Update July 2021
St Cuthbert’s Update 27 July 2021
We’re heading into August, with mandatory restrictions on our lives a thing of the past, at least for
now. Here’s what’s new at St Cuthbert’s in the summer season.
Worship in August
As we enter August we will have one service each week at 10am, and return to two services in
September. The service will feel a little different from what we have become used to – a little more
informal, with music from the bands rather than organ and choir.
Talking of music, we are now able to sing again in church! The
guidance does remind us that singing indoors in a poorly
ventilated space is a transmission risk, so when possible we will
have the doors open to let fresh air flow through.
The introverts among us have had a lengthy break from being
hugged, but now we can reinstate the peace as a time to greet
each other in a tactile way. But – let’s be gentle with each other, and agree beforehand to respect
others’ wishes: I might want to hug you, but if you don’t want to be hugged, you shouldn’t feel
awkward in saying no. Some of us will want to keep with the wave, while others might want to
move around and greet more boisterously. So if someone is staying in their place, don’t go in for a
hug – concentrate on those who are roaming free!
The same goes with wearing masks – some people might prefer to keep their mask on, and not
want others coming into their personal space, so please can we allow each other to travel at
whatever pace we feel comfortable with.
The hand sanitiser will remain, and we will keep on doing communion in the same way at least for
a while longer.
If the weather is fine, we will probably serve tea and coffee outside. This won’t work every week (it
didn’t last week!) but when it does, let’s enjoy the sunshine and the freedom to socialise as safely
as possible. But if the weather’s wet, then coffee in the hall, with windows and doors open for
fresh air, will be the order of the day.
The PCC will review the situation as time goes on, and devote much of their October meeting to a
thorough examination of the future of our worship pattern. I want to know your thoughts – so
please speak to me any time about it all.
We cordoned off the rear of the car park after a tile fell from the roof, so please take great care
when entering or leaving the church via the back door, and avoid parking your car at the rear end
of the car park. If the car park is full on Sunday – you’re welcome to park in the vicarage driveway –
there’s room for at least 4 cars as well as ours.
The PCC feel that fixing the roof is now urgent, so we took the big decision to release some money
that we’ve been keeping to employ a children & families worker in order to get the work done
more quickly. But I hope that this doesn’t mean that we will lose the vision of employing some
extra to help take the work of our church forward. We know that the pandemic has had a huge
impact on people’s mental health, particularly young people, and I have had the idea of seeking to
employ a Covid recovery worker. I’ve been informed that there is grant money available for the
voluntary sector to start projects such as this, so I’m working on a proposal which the PCC will
consider in due course. I can’t give you much detail yet – the idea is in its very early stages, but I
cherish the hope that we might have a repaired roof and a new worker by the end of 2022.
Continue the Conversation
As I mentioned above, we still need to talk about the future of our worshipping life, and now
there’s a new subject I want your opinions on. I talk about the PCC a lot, because they are the
decision making body in the church. But we all are the body of Christ, so please get in touch, ring
me, email me, collar me after church and give me your thoughts on all this.
Church without Walls
Yesterday we had our third outdoor church event,
and the heavens opened! I took 8 umbrellas down
with me, and brought back two I don’t recognise! If
one of these is yours, please let me know and I’ll
gladly return it.
Poor Laura battled on heroically, as the rain
hammered down, but in the end, we had to
We have different feelings and attitudes to the restrictions placed on our lives as a result of Covid.
Some of us think the whole thing has been an over-reaction, others are concerned that we are
being reckless in removing all restrictions.
What I think we all agree on is that we are all members of one body in the church, and we are
called by God to love and care for one another. If one rejoices, we all rejoice. If one suffers, we all
suffer. (1 Corinthians 12:12-27)
Please remember to be gentle with each other, try not to insist on having things the way you like
them, but look out for the interests of others. Let’s treat the next few months as an experimental
period. Let’s test our strength, like a convalescent patient working out what they can and cannot
do, as their health returns. God willing, we will recover our strength and go on from here into a
bright future, in which we welcome many more people to join us in discovering God’s love for
And finally …
Stephen Brent, Karen Griffiths, Debbie Elsden, Sam Baker, Sandra Maniez and I have been working
for a while on a new website. It will be going live very soon- still a work in progress, but a welcome
improvement on our old site which was looking dated. So if you haven’t visited www.ryepark.com
recently, check it out this week, and soon you’ll see something new. Tell us what you think!