Dear EFP church folk,
 
The wardens and I can confirm details of the services for the coming weeks, following Government guidance issued yesterday and CofE guidance today.
 
We're not plunging straight into church worship at the deep end, so to speak. We are stepping gently into the shallower water, and exploring together how the shared experience of worship goes in these continuing strange times.
 
Through July and August, there will be three elements in the EFP churches:
1. A Sunday service at 10.30am at one of the 3 churches
2. A YouTube service
3. A mid-week Morning Prayer service on Weds at 10.30am
 
Sundays in church -
The location of the service will be:
Feniton July 5th July 26th Aug 16th
Payhembury July 12th Aug 2nd Aug 23rd
Escot July 19th Aug 9th Aug 30th
These services are primarily for residents of the respective village. 
This is to help keep the appropriate social distancing, and ensure ‘locals’ can worship if they wish.
I would therefore invite you to be sensitive to this.
 
Important things to note:
  • please do not feel under pressure to come to a church service, just because one is happening!
  • in particular, if you are at increased health risk, you are advised of the risks of attending.
 
  • there can be no singing
  • social distancing is required (2m)
  • the number of people who can attend is limited by the building size and social distancing
  • a risk assessment is needed, which the wardens are kindly doing
  • simple service sheets will be provided, which you should take home afterwards
  • a collection plate will be at the door on entry (no collection will be taken during the service)
  • a record of attendance will be taken for NHS Test and Trace purposes
 
Communion
  • In the 1st three services we will celebrate Communion.
  • I won't distribute bread, in order to mitigate against risk.
  • Instead please bring a small amount of bread from home. This will be blessed in the service. It can be shared with any other members of your household.
  • I think this approach will bring its own special depth of shared experience.
The ‘middle' three services won’t include Communion. I plan that the ‘final’ three in August will do so.
 
YouTube services
  • We will continue with a weekly YouTube through July and August.
  • The order of service will essentially be the same as that for the church service - everybody is therefore having the same basic service.
  • The format of the video service will generally be a little simpler than they have been lately.
  • Liturgy words will mostly not be on the screen. A downloaded and printed service sheet will therefore be needed to join in fully.
 
Mid-week Morning Prayer
  • This may be of particular value to those who would prefer a smaller worship context at this stage.
  • This will be on Wednesdays at 10.30am, at the following locations:
Payhembury July 8th 22nd Aug 5th 19th
Feniton July 15th 29th Aug 12th 26th
  • Those from other villages are invited to attend.
  • Sue Tucker will kindly be leading these services.
  • service sheets will be provided.
 
 
Further info -
  • If any further details need to be shared ahead of this Sunday, I will do so on Saturday.
  • We will all be re-learning in these services how to worship together again, in what continue to be strange times.
  • In August we will review how the services have gone, and through discussion with the PCCs plan subsequent worship accordingly.
 
Attached for reference the Church of England’s "COVID-19 Advice on the Conduct of Public Worship”.
 
A little poem to finish - ‘When (still) at home’ -
 
The doorbell rang
I jumped to my feet
at the rare sound
“May I come in?” 
asked the Man at the door
smiling warmly
Flustered and uncertain 
I ushered him into
the living-room 
apologetically 
tidying things away 
though He didn’t seem to mind
the mess
“Thank you,” He said, relaxing back
into the sofa and
so at ease
that in that moment I knew
that though with me afresh
He had been here 
all along
 
Looking forward hugely to seeing many of you on the coming Sundays!
 
Take care and God bless,
David
 
 
Team Vicar for Escot, Feniton & Payhembury, Otter Vale Team 
The Rectory
Feniton