Public Worship – a letter from Tad Huw

Every time I start to put pen to paper thinking to write to everyone as to what changes are happening and what to expect next I get an email telling me that things are changing again and I wait once more to find out what that will mean for us in Dyffryn Clwyd.

It was with great excitement and with some trepidation that I welcomed the news that we could re-commence our public worship. Just as I’m sure all of you have, I have longed for the day when we could meet together to worship God and share in the Eucharist.

But I was hesistant, what restrictions will there be?

How do we ensure everyone is kept safe?

What churches and how many can we open and should we open straight away?

And how will people react if ‘their’ church is not one we can open immediately?

Can we continue to work together as a Mission Area to provide what we can and understand that we can not do everything everywhere?

Re-opening our churches is so much more than just unlocking the door and inviting people in. We’ve needed to go through a long list of guidelines and restrictions. measuring 2 metre distances and working out how seating can work, managing entry and exit from our buildings, ensuring hand sanitiser is available and used, working out thorough cleaning regimes for before and after every use, thinking thorugh how we are able to give communion with minimum risk of transmitting a virus which we may or may not have, and asking how we will manage numbers of people coming and their expectations, no one wants to be turning people away from church because we’re full. It is a complex situation and whilst we may not understand the reason for some of the guidelines and restrictions we have to remember that they are there for our protection and the protection of those we love and care about.

With huge thanks to my colleagues, MA wardens, Church Wardens and so many others we have now worked out an interim pattern of worship for this stage of the easing of lock-down. This pattern is for the whole week and whilst Sunday is of course the most important day of the week for the Church, worship on any day of the week is always a joy.

Sunday

10.30am Holy Eucharist in St Peter’s, Ruthin, restricted to 22 household units

10.30am Holy Eucharist in Llanfair restricted to 14 households units

10.30am Holy Eucharist in Llanynys restricted to 15 household units

Monday

10am Morning Prayer in St Peter’s Ruthin, restrcited to 22 household units

Tuesday

10am Morning Prayer in St Peter’s Ruthin, restrcited to 22 household units

6pm Holy Eucharist in St Peter’s, Llanbedr rectricted to 9 household units

Wednesday

10am Holy Eucharist in Llanfair, restricted to 14 household units

Thursday

10am Holy Eucharist in St Peter’s, Ruthin, restricted to 22 household units

Friday

10am Mindfulness Meditation in Llanfair, restricted to 12 individual seats

Saturday

10am Holy Eucharist in Llanarmon, restrcited to 11 household units

The mid-week services will all be live streamed to the Dyffryn Clwyd facebook page

( http://fb.me/ACDyffrynClwydMA ) and available on the website as soon as possible afterwards ( https://acdyffrynclwydma.wordpress.com ) for those who can not attend for any reason. We will also be ensuring a Sunday service is broadcast at 10.30am each week in the same way.

The most difficult task we’ve had is trying to think how people can reserve spaces easily. I hope you can be patient with us as this is as new to us as it is to you and whilst we are doing our best we will likely make mistakes as we try to do this simply and fairly.

Whilst this may seem odd I am reminded of the rubrics of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer which say that notice should be given to the curate at least sometime the day before of your intention to receive Communion. The reason for giving notice was that people were expected to take the time to prepare themselves mentally and spiritually for coming into Communion with God. Maybe we can use this time to remind ourselves of the importance and magnitude of the act of worship we are to enter.

So what we would like people to do to reserve a space is to go to the following link and book a pew or a chair. https://acdyffrynclwydma.wordpress.com/services

In order to follow the guidelines and to allow as many people to be in church together we have designated pews and chairs in household units. A household unit are the people that you are living with or in a bubble with. If you have any problems accessing the booking website please give Fr Dylan (our curate!) a call on 07949413046.

As we move forward we will of course be looking to open more churches and we await further news from the Bench of Bishops and the Welsh Government as to what the next steps may be. When will we be allowed to hear the pipe organ and sing hymns together again? In the meantime thank you to everyone who is engaging with the survey through your church wardens as to what kind of worship and what time services might be when we are eventually fully open. It is good to be able to take this time to reflect on where we are and where we would like to be and to think how we are going to develop our spiritual life in each of the churches of Dyffryn Clwyd and be able to invite others easily to join us.

Yours in Christ

Tad Huw Bryant

Mission Area Leader

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