Our revised plan – 4 August 2020

Our plan for resuming worship

at St Gabriel’s, St James’ and St Michael’s

at 4th August (a revised version of the plan announced on 7th July)

During August, we will continue to do four things:

1.  We will provide a fresh Sunday Worship video each week in partnership with West Lane Baptist Church

This is accessible from the front page of our churches’ websites by a single click, and the audio of the most recent service is accessible by a normal rate phone call 01535 286387.  There are also some mid-week reflection videos, a ‘Breathing Space’ on-line prayer group, an on-line ‘Active Zone’ for young people, and our Brontë Virtual Church blog.

2.  We will continue to provide set times when the churches are open briefly for private prayer (but not the first hour of the previous opening times when people did not come) and then to celebrate Communion for small congregations prayerfully and safely (which fifty different people have attended in the first three weeks of operation):

Sun – 3.00 pm open – 3.30 pm Communion – St Gabriel’s, Stanbury

Mon – 7.00 pm open – 7.30 pm Communion – St Michael’s, Haworth

Wed – 10.00 am open – 10.30 am Communion – St James’, Cross Roads

Fri – 12.00 noon open – 12.30 pm Communion – St Michael’s, Haworth

3.  We will continue to plan towards opening St Michael’s for tourists

We are very sorry not to be open for this yet, but we simply can’t revert to leaving the church open and unattended.  A plan for safe stewarded opening times was almost in place before the Bradford area lockdown renewal – we are now working on a new more modest plan.

4.  We will work hard at listening to a whole range of people so that a fresh plan in September meets the needs of as many as possible.  Is there anything you’d like to say to us about any of this?

At least half our previously most regular attenders have not yet come to worship at our new prayer and Communion times, a majority because they are cautious about any social gathering.  And these times don’t meet the needs of our previously more occasional attenders, nor of those who used to come to Toddler Praise, to the children’s Friday Church, or to our All Age Worship.   A major re-launch of attractive Sunday worship looks much more problematic than it did even three weeks ago – but not offering anything at all on a Sunday once September begins doesn’t feel right either so we are now likely to plan a more modest temporary Sunday programme for September.   

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Online services for July and August 2020

During the Coronavirus pandemic we are providing various services and reflections online. We are also adding regular material to our Bronte Virtual Church blog. Please visit our blog for the latest updates.

Please note that our Sunday Services are released at 10:00am on Sundays and our Midweek Reflections are released at 8:00am on Wednesdays. The links below won’t work (they’ll say ‘Video unavailable’) until those times. 

Sunday Service – 9th August 2020

Our inclusive Sunday Worship from churches across the Worth Valley.
At 10:30am on Sunday 9th August , watch the Sunday Service together with our friends from West Lane Baptist Church at a Watch Party on their Facebook Page.

Midweek Reflection – 5th August 2020

Join Rev Anthony Bennett for morning prayer on Wednesday 5th August at 8:00 am. To follow the service, use the Daily Prayer app (please select the ‘contemporary’ option) or visit this web page: https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-in-daily-prayer/morning-prayer-contemporary-wednesday-5-august-2020. You can also watch the service at any time later in the day. For further information on the Breathing Space group mentioned at the end of the video please either ring Anthony on 01535 279624 or email anthony.bennett@leeds.anglican.org

Sunday Service – 2nd August 2020

The feeding of the 5000, ornitheology and a mystery guest… Our inclusive Sunday Worship from churches across the Worth Valley. There isn’t a Watch Party on Sunday 2nd August as our friends from West Lane Baptist Church are watching the service live in their building.

Midweek Reflection – 29th July 2020

This week our Rector, Rev Peter Mullins, gives us some fascinating insights into the Olney hymnbook, focusing on the hymn ‘Amazing Grace’, which is played and sung for us by some of the group that bring us our inclusive Sunday Worship service videos.

Sunday Service – 26th July 2020

The kingdom of Heaven.
The pearl of great price.
The hidden treasure.
Join our inclusive service from churches across the Worth Valley.
At 10:30am on Sunday 26th July , watch the Sunday Service together with our friends from West Lane Baptist Church at a Watch Party on their Facebook Page.

Midweek Reflection – 22nd July 2020

This week Rev Julie Roberts reflects on the importance of holding on to our old Christian traditions. She explains just how precious the Lord’s Prayer and Nicene Creed are.

Sunday Service – 19th July 2020

Our inclusive Sunday Service from churches across the Worth Valley.

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Bradford lock-down renewal

Our 12.30 small safe Communion service went ahead at St Michael’s yesterday (Friday) and our 3.30 one will go ahead at St Gabriel’s tomorrow (Sunday); we were already holding these services as Covid19-secure as we could (masks, socially distanced, care in the administration of bread), and we will take additional care for minimal social interaction as we continue.

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Gradual opening up process

Our Sunday Worship video for 26th July (see below) follows the theme of ‘the pearl of great price).

Meanwhile, we have had 47 different people worship come to at least one of the small safe Communion services we have held over the last two weeks, and the gentle pattern continues for at least a while.

It has made us identify a further 47 or so people who we might have expected to worship with in any given two week period at the beginning of the year, so we might gently explore how many of them don’t know about our new service pattern, know but don’t wish to be part of unnecessary social gathering yet, or simply don’t find the new temporary pattern meets their needs.

And we are looking at the challenging guidelines for tourism openings.  Expectations about stewarding and regular deep cleaning seem predicated on a paid or voluntary staff a good way beyond one of three churches which might expect to see 94 different worshippers over any given two week period, but we will see what we can do.

We continue to provide a fresh Sunday Worship video each week in partnership with West Lane Baptist Church, accessible from the front page of our churches’ websites by a single click, and with the audio of the most recent service also accessible by a normal rate phone call 01535 286387.

We continue to provide set times when the churches are open for private prayer at present:

Sundays – 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm – St Gabriel’s, Stanbury

Mondays – 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

Wednesdays – 9.00 am to 11.00 am – St James’, Cross Roads

Fridays – 11.00 am to 1.00 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

We have begun to celebrate Communion for small congregations prayerfully and safely, initially as the last half hour of the weekly prayer times:

Sundays – 3.30 pm – St Gabriel’s, Stanbury

Mondays – 7.30 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

Wednesdays – 10.30 am – St James’, Cross Roads

Fridays – 12.30 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

We continue to offer an on-line prayer fellowship group (‘Breathing Space’) coordinated by anthony.bennett@leeds.anglican.org.

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Exceeding what we can desire

Here is the Collect for this Sunday.  There is no need for much else once we’ve prayed this.

Merciful God,

you have prepared for those who love you

such good things as pass our understanding:

pour into our hearts such love toward you

that we, loving you in all things and above all things,

may obtain your promises,

which exceed all that we can desire.

Here is a reminder of what we are offering for prayer and worship this week.

We continue to provide a fresh Sunday Worship video each week in partnership with West Lane Baptist Church, accessible from the front page of our churches’ websites by a single click, and with the audio of the most recent service also accessible by a normal rate phone call 01535 286387.

We continue to provide set times when the churches are open for private prayer at present:

Sundays – 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm – St Gabriel’s, Stanbury

Mondays – 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

Wednesdays – 9.00 am to 11.00 am – St James’, Cross Roads

Fridays – 11.00 am to 1.00 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

We have begun to celebrate Communion for small congregations prayerfully and safely, initially as the last half hour of the weekly prayer times:

Sundays – 3.30 pm – St Gabriel’s, Stanbury

Mondays – 7.30 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

Wednesdays – 10.30 am – St James’, Cross Roads

Fridays – 12.30 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

We continue to offer an on-line prayer fellowship group (‘Breathing Space’) coordinated by anthony.bennett@leeds.anglican.org.

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Feeling our way

Part of the reflection in the lastest post at Bronte Virtual Church (brontevirtualchurch.blogspot.com) is:

We feel our way towards what provision for private prayer and public worship in our church buildings should mean. 

Although we tell ourselves that we have kept a level of contact and communication with about the 130 households with closest association with our three churches, we keep coming across those who have not picked up the messages we put out, sometimes for quite a while.  The same will be true for those in the wider community despite social media, press releases and old fashioned notices on church doors.

And there will be perhaps significant numbers who feel cautious or reluctant to venture towards any level of social interaction or gathering which isn’t strictly necessary.
So less than a dozen people have accessed the ‘open for private prayer’ times we have had for the last three weeks, although some of those have done so regularly.

And fourteen different people attended the first of the small devotional Communion services we held in the Haworth parish (at St Gabriel’s on Sunday afternoon and St Michael’s on Monday evening), compared with thirty-five people who did so on the last Sunday we held such services in that parish at the beginning of March. 

We told them that we do not necessarily think that the pattern we have established for July and August is going to prove the perfect one – as we explore following it through and paying attention to take-up and any feed-back.  We asked them to let others know how carefully the services are being conducted in terms of small numbers, two meter social distancing and sanitisation.

We continue to provide set times when the churches are open for private prayer at present:

Sundays – 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm – St Gabriel’s, Stanbury

Mondays – 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

Wednesdays – 9.00 am to 11.00 am – St James’, Cross Roads

Fridays – 11.00 am to 1.00 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth

We will begin to celebrate Communion for small congregations prayerfully and safely, initially as the last half hour of the weekly prayer times

Sundays – 3.30 pm – St Gabriel’s, Stanbury – beginning 12th July

Mondays – 7.30 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth – beginning 13th July

Wednesdays – 10.30 am – St James’, Cross Roads – beginning 15th July

Fridays – 12.30 pm – St Michael’s, Haworth – beginning 17th July

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