Blog from the Vicarage – 17 August 2021

A message from the Vicar of St Peter’s, Rev John Rainer

Dear friends,

Worship from September

As September approaches, the PCC and the Staff Team have been considering what our worship pattern should be.

We are hopefully moving out of the pandemic restrictions now but are aware that we still need to be careful and cautious about how we meet together. As a result, from the beginning of September, we are proposing another temporary worship pattern, based on the feedback we have had from people over the past months. We will review the pattern again at the end of the year to see how it meets our needs as a worshipping community and as we see how infection rates look over the winter period and how and if we need to respond.

We are proposing a pattern which will involve

9.30amAn all-age service – this will be an informal worship time, lasting 30-45 minutes, largely led and planned by Rachel and a team she is bringing together. There will be a small amount of music in this service which will be either recorded or led by a small group, hopefully involving some of our young people, which Rachel and Viv will  co-ordinate. This service will not take place on the third Sunday of each month, as we will have a monthly Messy Church service at 3.30pm in the afternoon.

11am – Morning Worship or Holy Communion This will be a more liturgical service and follow a pattern as before lockdown, i.e. Holy Communion on 1st and 3rd Sundays, Morning Worship on 2nd and 4th Sundays. Ministerswill robe for this service and the choir will be invited to do so as well.

The PCC are clear that we need to continue to keep the morning services as short as we sensibly can, to reduce the amount of time people spend indoors together and so we will be aiming to keep this service to somewhere between 50 minutes and an hour in length.

6.30 services will continue, and will be broadcast online, with Holy Communion on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. The 1st and 3rd Sunday evenings will probably be an opportunity for a more informal worship time, when the much smaller numbers of congregation present mean we may do a number of things that will no longer be possible in shortened morning services. We will also continue to support SCT’s United Services when these are scheduled for Sunday evenings.

Evening services will be the main opportunity on Sundays for more modern music group-style worship. However, we feel it will be important to still offer this type of music in the morning occasionally and so are proposing that, on the fourth Sunday of each month, music at the 11am service should be led by a Music group directed by Viv, rather than music on the organ. Occasionally there will be 10.30am services for the whole congregation as before e.g. Harvest, Mothering Sunday, Remembrance.

Opportunities to gather socially

Covid restrictions have meant that church social gatherings have not been possible for many months. We’re therefore proposing to hold a Sixties’ Night in church on Friday 17th September with a variety of activities  –  including pie and peas  –  to help us meet each other again outside the context of worship and hopefully to raise some money towards the roof repair. Put the evening in your diary and plan to be there! You’ll be hearing rather more about this in the coming weeks.

Newcomers evening

For those of you who have arrived at St Peter’s in recent times we are planning an evening on Saturday 25th September when we can give you an informal introduction to the church and its activities. Do ask the clergy or wardens about this if you have only starting worshipping with us recently, and we’ll give you a formal invite. Since we haven’t held one of these evenings since the first lockdown, we realise that there may be quite a few of you!

With love and prayers,

John Rainer

O Lord, may we find the joy of the Lord even in the midst of our trials. We pray that You would teach us what it means to see beyond our troubles, knowing that You are with us.  Even so, Lord God, we see the challenges those around us are facing. We ask You to intervene, to be with those who are in need, to prompt us to participate with You as You care for your people, and, most of all, to restore creation and to make all things new. We pray that we would not be anxious, but that You would give us Your peace. Let us live differently in the midst of trial so that the world might see You in us.