10 July 2020
We are happy to announce that services will begin on Sunday 19 July at 10:00 with a Service of the Word.
As we have done for a number of years, there will be no Mid-Week service (Wednesday) until September.
A copy of our Risk Assessment can be found here.
We realise that this is a stressful and worrying time for many. We are now streaming services on our brand NEW YOU-TUBE channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClwxvpn6fA8Kd-2yELoaa6A
so please do view them and we hope that they bring you some sort of peace-of-mind in today's world.
We've pulled together a list of telephone numbers that you might find useful.
Age UK Reading: 0118 950 2480
Grovelands Pharmacy: 0118 957 2389
Overdown Pharmacy: 0118 9428990
For medical advice please call 999 in an emergency or call your GP, Pharmacist or NHS 111
For advice, support, a listening ear: Here for You Reading: 0118 929 1111
West Reading Together Community Group: 07941 032 281
Covid-19 Mutual Aid Reading: 07380 248606
Reading Citizen’s Advice: 03444 111 306
Communicare: 0118 926 3941
Silverline phone line for the elderly: 0800 470 80 90
To sign up as a volunteer during the Coronavirus outbreak:
Revd. Dr. Adam Carlill
tel: 0775 341 1989
Thursday 9th July 2020
Getting Back to Church
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. (Isaiah 43.1)
It has been a long, long time since we saw each other. We have missed our human contact. I pray you are staying safe, feeding your souls with online worship, telephone support, Diocesan or national services, or simply by reading, prayer and meditation. The world is very different but God is looking after us.
Being Safe in Church
You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day, or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday. (Psalm 91.5-6)
The church officers have been working very hard to open both churches safely. We want to minimise the chances of Covid-19 spreading through our communities by following national guidelines. The two churches have different layouts, so there will be some differences between them. However, common to both will be the following principles.
• Apply hand gel when you arrive, and, if necessary, at other times.
• Give your first name and telephone number to the person on duty, so that we can trace and track any infections.
• Keep 2 metres social distance at all times.
• Only sit in one seat. Do not move from seat to seat.
• Avoid touching objects and surfaces.
• Stay within the designated areas. Some parts of church will be closed off.
• If you hold church keys, do not enter the church outside service times without permission from me.
• If you are over 70 you are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if you do go out, take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of your household.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4.24)
St George's has opened twice for private prayer, and St Mary Magdalen's once, both at 10am on Sundays. St George's has a Service of the Word each Sunday at 10am and St Mary Magdalen's will do the same from Sunday 19th July also at 10am.
Worship feels different now, but God's love is great and his Spirit is still with us. The church councils and staff team are monitoring closely how worship develops. At some point we will start to have Holy Communion. Online services will continue for the foreseeable future, and I am grateful to those who have contributed to these during lockdown.
If you feel safer staying at home please do so. We are the Body of Christ wherever we are. We are all joined to each other in faith, hope and love. God is leading us into new ways of loving each other and praying for each other, whether in church or at home.
May God bless you at work, at homes, in a bubble or in solitude, with his timeless, transforming presence.
With every blessing,