Coronavirus Updates

13 July 2020

Dear Church Family,

I want to keep you all up to date with where we are up to with opening the church for prayer and worship.

After talking together with our team of Leaders and Preachers and consulting the PCC and the church wardens we think the best way to take things forward is this.

We will continue to worship online on Sundays until September when we will review what is happening with Covid 19 and any potential spikes in infections as things begin to open up. With the current guidelines whilst we can open for worship we can’t sing, sit or have coffee together.

In the light of this and because we simply couldn’t have everyone in (we think our maximum is between 50-60 people) and because children’s activities and movement will have to be limited and it would be necessary to clean between each service we feel that it is easier, safer and more inclusive to continue with St Marks at Home.

This will be reviewed during August and we will let you know when things will change.

We would like to offer a simple Service of the Word, especially for the more vulnerable members of our congregation, and those who can’t join us online, on Wednesday morning from 1030-11am. This will be a simple liturgy, with a short sermon and prayers and hopefully some organ music. We hope to offer communion as well at a later stage. The church will continue to be open for private prayer on Monday evenings from 8-9pm and on Wednesday mornings from 9-10.30am.

We have done a careful risk assessment and will do everything in our power to make the church a safe place to come to but there will always be some risk and if you feel uncomfortable or unable to come then we completely respect your position. You are very welcome to wear face masks to the service and hand sanitiser will be provided. Seating will be spaced at two metres apart and we would ask you to come in through the car park entrance and leave through the south door (unless you are unable to climb the steps). Everything will be clearly marked and there will be a sides person to show you where you can sit. You will have to leave the church straight after the service finishes but there are lovely benches which are well spaced in the church garden where you can have a chat if you would like to.

I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions we would be happy to answer them so do get in touch by phone or email with the office or with Jo or one of the church wardens. We really want to hear from more people about how we take things forward and we would love your thoughts and ideas about what might change about church or worship or outreach after this strange time we have all been through. To help with this we will be sending out a survey next week and would be very grateful if as many people as possible would complete it for us.

With much love and every blessing.

Jo and the team.


 

Reverend Joanna Parker

St Marks Church, Leamington Spa


24 June 2020

Where we are up to…

You may have heard the announcement yesterday that we can begin to worship again in church. This is great news and I am so looking forward to us all being back together again.
However, there are still restrictions in place which will have a big impact on our worship, and we are waiting for more guidance from the Church of England as to how we can take things forward.

It seems likely that we will not be able to sing together, and I am not sure how we will be able to share communion either, and we will not be able to share refreshments. Our numbers will be restricted and we will still be observing the 2 metre rule (as we have the space to do this in church).

Added to this, the possibility of a second wave of the virus may change any plans we make to move forward.

All of us involved in preaching and leading will be meeting to discus the way forward, with close consultation with the church wardens. So watch this space and we will try to keep you informed as things progress. This will not be a return to church as we know it just yet, and it may not happen in July. In the meantime we will keep our new online presence on Sundays and during the week and we hope to develop more online worship opportunities for our children over the summer.

Please pray for us as we plan and prepare and we will continue to pray for you all.


As many of you know by now our Sunday services and midweek meetings have been suspended. We love meeting together but we love you more, and want to ensure that you all stay as healthy as possible.

Check out our facebook page for news at https://www.facebook.com/StMarksLSpa/

A weekly service is streamed on Sundays at 10.30am. The link can be found on our Facebook page and usually on the weekly notice sheet. If you would like to receive the notice sheet by email please contact the church office (office@st-marks.net) 

In the meantime, keep praying, keep singing and keep looking out for each other and your neighbours. I have a feeling that this could become an exciting time of doing church differently, of learning new things about prayer and service. In Isaiah 43 we are told not to fear, God is with us, and will not leave us. The chapter goes on.... 'Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert'. I think for many of us this time feels scary and unknown. Even in the most barren places God makes a way for us, gives us water in dry lands. May you know God's presence and power as you encounter Him in new ways in the coming weeks. 

Information about the wider church can be found on the Diocesan Website  https://www.coventry.anglican.org/  

Jo x


 

I never imagined in over 40 years of church going and 13 years as a priest that I would ever have to lock our church and not allow people in. It goes against everything I believe about the inclusive welcome we want to show to all people at all times.

This is a unique time in our history however, and we must do anything we can to try and hold back this onslaught of this virus. So the church is closed, but it’s people are out there and doing amazing things to help people in our communities.

Do pray for our frontline workers, carers, doctors and other health professionals, shop workers and all those who are keeping things going, postal workers, and council staff. Pray for those who are frightened and lonely and pray for our leaders who are facing decision making that is unprecedented.

Look after yourselves and call us if we can do anything to support you. 01926 421004 (ext 1)