So this Sunday we can open our churches to welcome those who come to worship.

We cannot however exuberantly throw open our doors; we cannot process singing and dancing into church; we cannot shout Hallelujah and let the children run, but the churches can again be a place for us to gather and pray together.

Services are planned at St Anne’s: Sundays at 11.00 am and Wednesdays at 9.30 am. We hope to have services at St James’ as well in the near future, probably fortnightly starting in a few weeks.

The rites of passage, baptism, weddings and funerals, can also now happen which is good news.

This is good news and we are glad, but we also know that not all can come into our buildings and that we are not able to gather and share as we would like. We remain “governed” by the two-metre rule and we need to be COVID-secure; we have planned for this and we trust our churches will be safe to come to. We can be thankful and rejoice but we know we are not all free, nor fully free as we would wish to be.

We will miss some of the things that we used to enjoy, and which have meant so much to us, and we will have to cope with changes we would not have chosen. Some of us find that easier than others. Let us work together to help us all discover God is with us in all that happens and to trust God, both for us and for others.

We will continue to provide online resources and we will develop what we hope is a sustainable pattern and rhythm across our Team.