A letter from Rev Canon Kathia, Vicar of St Johns,
regarding the re-opening of Church
To the people of the parish of Bradshaw and Holmfield,
I hope this letter finds you well. It has been a long haul, stuck at home for many of you, and especially for those of you who have been, and still are, shielding.
As you know from the beginning of the month, places of worship have been allowed to re-open for public worship, funerals and weddings. In the Church of England, we have received some very specific guidance to go alongside the guidance received from the government, and most of our churches are beginning to emerge out of lock down in small and cautious ways.
At St John's, while we celebrate being able to meet again in person for worship, we are doing so very much in the knowledge that the virus has not gone away and that therefore the risk of contracting it, or passing it on, is also still present. What makes this virus particularly difficult to deal with, is the fact that someone can have it without displaying any symptoms or even being aware of it. And that is tricky; it means we cannot assume that people may not have it. With this in mind, St John's PCC have undertaken a rigorous risk assessment and put in place various protocols regarding all aspects of our church ministry. We have also had the church professionally deep cleaned, so we can be confident that we are starting with a virus-free environment.
Having done all this in preparation, we are now ready to reopen as a church and we will therefore be holding our first service back on Sunday 19th July at 9.30am. This will be a service of Holy Communion, but this is not a return to normal and to things as they were before the appearance of the virus. Things will be different and therefore the service will also feel different. That is just how it has to be for now and for the foreseeable future. We will keep things under constant review, and make any changes necessary as required.
In particular, singing is not permitted, so there will be no hymns, though we can have organ or CD music. In addition, to start with, the service will be kept concise and focus on the sacrament; which means that, initially, and probably throughout the summer there will be no sermon. There will also be no toilet facilities, as the parish centre remains closed for the foreseeable future.
I am attaching the relevant protocols for you, and would ask you to read them carefully and come prepared to work with us and comply with them. You may not like them, but that is beside the point. It is in all our interest to do our part and comply with what is asked of us, for our safely and well-being as well as that of others. Finally, I would ask all of you not to come to any service if you are feeling unwell, and to those who are still shielding, please wait until the shielding has been lifted before considering coming back.
I also take this opportunity to attach a letter from Bishop Nick, which is addressed to all the lay people in the diocese.
You all remain in my prayers and I look forward very much to the day when all the restrictions are lifted and we can meet again freely. In the meantime, let us give thanks to God for this opportunity to meet again in person and to worship together in our church building.
With all my best wishes and love,
St John's risk assessment protocols for the re-opening of church for public worship.
A letter from Bishop Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds to all churches in Leeds Diocese
Holy Communion - starting from the 19th July.
A service of Holy Communion.
For more details about our risk assessment and restrictions please click
Evening Prayer via Zoom every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The service sheet can be found in the resources section. If you would like to join us please contact us via this website, facebook or e-mail.
St John’s is committed to the Safeguarding of Young People and Vulnerable Adults. Our Parochial Church Council has based its policy on the Church of England's policies and best practice on Safeguarding, which may be found on our Diocesan website –https://www.leeds.anglican.org/safe
St John's policy is updated annually. The Parish Designated Safeguarding Officer is Mrs Jackie Young who can be contacted at church or on 07949 710772.
The church around the country have come together to bring you a message of hope. Christians from many different churches, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, Orthodox, Independent share the same message - God is with us.
The church in Bradshaw along with people from every church around the country are praying for YOU.
If you would like some tips on how to pray yourself, please do visit our resources section.