Letter from The Rector

Rector’s Letter

The Revd. Esther Smith
The Revd. Esther Smith

Weekend of 24th & 25th July, 2021
8th Sunday After Trinity

Readings: Joshua 6: 1- 20 and John 6: 1-15

Dear Friends,

This weekend marks the beginning of the Summer Holidays for our school children and teachers. Do remember them in your prayers as they rest and recuperate after a very long and taxing year. Happy holidays! Over the next few weeks, many of us will be away on holiday. As we have done in the past, you might like to share your travels with us by sending a photo or a postcard to those of us who remain at home. (rector@stvigorstjohn.church or c/o The Rectory, The Street, Chilcompton BA3 4HN). This week’s photo comes from Nigel and Sue who enjoyed a cruise down the Avon Gorge on board The Matthew, passing through the historic Floating Harbour and under Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge.

As the summer holidays arrive, so the legal restrictions of Lockdown have been lifted by the Government. This does not indicate however, that risk of infection has passed and we know that locally infection rates are rising. We are urged to consider our specific context carefully and take responsibility for caring for one another as we interpret our new freedom. Both of our PCCs have now carefully studied the Guidance issued by the Church of England and have unanimously decided to retain most of the protective measures that we adopted during Lockdown. We will dispense with the restriction on numbers attending any service, but will continue to ask those who do come in person to be aware of social distancing where possible. We are advised that the production of aerosols is particularly hazardous in crowded spaces and so we will continue to ask people to wear a mask during sung worship. At other times mask wearing will be optional (though encouraged) Holy Communion will continue to be offered in one kind (bread only). For those who still feel the need to isolate, Zoom Service with breakout rooms will continue to be made available and weekly sermons will be posted on the website. I am aware that for the latter group it has been a long time since you have been able to receive communion in any form. If you would like to be added to a list for Home Communion, please do email me at rector@stvigorstjohn.church and appointments will be made on an individual basis in due course. The PCCs will keep these measures under review over the summer.

In keeping with our careful ‘opening up,’ we will resume our midweek worship from next week, with Traditional Morning Prayer at 9am on Tuesdays @ St Vigor’s and Benefice Prayers at 9am on Wednesdays @ St John’s. Midweek (said)Holy Communion will resume on Thursdays at 11am. No hospitality will be offered after these brief services. At other times St John’s PCC have agreed to leave the church open for those who would like to visit for private prayer. Access will be via the North Porch door only (opposite the Holy Cow.)

Work in the Church Hall continues with the completion of the new storage cupboards at the stage end. Thanks to the efforts of a small group of hard-working volunteers, the gloss work is progressing, and we hope will be complete in time for new carpets to be fitted in August. Toilets have been refurbished with the old cubicles being removed to allow for covid-secure single occupancy units with hot running water and hand driers. We hope this will make queueing easier and allow for a quicker turn around when demand is high. Although one or two people have expressed concern about this arrangement, it brings all of our WC facilities (including the disabled access cubicle) up to the same standard and reflects the arrangements which might be found in schools, cafes and other public spaces. We hope you will find them clean, bright and spacious.

In the last of our current teaching series, this weekend’s services will join Joshua as he claims the Promised Land at the Battle of Jericho. Join us either at 9am for Holy Communion @ St Vigor’s, or 10.30am for a Service of Morning Prayer @ St John’s or via Zoom. To join the 10:30am service at St. John’s on Zoom, please visit our Services page.

We are looking forward to worshipping with all who are able to join us.

Every blessing,

Esther