On Sunday, the first service in St. Andrew’s since March saw fifteen eager worshippers return to the church building, along with our two younger friends who made themselves at home in the cozy children’s area. We were looked after so well by Robert and Tim; welcomed, guided to our seats, and given helpful directions about how to receive communion, all the time with smiling eyes above their masks. Robert and Freda had already set up sanitising stands and signage, and arranged chairs, having carefully calculated how the congregation could be seated according to recommended spacing. Face masks and disposable gloves were available should anyone need them, and Andrea was first to take advantage of this before distributing communion, as her own had gone astray! Though there was no singing, we were delighted to have music played by our organist.
Of course, our Rector and musicians have been faithfully recording a Eucharist each week, so that everyone can view it on YouTube and through our church website. This will continue until September when the Thursday morning service recommences in the church, and especially for those who don’t feel ready to return in person just yet.
Thanks to Robert, Tim and Andrea for all their work in so quickly completing a ‘plan for reopening’ and detailed thirteen-page risk assessment, and preparing the building, including behind the scenes tasks such as weekly checks of fabric and heating system, and airing of the rooms, not to mention wiping down and emptying bins afterwards!
We all felt we were in safe hands, and really rather special, with our individual names recorded in the attendance log for posterity – well, for 21 days at least.