Trustees have been hard at work, preparing the re-opening plan for submission to Archbishop Melissa. Subject to her approval, it is hoped that St. James’ Church will be open for public worship on Sunday, June 21.
This will be a gentle, staged re-entry, in the same way as the Province is phasing the relaxation of the lockdown restrictions. This is the pattern we envisage from June 21 until at least Labour Day. It will of course be subject to regular review, in the light of any Provincial directives and change in circumstances.
On Sundays there will be a said service at 9:00 am in church. Initially this will be a Liturgy of the Word, with no Holy Communion, similar to the Zoom Liturgy at Home. When the Archbishop permits, after a few weeks she expects, this will be a Said Mass. The Zoom Liturgy at Home will continue as it is now at 10.30 am over the summer. During the week there will be no public worship in church at this stage. The Daily Office will be available on Zoom, but there will be no public celebration of the Daily Mass.
Attendance will be limited to 50 people: those intending to be present will be asked to let the Office know by Thursday of each week. There will be a log of attendees, and people will be asked for contact details. The wearing of masks will be strongly recommended. Physical distancing will be observed, and the pews will be marked out accordingly. There will be no coffee hour at this time. The church will be sanitized before and after every service. Remember too how important it is to stay at home if you have any of the Covid-19 symptoms.
Over the summer, we will be exploring ideas of incorporating music into our worship under current constraints, and of how we might develop our use of virtual technology in the future, alongside in-person worship. The Parish Office will continue to be closed to the public, except by appointment, with Clergy and Staff working mainly from home. Formation and other groups will continue to meet via Zoom for the time being.
Our Sunday Zoom break-out groups on May 24 revealed a wide diversity of opinion and feeling about returning to church, all of which is equally valid and to be respected. No-one should feel under any obligation or pressure to return until they feel comfortable: that is why our Zoom worship will continue for the foreseeable future. The Trustees primary concern is for the health and well-being of our community, and we encourage everyone to exercise “an abundance of caution” as we prepare to meet together again.
If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know:
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, feel free to join Fr. Kevin at a general Zoom conversation this Tuesday at 3.00 pm: connect details are in the Notice section.
[ Download the Liturgy at Home booklet for Sunday here: Liturgy at Home Holy Trinity June 7 2020 ]