As the Coronavirus Lockdown comes to an end on the Island it has been announced that Island Churches can resume public worship from Sunday 28 June.
This date for reopening allows our Island churches the opportunity to prepare appropriately for everyone to be able to gather together again and ensure everything that is needed can be in place.
From this date, the Eucharist can be celebrated in church, and members of the congregation can receive the consecrated host (the bread) if they so wish. At this early stage, it is not appropriate for the chalice to be offered to the congregation or to be shared, and certainly not for intinction or ‘dipping’ to take place; wine must still be consecrated, but only the priest should consume this. A priest should maintain good hygiene whilst presiding at the Eucharist, including sanitising and cleaning hands at the table. Queuing to receive communion standing is an alternative to kneeling or standing at the rail, and parishes may wish to consider this option, particularly with regard to people who still wish to practise social and physical distancing.
Whilst communal singing can resume it is still considered safer to refrain from sharing the peace during services. Light refreshments can be shared after the services.
If you are going back to church please be aware of local hygiene in place and be sensitive to those who will still be cautious as we return to gathering together.It will take us some time in each local context to understand what we have experienced and learn to be together agin.