Vicar's update 20th JulySteve Newbold1

This coming Sunday we will say farewell to the Sanya family who will be leaving us as Sam prepares to become Associate Vicar of St John’s Church in Ealing.  Sam will be preaching at the 9am and 11am services but because space is limited in our building you will need to book a place for the 11am service. We will be closing the list for this on Thursday, or before if we reach capacity, so do book as soon as possible if you would like to come.  All are welcome to join us for drinks after the service in the Church car park.
 
We are continuing our series looking at the life of the early church through the book of Acts and on Sunday Mark Tate spoke to us from Acts 12 about how God is sovereign and yet our prayers still matter and showed us how God is both large and in charge   You can catch up here.
 
Last week the Leadership Team met to think about how we move forward now that Government restrictions have been lifted.  The biggest challenge at St Stephen’s is the limited size of our worship space and so we want to be especially cautious.  We have agreed the following:

1.        We will encourage you to wear a face covering when moving around the building, when coming forward for Holy Communion and when singing but recognise that you may wish to remove them when seated.
2.        The congregation will be invited to join in singing but we would ask you to wear a face covering whilst doing so (note until September we will have only limited musical accompaniment at the 9am service).
3.        More seats will be put out and you can choose where to sit.  We recognise that some may still wish to sit alone but we hope that that can be sensitively managed.
4.        For now we will continue to ask people to share 'the Peace' as a static gesture (i.e. just wave or nod to one another).
5.        We will not be re-introducing a return to a common cup until it is safe to do so and will continue to take Communion in only one kind (i.e. just a wafer).  We will explore other options so that that in due course we can safely receive communion in both kinds.
 
A couple of other reminders:

  • We are planning a Church Picnic in the park on Sunday 5th September after the 10.30am service – do ?put this date in your diary now.
  • JAM (our children’s group) returns in person from 12th September.   
  • Shining Stars will also return in early September.

This coming week we have: 

  • Morning Prayer on Thursday at 9am
  • Holy Communion on Wednesday at 11am 

Sunday

  • Services - 9am and 11am in Church and 11am Livestreamed – you need to book a place for this week’s 11am service.
  • Sanya Family Farewell – drinks and ice creams in the car park from 11.50am.  

Zoom passcodes are on the St Stephen's App.
 
With my love and prayers

Steve