10 June 2020

Dear friends in Christ,

This past Sunday was the eleventh in a row that we have not gathered together to receive God’s gifts of Word and Sacrament together. It was also the first time that some members were able to receive the Lord’s Supper in their homes (and gardens). We have been starved of the full gifts of God for a long time now!

Thanks be to God, with the improving public health situation and changing regulations, it has now become possible for us to gather together to receive the Sacrament of the Altar in person. Following a discussion on Monday, 8 June, the Church Council decided that, starting this coming Sunday (14 June 2020), Holy Communion would be offered to all communicant members who desire to receive it. This letter sets out the arrangements for the gatherings for the foreseeable future.

  1. The online Service of the Word continues to be celebrated each Sunday at 10:30 am as it has been since Palm Sunday. The readings, sermon and Prayer of the Church will be included in the Service of the Word only. Effectively, the first part of a full Divine Service will be online only.
  2. The Service of the Sacrament will be held outdoors in the Parsonage garden on Sunday afternoons.
  3. Only five people can gather for the service at a time. If more than five people desire to receive the Sacrament on any Sunday, more than one service will be held. There is a booking system to allocate times.
  4. The booking system is at the bottom of this page. Those members who are unable to book through the website can call me and I will complete the booking for you.
  5. If you have a temperature or any other symptoms of illness, you must not come. Please contact the pastor for pastoral care in your situation.
  6. Please arrive five minutes before the start of the service and park considerately near the Parsonage.
  7. Entry into the garden will be through the side gate. Please gather on the lower lawn.
  8. Social distancing will be observed between household groups.
  9. If you think you will want to sit down during the service, please bring your own chair. (The service will last about 15-20 minutes only).
  10. Please You may wear a face mask. You may also want to wear disposable gloves.
  11. On arrival, please sanitise your hands with the sanitisers provided.
  12. If you already have an order of service for Home Communion, please bring it. Unused copies will be available if you do not have one. Please take the order of service you use home with you.
  13. Distribution will take place individually by household group.
  14. The blood of Christ will be distributed from the chalice. Before the distribution, it will be sterilised with 95% alcohol to ensure that its surface is free from viruses. Likewise, the chalice will be sterilised between each household group.
    [According to research published by the Center for Disease Control (USA), COVID-19 is not transmitted through food and drink, only via surfaces and the human breath.]
  15. The body of Christ will be distributed in the hand or in the mouth, as usual. Those who receive in the hand will receive first. I will sterilise my hands between each family group to ensure that there is no cross-contamination.
  16. At the end of the service, please take your order of service (and chair, if you brought one) home with you, sanitising your hands on the way out.
  17. If possible, please avoid using the toilet while at the Parsonage. If you do need to use one, please let me know; the downstairs toilet will be available. You must enter and leave through the front door.

The service will consist of the following elements:

  • Confession and Absolution
  • Collect of the Day
  • The Creed
  • The Preface and Proper Preface
  • Sanctus (‘Holy, Holy, Holy’)
  • Lord’s Prayer
  • Words of Institution
  • Agnus Dei (‘Lamb of God’)
  • Distribution
  • Nunc Dimittis (‘Lord, now lettest thou’)
  • Prayer
  • Benediction

To book a place in the service, please use the calendar below. You will need to book separately for each person. Please book the earliest time possible.

For any members who are unable or unwilling to come to the Parsonage but would nevertheless like to receive Holy Communion, please contact me to arrange a pastoral visit in your home.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of this, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (tel. 01329 822 832, mob. 07825 447 475, e-mail pastor@oslc.org.uk). Alternatively, you can contact the elder, Mike Covington (tel. 01329 319 305, e-mail elder@oslc.org.uk) or the chairman, John Dunning (tel. 02381 942 714, mob. 07305 433 680, e-mail chairman@oslc.org.uk).

Thanks be to God for His patient mercy for us, and that He has preserved for us the preaching of His word and the holy sacraments! May He grant us grace to receive them faithfully.

Your servant in Christ,
Rev. Tapani Simojoki

Booking for services of Holy Communion

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Updated on 20 June 2020

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