PLEASE NOTE THAT PUBLIC WORSHIP WILL RESUME ON SUNDAY 5TH JULY
under strict health and safety rules
"Whoever you are; wherever you come from, everyone is welcome here”
The people of Horfield Parish Church try to make these words come alive by example. We are a community gathered in the Church of the Holy Trinity with St. Edmund, and part of the community of Horfield, Bristol.
Our worship is centred on the Eucharist and the sacramental life of God’s church, that we may grow as people who witness, live and experience God’s love at work in the ordinary rhythm of daily life. We worship in the liberal, inclusive, catholic tradition of the Church of England
You will find a warm welcome in our church from people who strive to follow Jesus through prayer, fellowship and service to the wider community. We understand church is not the place to be given firm answers, but a safe place to ask searching questions, find reflective space and be ourselves before God who is love.
We seek to honour the diversity that strengthens us and enhances and enriches our common life. Our church is a place where we have the opportunity to continue our journey towards God together, young and old, encouraging and supporting one another and welcoming the visitor and the stranger with a hospitality that assures no one need travel alone.
THE SAFE PHASED RE-OPENING OF HOLY TRINITY CHURCH – JUNE/JULY, 2020
From the Archdeacons of the Diocese of Bristol:
Many will greet the news with joy that the government agreed to the re-opening of our churches for public worship from 4th July. We look forward to meeting again in our churches. There are significant mission and pastoral opportunities, and a great need to heal the wounds in our nation. For some, reopening churches and attending them will be a stress and a concern, and we all need to recognise that.
- Some clergy and some parishioners are still shielding and will need special provision and care
- We shall not return to normality soon. Social distancing will remain and there will be restrictions on what we can do.
- The change in Government guidance is permissive, not prescriptive. It may not be safe or appropriate for some churches to reopen now. If you will not soon be in a position to reopen any churches in your benefice, then the Bishop can authorise a change in the worship pattern. This has been delegated to the Archdeacons to administer so please be in touch with us.
There will be a lot to consider and plan in the coming weeks. Do keep in touch and let us know how it is going. We will be praying for you alongside offering all the practical support we can.
Phase 1 – Re-opening Holy Trinity, Horfield for private prayer
At this current time, the church cannot be open in the way it was before the lockdown. If it is to be open, it will have to be controlled by strict safety measures.
The church be opened for private prayer at a number of designated times during the week, for a set time period; these times will be advertised in the weekly pew sheet and on the church porch gates. Currently: Tuesday mornings (10 am to 12 noon); Friday afternoons (4 pm to 6 pm)
That the church during this time will be supervised by a rota of volunteers, who would be there to pray and lead by example, welcome and advise and, if necessary, to oversee that hygienic safety and social-distancing measures are being adhered to.
Note: The Lady Chapel will not be available for prayer; it is too cramped for adequate social distancing to be preserved. Currently, the St Edmund’s Altar is set up as a nave altar.
There will be a widely distanced semi-circle of chairs set before it; and pews will be marked, indicating places, by coloured tape to assist with the control of a socially distanced seating plan. (Sitting places will be available at either end of each alternate pew.)
The Blessed Sacrament is currently in a tabernacle sited behind the high altar to provide a spiritual focus for prayer and contemplation before the Body of Christ. The sanctuary lamp is constantly lit.
There will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on the Nave Altar, when possible, to facilitate private devotional prayer and contemplation.
Candles are available, as usual, before the statue of Our Lady.
There is a focus for prayer in front of the nave altar: a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with candles to light and prayers to say are provided. Other prayer resources will be available (they have to be in take-away leaflet form).
Appropriate guidance notices about safety and social distancing are on display. Hand sanitiser will be provided at the entrance. The doors must remain open.
Phase 2 – Re-opening for collective worship
Collective worship will take place from Sunday, 5th July under Church of England guidelines, endorsed by our diocesan bishop and archdeacons.
The seating restrictions will be as for Phase 1, with the addition of restricted seating in the St. Andrew’s Baptistry Chapel.
Both the main doors and the South Transept doors will be wide open.
The Sacristy and vestry will be strictly out of bounds to all. No toilet facilities will be available.
Stewards will be present to welcome and offer hand sanitiser.
Pewsheets (including a large print format) will be given, which will include all the resources necessary to participate in the worship. These are to be used once and taken away. No Mass books or hymn books can be distributed.
There will be no choir and no singing. There will be music during the Mass, but it will not be participatory.
There will be no processions in or out – and no altar serving team.
Mass will be celebrated by the priest eastward facing (we all face the Blessed Sacrament in the same direction before God, inspired by the image at the top of our East window). In these pandemic, viral times, old traditions have taken on a new significance – we must limit the facing of one another for sustained periods of time.
Readings and prayers will be read by a church warden from their pew using a radio microphone.
There will be a carefully stewarded procedure for receiving Holy Communion, which is of, course the most challenging moment. People will be invited up from the West End first (so no one has to pass another in forming a queue). Markers (1/2 metres apart) will be placed along the nave aisle. There will be a one way flow up the centre of the nave and back along the side-aisles. Hand sanitiser will be available in the central aisle for those receiving holy communion.
Hosts will be consecrated in a closed, lidded ciborium.
There will still be no communication from the chalice.
Communion will be received standing at the head of the nave aisle.
Hosts will be placed on a metal shallow plate (designed for this purpose) using sterilised tongs; communicants will be invited to take a host, carefully, from the edge nearest them – or the priest will place a host in the hand of the communicant using sterilised tongs. This will be done in silence – nothing will be said by the priest. The usual “Body of Christ” will be incorporated into a general invitation at the beginning of Communion and another prayer will be said when all have received.
The priest will (probably) not be at the door to greet people as they leave the church in the normal way and there cannot be an after-Mass coffee hour to begin with.
Mass will be celebrated, liturgically, by a priest only, not a priest and deacon as we usually do.
Mass will be celebrated in church on Sundays at 10 am.
An open-air Mass will be celebrated at 6 pm on Horfield Common in the Summer and early Autumn. This would, also, be a powerful act of witness in the community.
The first open-air Mass will be on Sunday, 26th July
Mass can also be celebrated during the week at the nave altar using the socially distanced seating arrangements.
There will, probably, be people who will not be able to return to worship in church for the time being; therefore, a recorded Mass will still be posted on social media platforms.