This is just a quick email to respond to the present situation of the expected national ‘lockdown’ from Thursday this week. I will write more comprehensively in the next couple of days once there is more information.
At this time we are expecting the Lockdown to commence from Thursday and run to 2nd December. With regards to the impact on churches – this is the current text from the government:
Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble.
Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances.
Places of Worship will be closed, unless they are being used for:
- To broadcast acts of worship
- Individual prayer
- Formal childcare or where part of a school
- Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks
- Other exempted activities such as some support groups
You can find the full document here:
As such, if the lockdown is ratified by government tomorrow then from Thursday I’m afraid our churches will need to adhere to the above rules. We will hope to keep open for private prayer and we will provide those dates and times as soon as possible.
There is alot of confusion about Remembrance Sunday.
Boris Johnson mentioned yesterday that Acts of Remembrance at War Memorials may be able to go ahead this Sunday. I must stress that nothing official in that respect has been published. In a letter to all clergy yesterday our Bishop’s stated this:
“You have all worked so hard to ensure our church buildings are Covid secure and thus some of you are asking questions about whether public worship services, in particular Remembrance, might still be possible. Discussions are in process between the Church and Government in regard to this. We expect to hear more details very shortly…”
If we are able to hold Acts of Remembrance at the Memorials on Sunday then that will be most welcome. I will hopefully confirm that later in the week.
It is a confusing time and we can only respond to things as we know them.
Watch this space for more information, and please keep safe.
The Reverend Philip Butcher
Rector – Two Shires Benefice (Tatworth, Thorncombe, Winsham, Chaffcombe & Cricket Malherbie)
3 Home Farm
Rest Days – Mondays (Tuesdays where following a bank holiday)
For non-urgent enquiries please allow up to a week for responses.
Mornings are best times for phone contact!