From the Churchwardens: Introducing controlled access to church services from September

In our last message we explained our policy of a gradual return to public worship in church, adhering to the rules set out by the Church of England.  We now wish to inform you about our plans for the rest of the summer and provide you with details of how we will introduce controlled access to church services from early September.  Please be assured that our guiding principle is to minimise the risk to our clergy, lay staff and congregation from the continued presence of coronavirus in our communities.  We all feel some frustration with the restrictions under which we are currently living.  However, we are sure you will understand the reasons for our cautious and measured approach.

Recent months have been hugely busy and demanding for our Priest-in-Charge.  We feel it is important that Revd Susan takes some family holiday time before we move forward with our phased reopening.  Susan will be on annual leave from Sunday 10th to Friday 28th August.  We do wish her and all her family a happy, relaxing and above all a safe break.

During Susan’s absence, the prerecorded Sunday Eucharist services on Sunday 16th, 23rd, and 30th August will be broadcast on our YouTube Channel as usual.  You can access them via the link on our website or by going direct to St Paul’s Wimbledon Parkside on YouTube, as you currently do.  After the service, ‘Virtual Coffee in The Lounge’ will continue to go ahead each Sunday at 11.30 am, hosted by Margaret Brown.

Our services of Morning and Evening Prayer on weekdays will be suspended while Susan is away.  However, Southwark Cathedral offers Morning Prayer at 9 am and Night Prayers at 8 pm on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter via this link:  Southwark Cathedral – Streaming and Videos 

After Susan’s return, we will begin to phase in public access to worship in church using a booking system which is explained below.  Details of the first services available, and the numbers allowed to attend, are as follows:

Sunday 6th September, 6 pm – Evening Prayer – our first live-streamed service
Max congregation: 15. No singing.
Book by email to Parish Administrator by noon on Friday 4th September.

Sunday 13th September, 10 am – Sunday Eucharist – our first live-streamed main service
Max congregation: 20. Music and hymns but only one solo singer is allowed at the service.
Please bring your own bread.
Book by email to Parish Administrator by noon on Friday 11th September.

How it will work
Attendance at these services will be subject to strict conditions to minimise the risk of the spread of the coronavirus.  These are as follows:

  • A booking request for each service must be made in advance by email to office@stpaulsparkside.org.uk
  • Please write the date of the service requested in the email subject line and give the names of those who wish to attend.
  • Bookings are on a first come / first served basis and will close at noon on the Friday before the service.  After this time no further booking requests will be accepted.
  • Booking requests will be responded to as soon as possible during Parish Office hours (Weds – Fri 09.30 am – 12.30 pm).
  • If the service you request is fully booked, you will be placed on a ‘wait list’ for that service in case of any cancellations.  Should a place become available, you will be notified by the Friday before the Sunday service.
  • Booking requests will be prioritised in the order in which they are received.  Please make your request early to avoid disappointment.
  • Maximum numbers are capped for each service as shown
  • Masks must be worn in church at all times
  • Social distancing is to be strictly observed – 2 metre rule applies for everyone outside your household or social bubble
  • No congregational singing is permitted
  • You are asked to bring your own bread for Holy Communion
  • Please arrive 15 mins before the service so that places can be allocated

Looking ahead
It is hoped that, if all runs smoothly, we will be able to expand the numbers attending our live-streamed services up to the maximum limit allowed of 40 as we progress into the autumn.

To do this safely and successfully, we all must to play our part.  The clergy and staff at St Paul’s need to test our systems and procedures and adjust them as required to ensure we keep everyone as safe as possible.  Those attending church need to ensure that they observe the rules at all times, and especially the requirements to wear a mask and to maintain social distancing.  We see all around us in our community examples of where this is simply not happening as it should.  The virus is still here, and we must learn to live with the necessary measures to protect our health and that of others while we try to resume normal activities.

We are particularly excited about the planned introduction of live streaming from September.  We greatly appreciate the generous offers of financial support towards the costs of the equipment which we have received already from members of the congregation.  We gratefully ask anyone who wishes to contribute to speak to Revd Susan or a member of the staff team. Live streaming capability will mean that, wherever we are – in church or at home – we will soon be able to worship as one unified church and community at a live service.

Please read the above carefully and let any of the team know if you have questions or concerns.

We will bring you further information about services as our plans evolve. Do keep an eye on our website www.stpaulsparkside.org.uk

With best wishes.

Margaret Brown
Churchwarden

Planning our re-opening for public services: a message from the Churchwardens

We would like to update you on progress towards the reopening of our church for services of public worship.  Our major concern is to resume services at minimal risk to everyone present.  At all times we are working within the current rules set by the Church of England and we are taking note of the guidance provided by the Southwark Bishops (link text). Before we can open, we need to trial our procedures and ensure that all safety considerations have been addressed.

Our first test is a funeral on 28th July where we have agreed to accept up to the limit allowed of 30 attendees. Everyone present will have to book in advance with contact details, form a distanced queue and be checked as they arrive, wear masks, use hand gel on their way in and be shown into the marked seats. Toilet facilities will need to be cleaned between users. This will require 5 extra staff on duty in addition to Revd Susan. During the service there will be organ/piano music but only one person can sing at a time. After the service people will be escorted out by different routes to ensure groups do not stop to chat.  We have rearranged the pews to allow 2-metre social distancing.

These same rules will need to be applied at public services where we will also face the challenge of finding a way to safely distribute the wafers. (The chalice cannot be used.)  As an initial step we are allowing a small number of staff at the filming of our pre-recorded services, to provide intercessors and readers and to try out ways of managing the wafers without incurring unnecessary risk.

Towards the end of August, when Susan returns from holiday, we will try expanding the size of the congregation to 10 people (who will have to book in advance) before we move to a larger number (probably a maximum of 30 and certainly not more than 40 unless the guidance changes).

In the meantime, we may also experiment with holding some morning and/or evening services in church (not in the chapel which is too small) with most of the same conditions in place.

For those church members who are in vulnerable categories or who simply do not yet feel comfortable attending a public gathering, we feel it is vital to continue to provide our current pattern of online services.  We are very grateful to Sebastiaan for all the time he devotes each week to act as cameraman, editor, and technical advisor on our digital services, which are recorded a week in advance to allow the video to be edited (e.g. with words to the hymns added).  The service recorded is the one for the following week, and parts of the service are sometimes added later; pauses occur for changes in microphones, the camera blocks the aisle (and the view), and there are unsafe cables around the church. However, the PCC (Parochial Church Council) has now agreed to purchase new equipment which will enable us to stream our regular Sunday services live to those at home via our YouTube channel:  St Paul’s Wimbledon Parkside, rather than pre-recording them.  Thanks to Susan’s efforts we have now received two generous grants towards the cost of the live streaming equipment (and would welcome further donations).

We are sorry that the progress towards returning to something closer to normal is slow; we need to allow our priest-in-charge to have some family holiday before schools recommence, and we wish to simultaneously stream our Sunday services live to those at home so that we participate as one church community.  Above all we have felt that the safety of our congregation is paramount. We hope that all that we offer both in church and online will enable everyone to be spiritually nurtured.

Please keep a close eye on our website for further announcements.

Margaret Brown                                                                                                      Churchwarden

St Paul’s is open for private prayer!

Following new guidelines from 15th June, part of the church is now open for private prayer at set times each week.  Revised church opening times take effect from 9th July as follows:

Tuesdays 10.00 – 12.00 am                                                                                Thursdays 10.00 – 12.00 am                                                                                            Fridays 3.00 – 5.00 pm                                                                                                Saturdays 10.00 – 12.00 am                                                                                              Sundays 3.00 – 5.00 pm

The Lady Chapel and two pews in the body of the church will be used. To keep everyone safe, we will be undertaking frequent cleaning and require everyone to maintain social distancing both in church and on your journey to and from church. We are also encouraging the wearing of face masks (these are available in the church).

Everyone welcome!

We are very grateful to all those who have volunteered to help supervise these slots. We could still do with a few extra people as reserves – if you can help please contact margaret.brown@kcl.ac.uk; 020 8789 4344; 07810 366 560.

 

 

Pentecost service, Sunday 31st May and virtual ‘coffee in the lounge’ meeting

The Pentecost service will be the first one recorded in the church since the lockdown. It will be found on the St Paul’s youtube channel at:   https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5e3yswVHpQSTFwaEhR52Xw

The order of service can be found at Pentecost Holy Communion Service 2020 and the pewsheet at Pewsheet 31st May 

For the first time we are also trying a Zoom coffee meet-up after the Sunday service
from 11:15. We will be gathering online and then breaking into small groups to chat.
Hope you will join us!  To join the Zoom Meeting – click on the link here:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86302819161?pwd=VzFPQk1QYjE3TEMrQ3Q4UEpCeXppQT0

Meeting ID: 863 0281 9161; Password: Coffee

 

Coronavirus Angels Help Line

St. Paul’s Church and Community Coronavirus Angels help line is now available to serve people in our area who are self-isolating with grocery shopping, dog walking, prescription pick-up & delivery, providing a listening ear, etc.

If you can help us, please email angels@stpaulsparkside.org.uk or phone Revd Susan on m: 07540 383081.

And of course, please do get in touch if you are self-isolating and need help or if you know of someone who needs support.

Tea & Toys is back! Every Wednesday from 12 noon on YouTube

Parents, carers, toddlers and babies are invited to join Katie, Mark and Zachary Gilbert for music and stories each Wednesday from 12 noon on St Paul’s Wimbledon Parkside You TubeChannel 

As soon as it reopens, we will be back in church.  But until then, you can catch up with Tea & Toys Playgroup by video on YouTube or here on the St Paul’s website at any time to suit you and your little ones.

Do join in.  It’s really great fun!

You can enjoy our first two online editions below.  The latest Tea & Toys will be posted on the website each week under Community/Tea & Toys here.

Vulnerable or alone and need help?

St Paul’s Church has access to a group of volunteers willing to lend support to those in our local community who are vulnerable and alone at this anxious time of social isolation.

If you need help with shopping, or would just welcome a friendly chat, let us know and we will do what we can to put you in touch with the support you need.

Please call Guy on 07533 652695 or email office@stpaulsparkside.org.uk

Or email Samantha on stpaulscommunity@btconnect.com

St Paul’s Church and Community Centre closed to reduce spread of coronavirus

Closure of St Paul’s Church and Community Centre until further notice

Following the Government’s adoption of strict measures limiting public life in order to control the spread of the coronavirus, and specifically the directives to close places of worship, prevent social gatherings and to stay at home, both the church and St Paul’s Community Centre have been closed until further notice.  Please read the pastoral letter from Revd Susan Bolen for further information. 

As a consequence, a number of our regular community events have been suspended:

  • Lunch Club (Tuesday)
  • Community Café (Thursday)
  • Friday Club (Friday)
  • Tea & Toys (normally Tuesdays, in church)
  • All planned concerts and recitals (church and Community Centre)

Events and activities offered by our partners such as Dance Addiction and Rugby Tots, which normally take place in the Community Centre, will not run until we are open again. Church concerts and recitals will be re-scheduled, wherever possible, once life returns to normal.

We appreciate that the closure will affect many people in the community for whom our services are very important parts of their lives.  We greatly regret this impact, but we feel sure you will understand that the closure is absolutely necessary to protect public health and the wellbeing of our community in the current emergency.

If you are vulnerable and alone and need support, or are just concerned and would like to chat, please do keep in touch and let us know how we can help.  For those of you who live in our parish, but don’t attend St Paul’s, please know that we are at your service regardless of your faith.

We look forward to serving the community again, just as soon as we can safely reopen our doors.

For further information and updates about St Paul’s Community Centre, please keep visiting the website or contact:

Sam Egan
Manager
St Paul’s Community Centre
t: 020 8785 6327
e:  stpaulscommunity@btconnect.com

GLASS DOOR says ‘Thank You!’

The homeless charity GLASS DOOR and St Paul’s carol singers would like to thank all who contributed to the collection we made at Southfields tube station and in the ‘Gardens’ area of the St Paul’s parish, before Christmas.

With your help, we raised the magnificent sum of £815.00!

This winter, GLASS DOOR has welcomed up to 170 guests every night for a hot meal and a safe place to sleep. One is Saad, a Sudanese refugee, who said “At GLASS DOOR I felt like a human being again. I am living now at my shared accommodation and have my own room. What I have today, it was through God and GLASS DOOR and I will always be grateful.”

 

For more information, see the website: https://www.glassdoor.org.uk/whatwedo