St Martins of Tours



Good afternoon

Some great news to share with you,  although many of you will already be aware  -  St Martin's Church will    re-open for worship as from this Sunday.     Our first service will be the 10.30 Parish Eucharist. However, in these 'post lockdown' days, there are changes to the way that we do things - hopefully as the weeks pass, changes in the gradual lifting of lockdown rules will see something more akin to normal.

On Sunday - 12 July, please aim to arrive a little earlier just to make sure that we can get people seated - please do not bring any additional bags etc with you because you will be asked to leave them at the back of Church.     

When you arrive at Church, please enter through the South Door (The door facing St Martin's Square and The Market) and once in please use the hand  sanitiser.  Someone will ask you for your name and best contact number - This is a legal requirement for contact tracing, just in case someone in the congregation that day then proceeds to test positive for Covid - 19. Please don't take offence at this as we are doing what we have been told we must do in order to get the church open again.    We will hold each weekly data for 3 weeks and then destroy!.     Please enter The Church via the central aisle - seating will be more sparse than normal as we can only use alternative rows and with a maximum of 2 or 3 per row - For couple we can accommodate 2 couples per row with a minimum of 2 seats vacant  between the couples.  For families, we have reserved seating towards the rear of church, as a whole family can be  accommodated on one row. unused seating at the back of church can be used for individuals and/ or   couples also. The back row on the Right (looking towards the Altar, will be reserved for Our Church Wardens. On the left hand side, there will be a few seats reserved for late comers.     There will be no offertory bags passed round during the service but there will be a collection bowl on a small table just as you enter the main church. This will be brought up to The Altar in the usual place and 'offered to God.'

There will be no hymns or anything that might encourage air borne droplet contamination as far as possible.    Please can you help by keeping conversation to the absolute minimum. The service itself will be based around our Midweek Eucharist Service Sheet, with readings from OT & NT together with a Psalm and Gospel reading.     You will be given a service sheet when you arrive, please bring this out of church with you at the end of the service and deposit in the box clearly marked near the exit. Once all the service sheets are in, we have a duty to close/ seal the box for a minimum of 72 hours.

You will also receive a copy of The Readings - This is for you to take home and use/keep. Please do not return this with your service sheet at the end of the service. There will be copies of Look an interactive sheet for our children which is related to the service readings etc.    Moving around church will be a one way system with access into Church and to the Altar via the central aisle and leaving church via the 2 side aisles ( whichever one is on your side).     One of the toilets only will be in use, should you require it but please leave it as tidy as possible and again please use the hand sanitiser.

There will be a Eucharist, of one type only, or in other words The Bread

Please wait to be invited up to the altar by the Church Wardens and adhere to the stringent social distancing signs that have been placed, At the foot of the Altar steps you will be invited to again clean your hands with Sanitiser. Then please extend you hands and I will 'drop' the wafer into your hands, with the aim of our hands not coming into contact. Should we happen to touch accidently, then we will both need to clean our hands immediately with sanitiser. There will be no placing of hands for blessings but a distant blessing (no words spoken) will be given. Follow the return arrows on the outer aisles to return to your seats.  

Following The Blessing and Dismissal, please leave the church as quickly and as quietly as possible again using the side aisles and avoid using the central aisle. Place your service sheet in the box provided near to the exit door, again use the hand sanitiser and exit St Martin's by The North Door (Door facing The Rectory) There can be at this time no loitering for social chat at the back of church - If you wish to talk with one another, then please leave this for outside, making sure that you are not blocking and access points.   

The important thing is that St Martin's Church will be back up and running and hopefully gradually returning to something that resembles normality (although this might take a while) I am really looking forward to welcoming you back into St Martin's, and this Sunday our service will start differently, as we bring The Paschal Candle, The Light of Christ, back into Church.     

Government advice is that you should avoid coming to church if you are shielding and you should give weighted consideration about returning yet, if you are over 70. We will still be 'live streaming' our services both for the benefit of those who cannot attend on health or prevention grounds and also for the new congregation that 'lockdown' has helped establish, and who are geographically distanced from Basildon or St Martin's.   

The camera will be focused on The Altar and not on the congregation at any time.    Please pass this email or at least the content of this message onto others who might not have access to it.     Kindest regards to everyone and I really look forward to welcoming you back into 'Your Church'

Tim    Fr Tim Brampton,     Priest in Charge,     St Martin of Tours Basildon






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