Over the next couple of months, we will be experimenting with different patterns of worship, as we learn how many people are ready to return to church, and how we can balance the needs of churches around the deanery at a time when we have far fewer clergy and lay ministers available to lead services. We know this is hard, and will feel confusing for a while, and ask that you bear with us as we learn…
The pattern of worship for autumn alternates between odd and even weeks:
1st & 3rd Sundays (4 & 18 September)
11 am Eucharist — All Saints, Waltham
& afternoon baptisms
(18 October: Waltham’s Annual Meeting is immediately following the 11 am Eucharist)
2nd & 4th Sundays (11 & 26 October)
9 am Eucharist — All Saints Waltham
11 am Eucharist — St Matthew’s, New Waltham
In both churches, numbers are limited because of social distancing requirements, and we therefore ask that each week you wish to attend, you ring the rectory on 01472 822172 and leave a message with your name, phone number, and which service you are hoping to attend.
The exact number we can fit depends on how many pairs or families come (larger groups allow for more people). At New Waltham, we can safely seat about 24 people. At Waltham, 16-20 people can be seated in such a way that they can see fully, and another 4-8 can sit with quite limited sight lines. We will therefore give the best seats to those who ring first each week!
In November, we may add more services if we find that we are reaching maximum capacity in both churches each weeks. The October pattern will continue as a starting point.
If we do reach capacity, we will also be working with other churches in the Deanery to help you find a eucharist that you can attend each week. The challenges of Covid also give us new opportunities to work together and to remember that we belong to a church that is much bigger than any one building or village.
Covid regulations mean that worship feels different right now. Here is some of what you should expect:
- when you arrive you will directed to a particular seat.
- we cannot chat before or after the service – which means that before worship begins, there is plenty of time to pray, rest, and think.
- we cannot sing, though there is a mix of live and recorded music during the service.
- communion will be in one kind only (i.e. bread). You will be invited to come forward down the centre aisle, and return to your seats by the side aisle.
- at the end of the service, we will leave ‘back to front’. Though we will of course greet one another briefly outside, we are not allowed to stop and talk for long.
A lot of this feels very hard, and is not how church should be, but it is how we can help keep each other safe through this difficult time.
Online worship continues:
Mon – Sat, Morning Prayer livestream on the church facbebook page.
Sunday Worship, watch together at 9 am on the facebook page, or anytime after 7 am here on the webpage.