Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4 v2
Dear member of the All Saints family,
As you know, on Monday the government announced its plans for the removal of COVID restrictions from July 19th. We await advice from the Church of England and the government’s final decision on the changes next week on July 12th before we make the decisions on how to respond, but ahead of then, we have been and are discussing our principles of how we will make changes to our protocols. We have to bear in mind, of course, that we have high rates of infection in Hoole and across Chester. We will work with the experts at All Saints, Christina Beveridge and Paul Barnfather, to arrive at a set of guidelines for the church services and other church activities.
I’ll introduce the first principle in setting guidelines by saying that in the last week or so I have talked with people at opposite ends of level of comfort in the epidemic. On the one hand, some are desperate to get rid of the hassle of the restrictions including wearing masks, worrying about distancing etc. On the other hand, I have talked with some who are being very careful and cautious, very concerned about the impact of catching COVID on themselves and others.
Given that we have such a range of level of comfort in the congregation, we do need to follow the guidance in the verse above from Ephesians, bearing with one another, as we care for each other, as we have throughout the pandemic.
In addition, the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who chairs the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group said following the announcement on Monday: ‘As Christians, called to love our neighbour as ourselves, we must also exercise collective responsibility and continue to take appropriate precautions to protect others.’
The second principle is to do things step by step. We have grown used to the restrictions, and, even if we find them frustrating, we also know they help us protect one-another. So, we will make changes gradually.
Thirdly, we will try to make the guidance for church services and other activities as simple as possible – it’s much easier to stick to guidelines if they are not fiddly.
We’ll share the details of changes once we have them, following the government decision on July 12th.
To turn to other notices –
- A reminder that we are marking Helen Ellis’ retirement, after many years of service at All Saints as Families Worker, this Sunday at the 10:45 service.
- Finally, another reminder about the need for volunteers for the Youth Summer Camp Out taking place on the 21st-22nd of July – please see the notice sheet and/or the email sent out last Thursday.
With best wishes and blessings
Andy Creeth and John Chester, Churchwardens