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Golders Green Parish Church – Newsletter
16 September 2020
Greetings Everyone to this week’s Newsletter which is full of important information. Please put the dates in your diaries. It will be so good to see you in church at last. It has been a long time:
We have a detailed letter on opening the church containing information on how the requirements from the diocese have been carried out to make sure it is a safe place to be.
Re-opening of Church for our Congregation
The PCC held a meeting on Thursday 3rd September. High on the agenda as you can imagine was a discussion about the re-opening of the church. This letter is to update you on what was decided.
It has been a long time since we have been together and we have missed each other very much, although we have found different ways of keeping in touch. We want to re-open the church so we can meet together again. But we can only do that if we are as sure as we can be that it will be safe, and that involves complying with all the requirements of the Diocese, which we know you will understand.
Tony and friends have already done a great deal to make sure the practical requirements asked of us are in place. We thank them so much for the time and care that they have put into this.
The PCC decided that we will aim to re-open the church on Sundays, the first date being 20th September from 10.00am -12noon. The plan is that for the first two Sundays the church will be open for private prayer only. This is to ensure that the safety precautions are in place and can be implemented correctly. From Sunday 4th October we intend to hold a service at our normal time of 10.00am.
All these proposals are dependent on the following safety measures being put in place and on everyone who comes into the building complying with them. Although the list looks long, which indeed it is, everything listed is necessary in order to make sure we can worship safely and minimize the risk to ourselves and others. We are all precious in the sight of God and, in church as everywhere else, need to care for each other’s wellbeing as well as our own.
Please go through all these points carefully and make sure you are familiar with them before you come into the church.
Prior to opening, the church building will have been deep cleaned by a specialist company. This has already been arranged.
There will be:
Clearly marked, separate, entrances and exits
Welcomers at the door to greet you, as always, but also to remind you of the safety measures including seating arrangements
Hand sanitizers at the entrance
Hand sanitizers outside the toilets, and soap inside for handwashing
Chairs positioned at appropriate distances from each other. They will be arranged singly and in pairs. They must not be moved.
All unnecessary furniture, and all hymn and service books, notice sheets and other items have been removed.
Each person will be required to:
Enter and exit by the appropriately marked doors
Wear a mask/face covering which covers the mouth and nose on entering and throughout their time in the building (unless exempt)
Use the hand sanitizers that will be at each entrance and outside the toilets
Keep appropriate physical distancing requirements
Sign the register on entering with their own pen or pencil (we are required to keep a register of all those attending and their contact details for track and trace purposes).
Arrangements for services:
The officiating clergy will take the whole service including doing the readings and leading the intercessions
The services will be spoken. There will be no singing until such time as we are informed that this is permitted. Music will be played from our sound desk.
There will be no physical sharing of the peace (but we can wave at each other and smile a lot!)
The offertory (the taking up of the bread and wine) will have been prepared by the officiating priest so there will be no processing with the offertory. Neither will there be an offering collected during the service because of potential transmission concerns.
Communion will be offered in one kind, ie wafer only, given into an open hand by the celebrant, who will come to each person in their seat.
There will be no collections. Please consider, if you do not already do so, giving:
- by standing order/online banking using these details:
sort code: 60-09-05
Account number: 22798730,
Account name: Golders Green PCC; or
- through the Parish Giving Scheme(PGS) - the preferred method. If you would like to know more about PGS, please visit: https://www.parishgivingscheme.org.uk/for-donors/ . You can now join by phone 0333 002 1271, quoting our parish code 230623302.
At the end of the service please leave by the door marked exit. Unfortunately there can be no refreshments and we ask everyone not to linger in the building
The building will be closed as soon as everyone has gone and will be thoroughly cleaned for the next use.
For those with children:
Please note that we cannot make any provision for children, either when the church is open for private prayer or during services. There will be tables and chairs for families at the back of the church near the kitchen area. We cannot provide toys, books or other ways of occupying children, though you are welcome to bring your own. Please also note that children must not be allowed to move around. We realize this may mean that families do not feel able to come to church together: we are very sorry about that, but are sure you understand that we have no alternative in the current situation.
We hope this information is helpful to you. It is essential that you know about these requirements
before you come to church, and that you do everything that we are asking, so that all of us can be as relaxed and safe as possible.
So that we can manage numbers, we would welcome knowing if you plan to come to the church when we reopen, so please email the Churchwardens at Churchwardens@gg-pc.co.uk .
If you want to talk about any of the above, or ask any questions, please do not hesitate to do so. The situation is new and challenging and there is a lot that will have to be very different from what we are used to. Your thoughts and concerns are important.
With many good wishes
Partings and Horizons of Hope - Sally
I am so aware from phone calls and chats with several of you what a difficult, bewildering and turbulent time it is for everyone. We are all affected at so many levels, and, if we are honest, it hurts a great deal, especially because we have been so isolated from each other with little, if any, opportunity to get together and talk which we would normally do. It helps to express what we feel, to be supported by people we trust if we are depressed, angry and, or, feeling a sense of loss - at least we can say it out loud!
I think, along with the restrictions of Covid requirements and their ever changing nature, we are also feeling a sense of loss of Rex as our vicar and all the pastoral care he gave to us.
A sense of loss at parting is a natural and normal feeling to have; it is a form of grief and important we acknowledge it to ourselves and each other.
It is important too we give ourselves permission to recall all the good memories we have built up over the past 12 years, and be happy that we have been part of them all; his humour; the concerns we had for him at times of illness; our gratitude for his recovery; his determination to carry on and support us as a parish priest; his teaching and preaching and so many other memories that we could add that are specific to each of us.
The book you have helped to compile mentions so many of these things and is a tribute to his ministry at Golders Green. We especially thank Rotimi for all the time she has given to putting it together for us. We can also be cheered that Rex will be going on to new adventures in good health which will take him on to experiencing different opportunities and that is exciting. So, we have cause to rejoice for him and for Sarah who has been such a support over the years and wish them well.
We, too, are now going on to our own adventures and pastures new with optimism and hope for us and our church, to which you have all given so much.
The Churchwardens and PCC members will keep you informed all along the way and, if you have any questions, queries or comments please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond .
It is helpful for all of us to be supported by the knowledge that it is by our Faith, in spite of what is happening around us, we can try to keep strong, often through the use of remembered prayers, psalms and blessings. One blessing we often hear in church at the end of the service keeps popping into my head. I have found it helpful at this time of turbulence and, maybe, you will too.
“Go out into the world in peace. Have courage! Hold fast to what is good. Return no one evil for evil. Strengthen the faint-hearted, support the weak, help the suffering. Honor all people. Love and serve the Lord your God, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit”.
Daily Hope - The Church of England Phone line church service - is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind.
Please continue to pray for those who have asked us as a community to pray for them Okey Jnr, Margaret, Yvone, Anna, Jason, Ian, Eva, Juliette, Ivor, Myfanwy, Tim and Dorothy
We at Golders Green Church will continue to offer a number of ways we can and will keep in contact though emailing and phoning each other, the use of Facebook and the website, sending out updates by supporting those who need shopping, prescriptions fetched, letters posted and anything else you may need if you are isolated at home, whether you are in the over 70-year-old age group, or, have underlying health conditions. The important thing is,
PLEASE LET US KNOW. We are drawing up a list of volunteers we can call on to help.
Television and Online Worship
You may wish to join in worship during this time through television and radio.
Check online, in the Radio Times and elsewhere for details:
Songs of Praise BBC 1, Sunday afternoon, variable times
Sunday Worship BBC Radio 4, Sunday, 8.10am Choral Evensong BBC
Radio 3, Wednesday Daily Service
BBC Radio 4 (Longwave only), weekdays, 9.45am
Big Sunday Service Premier Christian Radio, Sunday, 7am, 8am, 10am Easter Sunday
Eucharist A service is usually broadcast on the BBC on Easter morning
Free 24 hour telephone church service 0800 804 8044
Online resources Church of England Daily Prayer https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-dailyprayer
St Paul’s Cathedral have a number of resources available for us to use.
Church of England Online Resources during this time
Go On-line to " ps://www.achurchnearyou.com", put in Area or post code and find a local church that broadcasts Worship.
Prayers from Christian Aid https://www.christianaid.org.uk/pray/churches/coronavirus-prayers
https://pray-as-you-go.org/ Pray as you Go (a short service each day in the Jesuit Tradition)
LICC have some great resources on their website https://www.licc.org.uk/
Especially on Covid-19 https://www.licc.org.uk/ourresources/prayer-journeys/presence-pressure-purpose/