Dear Church Members,
I am dealing with many different aspects of the coronavirus pandemic which is rapidly developing day by day. Church services planned for this Sunday will take place as usual but with added precautions including hand-washing for everyone on entry to the church and warning posters to deter anyone who should not be attending with advice on what they should do instead, including contacting me to receive whatever help and support the church can provide.
As some may have already heard, I have taken the difficult decision of suspending all future services of worship in the churches of our Team and probably all gatherings with effect from Monday 16th March. Sadly, this means there will not be Mothering Sunday services on 22nd March, further Lent Discussion Groups, Lent Lunches, ‘Sunday at 4’ , ‘Sunday at 6’ and Junior Youth Club meetings for young people and various other activities and events until further notice. I have to put our church members and the community first, especially protecting those who are the most vulnerable, and particularly those who may unknowingly be placing themselves in a more dangerous position by attending church worship and other activities.
I am working with my colleagues, Angela and Rickey, to plan and resource alternative and safer ways of worship over the coming months and discerning how the church can help and support members of our community affected in any way by coronavirus. The considerations are enormous and it is taking a huge amount of time to consider all the ramifications, set up new arrangements and ensure contact is made with everyone affected. Your help in making this decision known in your community is welcome, to assure everyone that the church is praying for them and will provide all the help we can for those affected. This will include new ways of keeping in touch with one another, especially anyone who has to be self-isolated, or helping in practical ways such as shopping or ensuring medical supplies are available, and so on.
All our churches and members of our communities are being contacted in different ways and I have also discussed this decision with Revd David Meakin, our Rural Dean. There are many more decisions and actions to make including possible cancellations of baptisms and weddings, for example, which will cause incredible distress, cost and disappointment. Further advice will follow as soon as possible. In the meantime, please take every care you can and I assure you of my prayers for you and your families, and for everyone we serve.
Revd David Hiscock
Team Rector of Claydons & Swan Team
The Rectory, Castle Street, Marsh Gibbon, Bicester, Oxon, OX27 0HJ
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