There is no longer a requirement to wear masks in services however there will be, as before an area at the back of church saved for those people who prefer to continue wearing masks and to be socially distanced. We would ask that everyone continue to always exercise caution and consideration. And finally, in order that we continue to keep all the buildings well ventilated we may have more doors and windows open than usual and therefore we would like to encourage you to wrap up warmly if attending a service.
February 10th 2022
Well done! We have made it through January, it did feel like a long month. As we move into a new season with Covid, we await the Government’s new guidelines and what that means for us as a community. Some of us have succumbed to Covid over Christmas and since, we hope you are recovering well. Thank you for your prayers for us, we are now feeling better. Meanwhile some of you are triple jabbed and have remained healthy and long may that continue!
As Covid restrictions are steadily being removed across the country, as a church, it is still our priority to care for the most vulnerable among us and we would encourage people to continue to wear masks in church services where possible. We will keep you updated with any changes on this. For smaller groups and those involving children it is really at the discretion of those present.
There is no need to book for church services except for the All Age 10.15 service because of limited capacity in the hall. The All Age and Evening Praise services are now back in person every week. Thank you to leaders, musicians and AV operators who are making this possible. We are really enjoying coffee times at 10 o’clock at St Mary’s, and at St John’s but we could still do with more helpers to serve refreshments.
For us as a church leadership, we continue to discern God’s direction in this season of rebuilding and restoration. Our sermon series on Nehemiah is giving us inspiration. You can catch up on the sermons so far on our you tube channel or Walton parish web-site. Although Nehemiah was passionate about rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, he also brought the people together in community, dealt with opposition, ensured the poor were looked after and restored the Bible and Godly worship to the centre of their life together. In this unique season, we have the opportunity to rebuild and restore with God at the centre of all we do.
Here are some questions:
How can we encourage each other to be confident disciples of Jesus on our front lines?
How can adults encourage children to grow up knowing Jesus?
How can children encourage adults to pray with expectation that God will answer?
How can we grow closer as a community of God’s people?
How can we do more to care for the poor in our community?
The PCC have been asking questions such as these as they have spent time considering our strategy and goals for the year ahead springing from our Vision. We have also dug out our copies of the 28-day devotional based on the Vision “Pause, Pray, Next Steps” to refresh our memories of what the essence of our Vision is about. Please join us. There are copies in both churches and paperless copies on the web-site. Please let us know of anything that God may be saying to the church as you pray.
Like Nehemiah, we will keep our focus on building discipleship and worship, building our church community and building links with the local community – rebuilding and restoration. Exciting times lie ahead. Let’s pray for this and work together to build our church and our community.
Rev Jonny & Rev Cathy
December 17th 2021
As the situation with Covid continues to evolve. Our main concern is the safety of everyone. Regretfully, we have had to make some changes regarding Christmas Church services.
Reinstating the stringent Covid guidelines we followed earlier in the pandemic will enable us to continue with some services whilst some services will go online.
We will do our best to keep the website and social media as up to date as possible and we’ll continue to update you with any further changes via the weekly email. All the amended plans for this Christmas season can be found here.
In spite of these changes, we do hope we can all reflect on the true meaning of Christmas – Jesus is Love Come Down and know his joy deep in our hearts.
Rev Jonny & Rev Cathy
December 11th 2021
Following the Prime Ministers announcement earlier in the week, the Church of England has now published its latest guidance for churches following the declaration of this country’s move to Plan B. Therefore, from this Sunday 12th December, you will notice some changes which we would like to make you aware of.
St Mary’s and St John’s
– Face coverings are now mandatory in places of worship. Whilst there are some exemptions, as outlined in the guidance that has been published, this is a legal requirement and masks will stay on for congregational singing. Thus, face coverings should be worn at all times in our buildings.
– We will continue to have a dedicated area in both Churches where social distancing can be observed for those who would welcome this.
– Communion will continue in ‘one kind’; just the bread/wafer.
– Caution and consideration should be exercised at all times.
– We are continuing with refreshments after services at both Churches.
– At St Mary’s, refreshments will be restricted to the area at the back of the hall to ensure that anyone else moving around the building can remain distanced.
– In order that we keep all the buildings well ventilated we may have more doors and windows open than usual and therefore we would like to encourage you to wrap up warmly if attending a service.
Please note that NHS COVID passes will not be required as places of worship are exempt.
Other activities and events such as Connections and Play and Chat will remain under review and will continue until such time as the guidance changes; however, we will now be applying the same controls for these as we are for refreshments after services, in that face coverings must be worn unless seated and in the act of eating or drinking.
It is important to remember that mask wearing primarily is caring for your neighbour rather than yourself.
The office will remain open for email and telephone contact only.
The current opening hours are; Tuesday – Friday 10.00 am – 12 noon
The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who leads the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group, has urged people to take steps to protect each other as we prepare to celebrate Christmas amid a rise in cases. She says:
“As Christians we have a duty to care for one another, especially those who are most vulnerable, and the latest measures announced by the Government should offer some extra protection and reassurance for people. Caring for one another, sharing, hope, faith and most of all the knowledge that God is with us are at the heart of Christmas. This Christmas we will be coming together – whether in person or online – to worship God and celebrate his coming into the world as a human being like us.”
The Vicars and staff team appreciate that this remains a difficult and challenging time. Please be assured that we are doing all that we can to deliver the best Christmas experience of Church that we can.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if there is anything we can do to support you. These are unique days that we are living through but thankfully our God remains the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.