We’re back IN church!

Dear Friends at St Ternan’s,

It is with great pleasure that I write to inform you that from this Sunday, 1st August 2021, our 11am service moves back into church. Until further notice this service will be the 1982 Holy Communion, as it is not yet practical to have the choir necessary for Matins.

We have already been holding our Sunday 8am, Tuesday and Thursday services in church, with no difficulty adhering to the guidelines. As the distance between households is now reduced from 2m to 1m, it will be possible to fit the average numbers that attend our Sunday services into church again.

Paul Woodburn will be welcoming you on Sunday. Part of his task is to ensure that you have a face covering on and sanitise your hands on entry before picking up a service sheet. He will then help your household to find a pew. If your household is attending as a group of 3 or more, simply find the next available pew with tissues and sanitiser provided on it (we are using every other pew) and sit down. If you are attending as a household of one or two, you may be asked to sit at either end of a pew, allowing a 1m gap between households sharing a pew. (Don’t worry if this sounds complicated Paul and Lynsay have it clear in their heads!)

Mary will be playing the organ for us and one piece will be played over the sound system. We have to keep our masks on during the hymns, but if you can’t resist humming or singing along, that’s now allowed. Unfortunately the distancing still makes a choir impractical.

Readers and intercessors will read from the lectern.

Communion will be offered in one kind only (bread) and will be brought to you in your pews by Canon Lynsay. You are invited to remove your face covering and sanitise your hands before she arrives. All bread served to the congregation is consecrated in the ciborium with the lid on, having been placed there by Canon Lynsay, wearing mask and gloves, before the service. The lid is only removed after Lynsay has put on her face covering and sanitised her hands in order to bring communion to you.

For the moment we won’t be offering refreshments after the service and the toilets remain for emergency use only. Tease are happy for us to make use of their facilities.

I will be arranging a vestry meeting for later this month to review how things are going and when we might begin to offer refreshments etc if restrictions continue to relax as planned.

It is not necessary to book seats for 11am. Although, should we suddenly have a Christmas size deluge of attendees we would seat people on a first come first served basis, having to turn people away once the church is full. (I do not foresee this being a problem.)

For a couple of weeks we need to ask you to bear with us. We are getting the camera and the sound system in church linked up to the internet to allow live-streaming of our services. This will however, take a few more weeks. In the meantime there continues to be a provincial service available from https://www.scotland.anglican.org
I will also undertake to get a copy of the service sheet and sermon outline to any unable to attend who request it until we have this in place.

Some of you would like to be planning further ahead. At present I plan, but only confirm things on a month by month basis according to the changing situation we are living through.

I hope to see many of you on Sunday,

Canon Lynsay.x

A priest and poet in the Scottish Episcopal Church, exploring the workings of the Holy Spirit in Banchory .