Dear member of the All Saints family,
This is a big week for All Saints as we approach the interview day for the shortlisted candidates for our new vicar and have our first in-person 10:45 service in over a year.
1) In this current week, the shortlisted candidates are having Zoom calls with representatives of the Leadership Team and PCC, worship and preaching teams. The calls are to enable the candidates to ask questions to find out more about the church going beyond the Parish Profile. Next week, of course, the candidates are here for the 2-day interview process on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th May. They will have the chance to view the church and centre, hopefully seeing some of the activities which will be taking place. They will also be able to meet the staff and have guided tours of the Parish and Hoole Primary School.
One thing that Julie Tynegate and Andy Creeth, our Parish representatives, have been encouraged to let everyone know is that all of the shortlisted candidates are male. In fact, all the applicants for the post were male. Apparently, this is common for mid- to large-sized evangelical churches.
Please do pray, pray and pray for all these events, that the visits will go smoothly and help the candidates to understand All Saints and the parish, and that God’s choice for the new vicar would emerge from the interviews.
2) On Sunday, we are re-starting in-person 10:45 services after more than a year. We will still be under social distancing restrictions, but we will be able to worship together and, in addition, see people in the car park afterwards in groups of up to six. What a joy to be able to worship together and meet people in person! We still won’t be able to sing, but there will be a music group to lead us in sung worship. This particular Sunday is before the Government lifts restrictions on the 17th, so we will be more restricted than in subsequent Sundays.
Please do not come into the church before 10:30 on Sunday, as we need the time before that to clean the pews after the 9 AM service.
The service will be live-streamed, so if you do not feel confident yet to join in person, you will be able to join in the worship online. The details of the broadcast will be available in the notice sheet and on the Facebook page. As we are livestreaming, some people will be visible by the video camera. Please do see the notice sheet where areas that you can sit are described if for any reason you would prefer that you or your children do not appear on the broadcast service.
There will be no “Coffee and Chat” on Zoom after the service.
As we said last week, we do not expect the Sunday Club to return to the normal pattern before the autumn. The Sunday Club Groups will continue to meet on Zoom with Explorers (age 8-11’s) from 9:30 – 10:00am and Scramblers and Climbers (3-8’s) from 10:00 – 10:30am. During the 10:45am worship service there will be a seating area for families with material provided by Sunday Club Leaders available at the back of the church and additionally a creche room with the service streamed to a television in the room for up to 8 adults with children.
As we re-start services, several roles become very important, and we are still short of volunteers to manage the need effectively. These include:
Welcomers: The Welcome team is sadly depleted for various reasons. The remaining core are pleading, “Come and help us!” – so that they don’t have to be on duty every week at the 10.45am service. The team each Sunday needs to
- Arrive just after 10.00am at the moment because the first task will be cleaning the pews after the 9am service. ( i.e. to locate the [approximately] 20 sticky post-it notes in the pews where someone has been sitting and squirt anti-bac.)
- When people arrive, all welcomers really need is a smile and a hello.
- We have to record their names for ‘track and trace’, and to let people know how to follow the arrows if they are new to our one-way system
- Act as ushers to ensure that the pews are filled, but with social distancing.
- The commitment at the moment is every other week, but if more people can volunteer it would be less frequent than that, and provide flexibility
- Hopefully the restrictions will end in June and make the current process much easier and more welcoming.
If you are interested, please see Alex Lewis or Ian Percival, or one of the wardens, or make contact via the church office.
3) Sound, vision and live streaming. This has become ever more important as we will have those joining the worship both in person and online. There is training available for each role, and very clear instructions (with helpful pictures) written to guide those trained. Paul Barnfather and the team have worked really hard to get us to the point where we can carry out the services in this way. We thank those, especially the younger members of the congregation, who have offered to serve in this important task. If you would like to contribute, please contact Paul Barnfather in person or via the church office
Finally, Ron Glenn’s funeral and Thanksgiving Service will take place next Wednesday 19th of May. Please pray for Helen and the family that God would be close at this time. The Thanksgiving Service will be broadcast at 2:15 PM on the 19th, and details will be made available.
In all of this we can trust in our great and powerful Lord:
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts. Psalm 145 v 3-4
With best wishes and blessings,
Andy Creeth and John Chester, Churchwardens