CoVid19 information

UPDATE 1st January: we find ourselves beginning the new year under Tier 4 ‘stay at home’ restrictions. Although public worship is ‘permitted’ this does not mean that it is sensible, advised or safe. So for the moment the church council has assessed the risk of infection to be higher than we would like, and so we remain worshipping online and on the phones for a week or two until the rates come down after Christmas. So Sunday worship remains online here and on facebook, as well as on the phone line (0191 814 1230).

Currently, we do not have baptisms scheduled,  but we may still hold funerals in church, and we aim to remain open for private prayer on Wednesdays 10-11am.

As we recover activities in our buildings, know that we have worked hard to ensure that everyone who joins us is as safe as can be.

We try to keep people updated weekly via our mail list, do join up here. Please pray for all who are still affected and anxious, with these or other words:

Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Regular worship and prayer

Because of the small building capacity and large congregation, it’s difficult to facilitate fair access for everyone, old and new to join in. In the autumn we did this by dividing our regular congregation into four groups, and asking regulars to come only once a fortnight to an in-person service. This means that when we are open, if you are new to worshipping with us, do just come along, there will be space for you – at 9.30am or 11.15am. If you would like to let us know to expect you that would be really helpful – do call the vicarage on 455 4682 or drop us an email: stpetersharton@gmail.com – but you can just turn up, and will be most welcome.  There is Guidance for Public Worship.

Our Sunday evening worship remains available online and on the phone line from the ‘Worship‘ section of the website, and on our YouTube channel.

For the moment our midweek Thursday worship is suspended, but the church building is open on Wednesdays from 10-11am for quiet prayer. All are welcome to drop in. Guidance for Private Prayer.

Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals

Baptisms will be begun being rescheduled as soon as we can, realistically now we are looking at after Easter. Those who are waiting to [re]book, we’ll be adding you to a mailing so you will get updated info when we have it.

Weddings are now being booked again for next year – hopefully with fewer restrictions, but of course we will only know all about that as time goes on. if you would like to book or revise an existing booking, please do call the vicarage, 455 4682.

Funerals are able to be held in church (max 30 people) as well as at the crematorium (max 15 people). For those who have had to say goodbye to loved ones during these last few months we are very happy to discuss a Celebration of Life service for you at a later date – either now the churches are open again, with a small number of guests, or later after restrictions are lifted, for a larger number.

Events

It will be some slow steps to recover our actvities and events programme – we will work on this over the coming weeks and months. We hope to recover some activities outside after Easter.

Our church hall bookings will resume when possible, in line with individual sector guidance and capacities – to keep each other safe we all need to work together with the distancing requested.

Joining in prayer from home

Prayer continues, in and for the parish. Please see the Daily Prayer link from our Worship pages for other resources.  You can also pray at home using the Church of England’s prayer app.

Support/guidance

Our contact teams went to vast effort to ensure that all our worshipping community and many vulnerable members of our parish have been kept in touch with since last March. The re-opening of worship and activities marked a change in the pattern, but those who have appreciated the contact will not be forgotten, just because the buildings and our community reopens. If there are people who would benefit from a pastoral call, please let us know.