From next weekend (4th July) churches are on the list of premises that can open again, subject to careful assessment of the risks and with appropriate precautions in place. That would mean a limit on numbers with all present observing social distancing, and using sanitising facilities etc.
Even with all necessary precautions in place services will be seriously restricted. For instance, singing will not be possible and the taking of communion will be severely restricted. Given these restrictions and the fact that there is still the very real risk of a surge in cases that might prompt a return of shutdown, the Church Wardens have decided, in consultation with the Vicar, not to re-open St Andrews on Sunday 5th. Instead we will spend the weekend doing further work in the churchyard . This will also give the cleaning team an opportunity to organise what extra cleaning is needed inside the church.
The Church, though locked, is dry and quite warm and the Churchyard has been well looked after by our regular band of helpers on the mowing rota. A good start on clearing unwanted vegetation was also made by volunteers last Saturday.
There is still plenty to do so if you would like to come down and help please do but as we cannot share equipment, please bring your own tools, your own refreshments and wear gloves. Saturday next 4th July from 10.00am.
We will review the position week by week taking account of the latest advice and the level of virus in the community and hopefully we will be in a position to open the church later in the month.
(For those wishing to attend a service locally, there is a Benefice Service being conducted by Hillary, the vicar, at Kingstone Church next Sunday 5th at 10.30am.)
Steve and Tim