Notices, 13 September 2020

Notices, 13 September 2020

Here are the latest notices and relevant information for the Benefice.

Services of Public Worship continue despite the new restrictions

On Tuesday evening, the Government announced greater levels of restrictions on social gatherings with it being illegal to gather socially in groups of more than six. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister clarified that the new regulations will not apply to public worship or individual prayer in church buildings. Neither do they apply to Christenings, Weddings or Funerals. Although within an act of worship, “households” are limited to a maximum of six people from that household present amongst the larger congregation.

As a result, we are continuing with our current plan of providing one church service in each parish on Sundays as well as the Wednesday service at St Mary’s, West Malling.

However, the new restrictions are also a salient reminder to everyone to be vigilant, to use face coverings, keep suitable physical distance in social situations, and wash our hands and sanitise regularly.

BCP service on Wednesdays update

Because of the recent change in Government restrictions on social activities and the rising number of Covid-19 cases nationally, we are going to keep the current plans in place for a bit longer and wait to see what happens before we make changes to the Wednesday service. There will continue to be a 9.30 service every Wednesday using the Book of Common Prayer Holy Communion service.

We are advertising for two new Cluster Administrators

It’s been a long time coming (because of the lockdown) but we are finally in a position to advertise for two new Cluster Administrators to work part-time with Rev David and other local Clergy.

Find out more elsewhere on the church website, including details of how to request an information pack and application form. Even if it’s not for you personally, please do share the news amongst your networks so we can get the word out. The deadline for applications is this week on Friday the 18th of September.

Beirut appeal

Thank you to everyone for their generosity in support of Embrace ME and their work, as we sought to offer help and express solidarity with the people of Beirut after the recent explosion in the city docks.

In total, we were able to raise £2,450.04 between St Michael’s and St Mary’s. The money was wired to Embrace last week for distribution where it is most needed.

Ride and Stride thank you

Thank you to everyone who took part in Ride and Stride on Saturday the 12th of September. Thank you to those who rode or strode to raise money for our parishes and for Friends of Kent Churches and thank you to those volunteers who helped welcome and manage other riders and striders who came to visit our parishes.

Harvest

We are very aware that Harvest Festival is not very far away. It’s obviously going to be very difficult to celebrate Harvest as we usually do when we can’t all be in church at the same time. Rev David is working with our ministry team, Churchwardens and PCCs to finalise plans and we hope that we will still be able to mark Harvest in a suitable way and take up a food collection which, in this year of all years, feels even more important to arrange.

Volunteer Networks in West Malling and Offham

St Mary’s in West Malling and St Michael’s in Offham are working with the respective Parish Councils, local clubs, other churches, community groups, societies and agencies to provide a network of volunteers who want to help, and link them with people who need help during the Coronavirus pandemic.

In both communities, organisers are staying alert when we can see cases rising and some restrictions being made more rigorous. We are continuing to run the networks for the time being as they have been run and we will have to wait and see whether the need rises. We are conscious of the risk of a second wave and want to be ready if that should occur.

Our churches are now open again for Public Worship

Our two churches are now open once again each week for Public Worship. However, it is not quite as simple as just throwing open the doors and welcoming everyone back. Because of two metre distancing rules, our capacity is severely restricted. We have had to create groups in which people can rotate their attendance in the building and take part in Online Worship on the Sundays when other groups are in church.

Therefore, it helps enormously if you inform us ahead of each Sunday whether you wish to come or not so that we can work out whether we have capacity for you. Please click the button below for the correct page for your church to find out more about the changes, what we need you to know and what we need you to do.

Worship at
West Malling
Worship at
Offham

David’s day off

Rev David’s day off this week is Saturday the 19th of September.

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