Updated: Friday 18th September 2020

Latest information from the Church of England website

Last updated Friday September 18 at 16:45 (on the Church of England website)

Please see the Church of England website for all the information: www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches

The Church of England is continuing to engage with the Government. All of the advice below is being reviewed. Updates and amendments will be highlighted at the top of this page as they are made.

In particular, the Government guidance on Public Worship states:

“Worshippers should limit their interactions with anyone they are not attending the Place of Worship with. In some instances this is a legal requirement and therefore must be adhered to.”

This is otherwise known as the ‘no mingling’ rule.

So regrettably, this must mean that members of our congregations must not chat to each other before or after the Service, unless they are in the same household.

Please be aware that all of our churches sadly remain closed to anyone other than our clergy apart from for Sunday services and for individual private prayer as indicated above.

When you do attend for our Sunday services, please wear a face mask BEFORE entering the church, and keep this on for the duration of your time in Church. (A mandatory requirement as set out by the Government since the 8th August 2020. Part of the new rules, including the ‘Rule of 6’ introduced on Monday 14th September 2020 is that they are backed up in law, and breaking of the rules can now result in a scale of increasing fines, and even imprisonment.). A document will be available on our website from the Church of England, and also in our churches, regarding the wearing of face masks and who is exempt. This includes the clergy while they are taking a service, provided they are able to keep the 2 metre distance from you (therefore a mask will be worn by the clergy when they offer communion).

When you enter, please use the hand sanitiser available for your use.

Once in the Church, please sit where you are directed, either by the Sidespeople, or by the location of the service sheets, which have already been set out, keeping to the 2 metre distance requirement. Please DO NOT pick up the service sheets and move to another seat or place in the pews.

Before we were able to open our churches, the Clergy Team and Wardens spent a lot of time going through the guidelines and creating risk assessments to enable us to do so (as required by the Church of England and the Government).

We want to be able to keep our Churches open for private prayer and worship, and can only do this with your co-operation in following these guidelines.

There are new guidelines for places of worship that have been issued by the Government this week, which the Church of England are going through to amend their existing guidelines on their website, and any changes that are made will be implemented in the coming days as we receive them.

Thank you for your continued support in enabling us to offer private prayer and services.

We are endeavouring to keep in contact with you all through various platforms and by offering online services and prayers.

The situation is changing rapidly on a day to day basis and we have many outlets for information, therefore please refer to this page in the first instance for the latest information. You can view our latest news sheet online and also sign up to our mailing list.

Our services and events

The North Cheltenham Team Ministry is following current Church of England advice which can be found by clicking here.

We are back in Church on Sundays! (We will still be providing two online services on Sunday). When attending Church services at any of our churches please be aware of the guidance regarding face masks.

As of Saturday 8th August face coverings became mandatory in Places of Worship.

The advice is that this face covering (mask) should fit closely over the nose and mouth and round the side of the face.

We are pleased to announce that we are now operating some services, this is under constant review and could be subject to any external changes, e.g. if a local lockdown occurs. We are urged to proceed gradually and so for the moment there will be no weekday services across the Team and the Churches will remain closed, except for these Sunday services and Private Prayer as listed on our website (please do note that St Lawrence will now only open for Private Prayer on a Wednesday between 10.00 am and 12.00 noon).

Celebrate! services will continue online ONLY (at 9.30 am) until at least September when we plan to meet together again for Celebrate! services in Church. There will also still be a 10.30 am service online.

Therefore currently services across the Team will look like this:

St Mary’s

0800: Said Eucharist

1100: Said Eucharist

1830: Benediction

St Nicolas

0930: Said Eucharist

All Saints

0800: Said Mass

1030: Said Mass

1830: Evening Prayer

St Lawrence

0915: Said Holy Communion (except the first Sunday of the month when the service is Morning Prayer at 10.30 am)

1830: Evening Prayer (except the first Sunday of the month when this is a Holy Communion service)

St Mary Magdalene

1045: Said Holy Communion

Online

0930: Celebrate! online

1030: Online Service

Each Church will be set up to enable the required Social Distancing as directed by the Government and the Church of England.

The services in Church will be a Eucharist (also known as Mass or Holy Communion) service, with only the bread being distributed to those who wish to receive. There will be no singing (following the guidance from the Government) and sadly there can be no refreshments or socialising afterwards. We are able to have organ music, or recorded music before and after the service, and during the time Communion is being taken.

We will be keeping a record of all in attendance, together with contact details (phone numbers only required) for the required 21 days to help support the NHS Track and Trace system. Each Church will have a slightly different system of doing this and you will be advised about this upon arrival.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our Churches.

Fr Nick and the Clergy Team


Churches are open for Private Prayer as follows:

St Mary’s Church, Prestbury will be open for private prayer:

Monday to Saturday from 9.00 am until 1.00 pm

Sundays from 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm


St Nicolas Church, Prestbury will not open for private prayer


All Saints Church, Pittville will be open for private prayer:

Wednesdays from 4.00 pm until 7.00 pm

Thursdays from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon

Saturdays from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon


St Mary Magdalene Church will be open for private prayer:

Wednesdays from 7.00 pm until 9.00 pm


St Lawrence Church will be open for private prayer:

Wednesdays from 10.00 am – 12.00 noon

The House of Bishops has also revised its advice on conducting funerals inside church buildings from 15th June as long as they take place within Government guidance – again there is certain criteria we have to follow and there will be limitations on how many and who can attend.

Please be aware that all our church buildings sadly remain closed to anyone other than our clergy apart from for individual private prayer and the Sunday services as indicated above.

We are endeavouring to keep in contact with you all through various platforms and by offering online services and prayers.

All our online services can be viewed by visiting our YouTube channel or Facebook page.

Keeping in touch

We now have the ability to send out messages via WhatsApp - Please add "01242 244 373" to your phone book. Send a WhatsApp message giving your full name NOTE this only currently works for WhatsApp - not text messages and don't forget to join our email mailing list.

Information regarding funerals:

Due to the current guidelines from the Church of England regarding funerals, and also the guidelines of the Crematorium, we ask that you all remain at home as per the Government guidelines and light a candle at the time of the funeral as listed on the News sheet and say a prayer (see below). We are offering all families who have lost loved ones at this time a memorial service in the future if they so wish. Please also remember at this difficult time for many the families and friends who are mourning loved ones, as well as the Funeral Directors who are dealing with arranging funerals under difficult circumstances and the clergy who are supporting those in mourning.

Dear God,

Thank you for (name), for all that they meant to me and to others.

I so wanted to say goodbye, to be alongside my friends and family.

Help me to know you are there,

Holding all my hopes,

Holding all those I Love, especially (name),

And holding me this day.

Be close with your peace and hope.

Amen.

Loving God,

Life is so strange just now – I don’t know what to do.

Comfort me with your presence,

Be with all who grieve

And give us strength and courage to face this and all the days ahead.

Amen.

God of love,

Surround all those I love,

Especially those I can no longer meet.

Be light in my darkness,

Be hope in my fear,

Be love in every moment,

And give me grace to face each day ahead.

Amen.