Opening for Private Prayer

Date: June 21, 2020

Dear Friends,

*I was glad when they said unto me: We will go into the house of the Lord.
*Our feet shall stand in thy gates: O Jerusalem! *(Ps 122)

How long ago it seems since we had the last service in church, Compline on
Monday 16th March. As I walked up Spencer Hill that evening, my phone
pinged, saying that all churches were to be closed from the next day by
order of the Archbishop. It was a poignant service, as throughout we
couldn’t escape the fact that our Lenten journey was going to suddenly be
rather different.

Therefore it is an even greater delight to be able to offer some of you
the familiar space of St John’s for private prayer each *Sunday (10:00 –
11:30 am)* and *Wednesday (6:00 – 7:00 pm) *for the coming weeks. This is
a trial at the moment, and we shall look over this provision soon. As we go
on, please let me know your thoughts on this.

I am aware that for some of you this will not be something which you feel
able to take up, but we hope that this is the first step in our journey to
eventually reopen for public worship in the due course.

The Diocese (and the Wimbledon Team) would very much like to assure you
that this is a *supplement* to our present online worship and not a
*replacement* for it! Please do still tune in to Sunday’s service for our
customary readings, sung psalm, sermon, prayers, and hymn.

Both Church and State have been busy issuing (and swiftly revising) the
stringent regulations that we must presently follow, and I am very grateful
to Rosie, Graham, Jane and the Church Committee, who have helped to make
sure that these can all be implemented for your safety.

– We now are able to offer the church for individual, private prayer,
but sadly not at present for Holy Communion or Evensong.

– If you have a face mask/covering, please continue to wear it.

– Hand sanitiser will be available – please apply on entrance and exit.

– The government guidance states: *Certain groups of people may be at
increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19, including people who are
aged 70 or older, regardless of medical conditions. Individuals who fall
within this group are advised to stay at home.*

– Please do not enter if you have a temperature, a continuous cough, or
have noticed a change in your senses of taste and/or smell. Vulnerable
persons continue to be encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.

– An informal one-way system will be in operation: please enter using
the main north door and leave via the nave (aisle) and the west door.

– Please sit at the positions at the various pews which have been marked
out for your use.

– Please also be scrupulous about maintaining a physical distance of at
least two metres between members of different households.

– We apologise that we are not able to offer toilet facilities at
present.

– Prayer sheets will be available – please take these home with you.

For the moment, we will not be recording Evening Prayer on a Sunday, but I
would strongly encourage you to keep following the daily services which can
be found online below (select traditional) or via the free *Time to
Pray *app on your smartphone or tablet.

https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer

I would like to thank you for your continued support for the ministry of
St John’s. I continue to pray for you on a daily basis throughout the week,
and especially at Eucharist on Sundays and Feast Days.

I hope to write again later today with the details of tomorrow’s online
service, and a more general epistle tomorrow, hopefully with an additional
*Rosie Reflects*.

With kind regards,

Stephen

Service times

Sunday

8:30am Holy Communion (BCP)
10:15am Sung Eucharist

2nd Sunday of the month

10:15am All Welcome Service