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Tarporley Parish Church

Private Prayer: St Helen

 

The opening of St Helen's Church Tarporley for Private Prayer.

 

 

It is now possible, provided strict controls are in place, to open churches for private prayer.

I am therefore delighted to say that from Monday 15th June 2020 St Helen’s is open, as it always was before lockdown, during the day for private prayer. 

A great deal of thought and hard work has gone into this and I am very grateful to the small team who are making this possible. 

Although risk can never be eliminated we have conducted a robust risk assessment to try and minimise it. 

Everyone’s health, safety and well being is our priority and no-one wants to undo all the good we have done by being careful over the last few months.  

Therefore if you come to St Helen's we will be asking you to do things slightly differently with the main changes being:  

1. To help with social distancing we will be operating a one way system and ask you to enter by the North Door (the one closest to the Swan) and leave by the South Door (the Lychgate side). Signs will be in position to remind and guide everyone. 

2. Please sanitise your hands on entering and leaving. 

3. To help with social distancing and the level of cleaning we have to undertake, we will be restricting access to some pews and we ask to observe the signs. I know that this will be difficult for those who have a favourite seat which is temporarily out of use but please take the opportunity while it lasts to try different views of the church! 

4. To minimise risk we will for the time being remove items that might be touched by many hands such as all the visitors books, pens, church leaflets and guides you would normally see on the entrance tables and the toys and objects in the children’s area. 

5. We will not be removing the hymn books from the shelves but we are not allowed to use them for now and so will be asking people not to touch them. 

6. For the same reason we will remove the prayer request book and matches in All Souls Chapel. Candles will be refreshed and left in situ each day and we ask you to either light a candle from one that is already lit or bring with you (and take away) your own matches or lighter. 

Again signs will explain this 

7. To ensure that the pre-school can safely open the Done Room will not be accessible to others and the toilets will remain closed 

8. We are still unable to accept Food-bank donations because MidCheshire Food-bank is not yet able to receive them other than through supermarkets. You can still donate with physical items in store as you do your own shopping or with cash online through their website. 

We will leave collection plates out as donations are still welcome. Like everyone else over the last few months, our income has dropped because we have not been able to receive collection so the donation plates will be left out and collected up (safely and carefully) each evening. For those who prefer not to handle cash you can still give by standing order or by making a bank transfer. 

As much as I know that you are all eager to help we are asked not to involve anyone in cleaning or facilitating opening who is in a vulnerable group including those over 70.  

I know this will be hard for many of you who fall into such categories and feel fit, healthy and raring to go, but please be patient. 

In the fullness of time there will be plenty for you to do. Until then we go slowly and gently until we can hold the celebration at which we want everyone safe and well and present! 

Both Government, National Church and Diocese are posting revised rules and guidelines almost daily and we will be keeping on top of these to make sure we keep things as safe for you as possible, so please bear with us if things have to change again. 

I am looking forward to the day we will be able to resume full Sunday Worship but much will depend on what happens with infection rates in the weeks ahead and even when we can resume we will, of course, still have to implement many, if not all, of the measures above and ensure we comply with the guidelines at the time.  

I will keep you posted about this as the situation develops.

 

Georgina Watmore. Rector of Tarporley.