Worshipping back in Church
Returning to church, we're having to make lots of adjustments. But we hope that you will feel safe and want to return to worship at a church near you. Here's what's happening as we restart regular worship in our church buildings:
The PCCs have met to agree the next steps back to public worship. From Sunday 12 July we will be inviting you to attend services that get
us back into the practice of being in church and learning to work with the new
procedures. This is a period of adjustment so please forgive us as we find our way.
The initial services will be at 9.30am and held at St Nicholas', Great Hormead but are open to the whole benefice. We hope many of you will feel ready to attend. However, as we have limited capacity for just 20 households/bubbles, we do need to know if you are coming. So please email us and we will be able to advise if there is room. If you are unable to attend there will still be service at 11am broadcast online on YouTube and there are other resources on our worshiping from home pages.
On Sunday 2nd August we will hold an outdoor benefice service in the leased grounds of Alswick Hall.
Feeding the 5,000
Although it's our Gospel theme, we don't expect five thousand, but we do hope that many of you who have been shielding for some months will feel comfortable meeting in the fresh air and able to join with other church members, perhaps for the first time since churches have reopened. There is plenty of room to allow space between households and the forecast is good. Please bring your own garden chair or picnic rug.
Although we are unrestricted (within reason) on numbers, we would still like to know if you are coming. So, if possible, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Directions for Alswick Hall, between Buntingford and Hare Street, can be found below, along with a site map.
You are invited to arrive from 9.45am to be seated by 10.15am in time for a 10.30am start.
You’ll be directed to parking in the Lower Paddock. Please then make your way to the Garden Entrance between the house and garage. Stewards will direct you. There will be special parking for those with limited mobility, where you can be dropped off at the garden gate. (See map)
All of our now routine safety precautions will be in operation:
Please keep 2m distance between households at all times.
Please use the hand sanitiser at the garden entrance on arrival.
While optional, we strongly encourage you to bring and use a face mask.
You’ll be asked to provide your contact details for Track and Trace purposes.
Please only attend if you and your household are well and free of Covid-like symptoms.
Our service of Family Holy Communion is open to all.
You’ll be invited to sit with a minimum of 2 metres between each household. There will be an area reserved for anyone who is vulnerable or shielding where masks are mandatory.
We anticipate some worshippers may wish to sing with ministers and the guidance on that will be given before the start of the service. Seating away from singers will be arranged for those with concerns. We will have a PA system but regrettably we cannot provide a hearing loop.
The collection will be shared across the benefice and donations can ideally be made using debit or credit cards or mobile phone. Details will be provided.
If you are unable to attend, the plan is to record some of the service for later broadcast on YouTube.
Services in August
Later in August that, we plan to begin holding services in each church around the benefice and we hope that more evening and mid-week services will return. Details will be announced later.
Going Back Into Church Video
Please do watch the video about Going Back Into Church which will explain some of the procedures we need you to follow when visiting a church for public worship or private prayer.
In addition to the measures in the video, though optional, we would prefer all congregation members to bring and wear a mask or face covering while in church, so that everybody who might wish to attend can feel safe. Vulnerable people will be able to sit in mask-only areas.
Please let us know you are coming
To advise us if you plan to attend please email us here:
Track and Trace
Whenever you have been into a church, please remember to register your visit on our track and trace system here:
Readings for the weekend can be found here:
The 11am Sunday Worship services will be available on YouTube on Revd Sawyer’s YouTube Channel.