Weekly Email – St James
Now formal government COVID restrictions are no longer legally binding on us in quite the way that they have been over the past few months, and having had the opportunity to reflect on the latest church advice on public worship, I am pleased to be able to share with you a number of changes to our liturgy which will be effective from this Sunday onwards.
I hope these changes will be a relief to those who have found COVID restrictions burdensome. However, I want to emphasise how much I want our liturgy to remain as inclusive as possible for those who still need to be careful or who may prefer to socially distance and wear a mask. I hope these changes will enable us to move forward into the “new normal” whilst enabling people to feel safe. I propose that we have a review of these new conventions in September to see how they are going, and whether further relaxation is wise or not.
We will apply the following conventions to our celebration of the Mass at All Saints from Sunday 25th July 2021:
You will no longer be required to wear a face mask in church. If you wish to wear one, you are, of course, more than welcome to, but this will no longer be a requirement.
You will still be recommended to sanitise your hands upon entering the church.
It will not be necessary to socially distance in church. You may sit wherever you like in the nave, and the chairs will be returned to their former arrangement. It is hoped, however, that people will naturally space themselves out as well as possible.
The north aisle, however, will be kept as a space for anyone who wishes formally to socially distance. If you choose to sit there, please keep a distance of at least two metres from anyone else.
Congregational singing will return at the Mass on Sunday 25th July. From then on, all are welcome to sing hymns and the sung responses in the liturgy as before the Pandemic.
The High Mass will return on Sunday 15th August for the feast of the Assumption and the 11.00 am Mass each Sunday will be a High Mass with our accustomed ceremonial from then on.
Our Director of Music will gradually bring choir numbers back to full strength from 8 singers to 11 on a Sunday morning over the coming months.
The daily Mass at 12 noon each day will move from the High Altar to the Lady Chapel. This will happen in the next week or two when filming equipment has been installed to allow us to continue to broadcast the Mass each day. We will review whether the time is right to re-introduce an additional evening daily Mass in September.
We will continue to broadcast the 11.00 am Mass on a Sunday and the 12 noon Mass each day. This way of allowing many more people to participate in our liturgy will become a permanent part of our parish’s life.
We will continue not to exchange the peace by touching. This decision will be reviewed in September.
We will continue to administer communion in one kind and at the chancel step with the celebrant wearing a mask for the rest of the summer. This will allow those who are still clinically vulnerable or anxious to receive communion safely. This decision will be reviewed in September.
We will continue to follow the precautions which we have observed for the past eighteen months concerning the preparation of the gifts for the Mass. The hosts to be administered at each Mass will remain in a covered ciborium, whose lid will not be removed until the people’s communion.
We will return to serving refreshments in the courtyard from Sunday 25th July 2021. The bar will be open from the evening of Sunday 1st August 2021 onwards.
When the kneelers were removed from the nave 18 months ago because of COVID, they were found on inspection to be a fire hazard, and had to be disposed of. The purchase of a new set of safer kneelers is already in hand, but may take a few weeks yet to arrive.
I hope these arrangements will make a significant, positive difference to our worshipping life together. However, I hope they also mean that those who consider themselves clinically vulnerable, or who need to take special care for whatever reason will feel safe in our church. It will, of course, be necessary to see how we get on through the summer and how infection and hospitalisation rates develop.
Please join me in praying for those who are anxious at this time, but also for a renewal and rejuvenation in the liturgical and social life of our parish as we are now able to interact in person much more freely.
Feast of the Assumption
Don’t forget to put our evening celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in your diaries: Sunday 15th August 2021 at 6.00 pm. There will be Evensong, and a procession of Our Lady down down Oxford Street, finishing back in church with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
The liturgy will be followed by a parish party in the courtyard to celebrate the feast and welcome visitors and friends.
Links for Sunday
The link for the Propers for St James is at the end of this email.
And click here for the YouTube live stream.
Evensong and Benediction is at 6pm on Sunday. The music includes Byrd Second Service, Palestrina Exsultate Deo, Moneverdi O salutaris and Victoria Tantum ergo. This service is not live streamed.
The flowers for Sunday have been arranged by Celia Lamprell in blessed memory of her mother, Gwyneth Hopkins and father, Richard Vick who both enjoyed summer birthdays.
If you would like to make a donation for flowers, please contact Shawn on 07988 287 663 or firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to Chris Self.
Prisoners and captives
Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, Ismaeil Maghrebinejad, Nasrin Sotoudeh
David Fettke, Joan Cooper, Vallery Tchukov, Sara Vice, Katherine Lee, Lorna Smith, Beth Klausing, Hilary Porter, Bruce Ross-Smith, Benjamin Woolf, James Shrimpton, Tony Rodger, Rachel Pereira, Fr Michael Gudgeon, Chris and Carole Radley, Fr Harry Hodgetts, Rosemary Orr, Andrew Roger, Martin Berka, Barbara Schiefer, Joan Anna SLG, Poppy Harris, Sheila Wood, Jennifer Spreckley, Sue Yesnick, Elizabeth Lyon, Rosina Sargon Eskrya, Fr Charles Cloughen, Malcolm Brown, Fr Pip Bevan, Tim Knight, Hillary Rodger, Geoff Vardy, Fr John O’Brien, Charles Hoff, Max Fernandes, Mark Willoughby
Those known to us recently departed
Rob Scott-Mitchell, Donald Strachan Pr, Timothy van Carrapiett Pr, Ivan Wood, Alan Hewson
Anniversaries of death
25th – Edith Wallis, Muriel Williams, Enid Ingle
26th – Edward Reader Pr, David Sparrow Pr (tenth vicar of All Saints), Jean Neighbour, Teresa Butler
27th – Roy Ellis
29th – Edward Hobson, Herbert Palmer Pr, Helen Clark, George Maynard, Patricia Self
30th – George Maryon-Wilson
31st – John Gardner, Francis Woodlock, Margery Duce
Supporting All Saints
Parish Giving Scheme
You can set up a regular donation to All Saints here.
We use the Parish Giving Scheme, which allows contributions to be anonymous and deals with Gift Aid, saving our office a lot of time. You can read about how the scheme works here.
Donations for general church purposes
To give by BACS please use the following details, advising the Administrator to collect Gift Aid:
PCC All Saints (Charity no. 1132895)
Sort Code 60-09-15
Parish Legacy Policy
We are always delighted to hear from anyone who wants to support us with a donation. Our PCC Legacy Policy encourages people to leave bequests specifically to one of our two related charities to be used for purposes of lasting value (rather than day to day costs):
All Saints Choir & Music Trust (Charity # 802994)
or The All Saints Foundation (Charity # 273390).