What’s happening at church?

As things move on, we thought you might like to know what coming to church looks like these days, so here’s a few photos from the last couple of weeks at St Andrew’s.

As you come in the main door, you’ll be welcomed by our sidesperson with the NHS Test & Trace list. And each week, you have to guess who is behind the mask – not too tricky!

Music is sometimes on a video and sometimes just audio but still absorbing and reflecting the theme of the service, including some tracks generously recorded for us by Lindsey and David Mackie.

There’s a KiC activity box for each family with craft and puzzles – and sometimes dressing up – to match our theme of the week. Don’t let Natasha have all the fun, come and join in!

On Communion weeks (3rd Sundays at St Andrew’s) we receive Communion in one kind only – a wafer – which Natasha brings to us in our seats. She then drinks the wine of the sacrament on our behalf at the altar table.

Next week there’ll be more photos from St Giles’ at we meet at 11am for our Traditional Harvest Festival. Or pop along to St Andrew’s at 4pm for Prayer and Peace with a Harvest theme.

See you next week at St Giles’!

Feeding the 5000

It felt like we were beginning to find our feet in a new normal on Sunday, as we gathered at St Andrew’s for a tea-time All Age service, followed by a socially distanced picnic in St Andrew’s garden. (Did you know St Andrew’s had a garden?). We were all ready to be fed – in body and spirit.

The service was in the main hall as normal, led by Natasha, with video content from Tina and Simon Edwards, including a great video featuring Lego Jesus feeding the 5000 (courtesy of Union Baptist Church, High Wycombe). The full version can be found in the video podcast of the whole service here.

Even if we missed having a barbecue, I don’t think anyone missed the clearing up afterwards! Natasha definitely hit her step target doing waitress service from the Coffee Shop to the garden, as the guidelines say that we can only be served drinks from a cafe and not come and help ourselves from the hatch. If we are going to be able to serve refreshments before or after a regular service any time soon, this needs a bit of thinking about… answers on a postcard (or just email the office!)

For the time being, we do have to spread the chairs out to keep our distance in the hall, and wear our masks, so you have to whistle or wave to your neighbour rather than whisper in their ear, but it’s great to see everyone again.

So how are you feeling about coming back to church? Still nervous of the virus? Missing the music? Can’t face talking about lockdown? Just feeling a bit stuck?

If you are still nervous, be assured we have lots of measures in place to try to limit contact. If you’ve been to a supermarket or restaurant, you can come to church. We are playing music, you just have to hum into your mask, rather than sing. And it gives us a chance to explore new songs that we can’t easily get everyone to join in with, as well as old favourites.

What to talk about… Ask people about their garden, their pets or their family or their plans for the next week. The more we get out and about, the more we will have to talk about. Why not get involved in something new, especially if you are now working from home and perhaps have some flexible time? A new Alpha course, led by Tina and Simon is starting at the end of September or drop Natasha a line and let her know you have some time – a little or a lot, extra hands are essential as we rebuild our activities.

We look forward to seeing you all soon.