Update August 27
News from St Cuthbert’s on what’s coming up in the autumn
We’ll be back to two services from 5 September, as we continue gently easing our way back to the way we used to worship. 9am services will include at least two hymns, and 10.45 services will have plenty of opportunity to sing. It’s still very much a trial period, we are still testing the water, and watching to see what people feel comfortable doing.
It seems that many of us still prefer sharing the peace with a wave, so please continue to respect each other’s wishes with this. Throughout August, most poeple have worn a mask during th service, and either removed it for singing, or have sung behind their mask. Obviously everybody takes it off for coffee!
The hand sanitiser will remain, and we will keep on doing communion in the same way for a while longer – at least until the Church of England updates its guidance on using the common cup. While it would be nice to use our individual glasses to have communion, the current guidance does not permit this.
If the weather is fine, we will probably serve tea and coffee outside. This hasn’t worked out very well this summer, but if we get some fine waether, let’s enjoy the sunshine and the freedom to socialise as safely as possible. But if the weather’s wet, then coffee in the hall, with windows and doors open for fresh air, will be the order of the day.
The PCC will review the situation as time goes on, and devote much of their October meeting to a thorough examination of the future of our worship pattern. I want to know your thoughts – so please speak to me any time about it all.
On Sunday 3 October, we will have a joint service at 10am followed by a harvest lunch. Grateful thanks to the catering committee who are gearing up to offer some events in the future, of which this is the first. More details will follow, but please save the date and plan to enjoy some much missed food and fellowship.
During the pandemic we haven’t been able to offer any children’s ministry, except a very basic activity that I’ve prepared each Sunday for any children who happen to come. This won’t do for the long term, and we seriously need to provide a proper welcome for children and young people, and to become again a church that is ready to nurture them in their faith. In 2019 we had five main activities that ran for children and young people: Special Branch, SOUL, Messy Church, Dots & Tots and Tots Church. Thanks to Stephen Brent, SOUL has kept on trucking, meeting online, and thanks to Sarah and Ruth, Messy Church in a Bag has become a thing, but everything else has stopped. Everything that we did on local schools has also stopped, except online assemblies and videos that I produced.
What can we restart? How can we resource these activities? Who could possibly step forward to fill the gaps? I am inviting you to a meeting on Tuesday 7 September, at 8pm here in church, to discuss all this and more. Lots of people will be getting a personal invitation, but I want to issue a general one to you all – anyone who is interested, please come along!
We cordoned off the rear of the car park after a tile fell from the roof, so please take great care when entering or leaving the church via the back door, and avoid parking your car at the rear end of the car park. If the car park is full on Sunday – you’re welcome to park in the vicarage driveway – there’s room for at least 4 cars as well as ours.
The PCC feel that fixing the roof is now urgent, so we decided to release money that we’ve been keeping to employ a children & families worker in order to get the work done more quickly. But I hope that this doesn’t mean that we will lose the vision of employing some extra to help take the work of our church forward. We know that the pandemic has had a huge impact on people’s mental health, particularly young people, and I have had the idea of seeking to employ a Covid recovery worker. I’ve been informed that there is grant money available for the voluntary sector to start projects such as this, so I’m working on a proposal which the PCC will consider in due course. I can’t give you much detail yet – the idea is in its very early stages, but I cherish the hope that we might have a repaired roof and a new worker by the end of 2022.