continue to be put on the website, so do please have a look.
I will, of course, keep in close touch with churchwardens and will let you know as soon as possible when we can resume our services.
With my love and prayers,
Naming of JesusNaming-of-Jesus-2020
The image above is a tapestry dated between 1500 and 1520. It is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection Creative Commons CC0 License