Dear Churchwardens and Church representatives,
I hope you and your families are keeping well.
As many of you know Revd David Hiscock came down with severe shingles four weeks ago, and I have been trying to cover his workload and mine as best I can. David is currently on sick leave, staying with his daughter Claire near Chippenham.
As much as we would like to, we have decided that we cannot re-open to celebrate Easter in our churches but will continue to provide weekly services online. The Prime Minister’s road map for an easing of restrictions in very clear stages emphasises the need for a careful and monitored management of risk. It is the government’s hope that by 21 June, subject to their tests being met, all restrictions will be lifted.
The Church of England and the Diocese of Oxford are taking their cue from the government and, in recent communications, the diocese has urged parishes and benefices to take a cautious approach and think carefully before rushing to re-open. They propose that churches might aim to open on Pentecost Sunday 23 May. With the government and the Diocese’s recommendations in mind, and also David’s illness, we are planning, like many other churches in the area, to restart services in church on Pentecost Sunday.
We understand that this delay will be disappointing for some, but we believe that this is the best, safest and most realistic course of action. Pentecost Sunday is known as the birthday of the Church. This year it will be celebrated as the rebirth of worship in our churches.
Would you please pass this information to your PCCs, congregations and wider community. I will be posting it on Facebook and will mention it at the end of the Palm Sunday online service.
Revd Angela Mann, The Rectory, Grendon Underwood, Bucks. HP18 0SY