Coronavirus update

First published on: 5th January 2021

Our prayer is to keep each other safe, and so keep ourselves safe at this time.

Renewed Lockdown

We are all aware of the Prime Minister's statement introducing the new lockdown. In particular, we are now being asked not to be outside of our homes except where necessary. This leaves us with a difficult decision as we have had to think about whether we can safely offer public services of worship while remaing safe and keeping within the guidelines.

The Bishop of London, in her statement following the Prime Minister's announcement, writes: 
The Government has chosen not to suspend public worship in England at this time and we will continue to follow the guidance and ensure that churches remain as safe as possible. The Government guidance on the safe use of places of worship makes clear that those attending a place of worship must not mingle with anyone outside their household or support bubble.
However, some may feel that it is currently better not to attend in person, and there will be parishes which decide to offer only digital services for the time-being. Clergy who have concerns, and others who are shielding, should take particular care and stay at home.

Her statement highlights the dilemma that we face - we want to stay open and worshipping together, but we also have to take into account the reality of the current situation and the need for us all to stay apart as much as we can in line with current governnment lockdown rules. The full statement can be read here.

While it is the case that this time the Prime Minister has said that church worship may continue, we have come to the conclusion that given the local high infection rates and the increased current risk from the new variant of Covid19, that in order to ensure everyone's safety it is best to provide online services only until the situation improves. We need to protect the congregation, and while we love to see people in church, at this time we recognise that many of you need to remain at home. It is also the case that at each service we need a number of volunteers in church in order to bring to you the service each Sunday - servers, musicians, welcomers and so on - and we need to make sure we can keep our volunteers safe too. 

So for now we have to say please do not come to church, as we have decided to cease all public worship at Saint John's. The parish mass will continue to be live-streamed each Sunday at 10am, and I hope you will join us each week. . 

I hold you all in my prayers at this time of renewed lockdown.

Love and Prayers, Fr Jerry