Easing of Coronavirus restrictions: Changes to rules during Services and opening our Churches
Following the easing of most restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, July 19, the Parish’s Vacancy Team discussed the situation, taking account of advice from the Diocese of Leeds. The team sought to balance the wish to return to some kind of normality and to ensure our Churches are reaching out to people with the need to show caution in certain situations and to recognise the concerns about the continued presence of the virus in our society. Taking these factors into account, the team decided the following: * Wearing of face masks is not obligatory. We would encourage people to wear face masks when moving around Church but to then, if they wish, remove their face masks when settled in their pew. * Physical distancing is no longer required inside Church buildings but in this transitional time we would encourage a common sense approach and ask that people to continue to utilise all the available space in Church to minimise the risk of the spread of Covid-19. * Congregational singing is now permitted in Church. We would encourage people if they wish to sing to wear face masks, although this is not obligatory. As we begin this new phase we will use songs in the repertoire that do not require people to sing loudly/at the top of their voices. For those who do not wish to sing (at this stage) there will be a zone in Church where people can choose not to sing and, if they wish, continue to wear face masks, and be guaranteed that 2 metres physical distancing is enforced. (This will probably be in the back quadrant near the main Church entrance, or simply the back half of Churches.) We will still ask people to sign the books at the back on our Churches or to use the NHS app at the entrances, though this is also no longer obligatory. All our Churches are now open for longer hours during the daytime on most days.
Greeting from our new Vicar
The Bishop of Ripon, the Right Rev Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, left, with our new Vicar, the Rev Tom Lusty, and his wife Helen, pictured outside St Oswald's Church, Arncliffe, after the Licensing Service on Monday, June 28. Picture: Peter Vetch
Good morning. I wake this morning as your new parish priest and greatly look forward to ministry here. With restrictions continuing for a while yet I am sorry it wasn’t possible to fill the Church at Arncliffe for the licensing service. It was, however, very full in a physically distanced way with the Bishop and Archdeacon present, Anne representing the school, Revd Mike the chaplain at Scargill, Canon Michael representing the Cathedral, Canon Marion representing the Area Dean, David from Grassington for clergy in the wider deanery, Ian and Rod and Di as clergy who have covered for most of the services in the vacancy, my immediate family (8), five invited guests from my former parish, an impromptu choir (6), and a select delegation from each of the four churches in the parish. Elsewhere on the Parish website you can find the Order of Service from last night and Bishop Helen-Ann’s sermon. Also my response to the welcome and my prayers. I am sorry that it wasn’t possible to live stream the service but hope this gives you an indication of what we got up to and would serve as a way of participating in the introduction of priest and parish to one another. I very much look forward to meeting you all from the four congregations and from the wider community in due course and to seeing some of you on Sunday. Every blessing Tom
* As mentioned by Tom, we have a new page on our website devoted to the Licensing Service, which contains the Bishop of Ripon's sermon, Tom's response to his welcome to the Parish, the Order of Service and some more pictures, which were kindly taken by Peter Vetch. To find the page please go to the top right-hand side of this Home Page and click on 'More'.
This Sunday, August 1, we will have a Service of Morning Prayer with a Methodist Preacher at St Mary's Church, Kettlewell, at 9.30am, and BCP Holy Communion at St Michael and All Angels Church, Hubberholme, at 11.15am.
Please click on the picture below for our latest Online Service.
Our Online Services were started when we first went into lockdown and have proved to be a huge boon to people in the Parish and beyond. They also involve a lot of hard work and devotion from the dedicated team behind the services. The number of people viewing the services has fallen in recent weeks, though a significant number are still doing so. With these considerations in mind, it has been decided to produce an Online Service every month instead of every week. This will start with the service on July 4. The idea is to continue thereafter with a new service being put on the website (www.upperwharfedalechurches.org) in time for the first Sunday of each month, except when the service is timed to coincide with a specific event or religious festival. Updates and information will be provided in the Online Services themselves and also in other Parish communications, such as on this website and in The Link.
The church communities of Upper Wharfedale and Littondale aim to be open and welcoming to everyone. We extend the hospitality of Jesus to people of all faiths and none whatever your background or identity.
Whether you are seeking God's presence, looking for information or some help with prayer and worship, we hope that you will discover that God's love is unconditional and within all things.
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 Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Peace to all who enter. God's grace to all who depart