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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Our plan for resuming worship at St Gabriel’s, St James’ and St Michael’s

During July and August, we will to do four things.

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

Now 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.

2.  We will 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

3.  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

4.  We will work hard to plan a major re-launch of 9.30 and 11.00 Sunday worship, probably for the beginning of September when larger numbers may feel safe returning to social gatherings

We will try to involve those who have newly attended our worship over the last couple of years or who have recently engaged with our on-line worship (whether individuals or families) to help plan and take part in this, and hope we have some greater freedom with things like music by then.   

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