I am writing, as promised, to give you details of the proposed re-opening of St Andrew’s Oxshott for in-person services. But I want to start with the news about our APCM on Sunday 28 March (Palm Sunday).
APCM (our Annual Parochial Church Meeting)
Sunday 28 March
7 for 7.30pm
At a meeting today the churchwardens and myself confirmed that we do want to go ahead with our annual meeting on Palm Sunday (as published), even though this means that, according to current guidelines, it must be held entirely online. We are sorry for the disappointment this may cause some of you. We will be working hard in the next week to help those of you with internet capacity but little confidence in using it to join us in whatever way we can, and to provide telephone access for those without the internet. We think we know who most of you are, but if you have any queries, please contact the office.
Everyone is invited to join on zoom from 7pm onwards in order both to admit people in time and so that we can enjoy some social time together before the APCM begins at 7.30pm. As we will be online, we will limit the meeting to an hour. Later in the summer, when we can gather in person, there will be further opportunities to celebrate all that God has done among us in this difficult year.
We have some significant gaps to fill on the PCC, so please pray and be pro-active about inviting church family members to stand for election. All the nomination forms are available online or via the office – as is the annual report itself.
Re-opening the Church
As advertised in Weekly News, we plan to resume by holding a single service on Sundays at 10am. This will be live streamed, followed by a short form of Holy Communion, which will not be broadcast. Each week the service will continue to alternate between a traditional and contemporary (Oxshott Praise) style.
Our first in-person service is planned for Easter Day, 4 April: a great way to celebrate! For this special service we will personally invite all those whom we know have had difficulty accessing our services online.
If you are in this group, your invitation should be enclosed with this letter. Please make sure you respond by the date given so that we know how many (if any) places may be available for others to join you in church on this special day.
Once the number of spare places becomes clear it should be possible (depending upon our risk assessment at the time) for others to book in the usual way for this service, either online or by ringing the office.
For services from 11 April onwards booking will occur in the same way as previously.
From Wednesday, 7 April the church will be open weekly for private prayer between 10am and 12noon, with bookable times as before. A new development is that Clergy or Ministry Team members will be available during this time to pray with anyone who would appreciate this.
All covid prevention rules will need to continue to be observed, even if people have had one or both vaccinations and, sadly, singing is still not permitted.
As demand grows, we anticipate re-instating a repeat of the Sunday service on Wednesdays at 10am with private prayer beginning at 11am. Beyond this stage the PCC and Ministry Team will be considering what we are able gradually to introduce. Please pray for guidance for us all.
As ever, there is a lot to take in, so well done if you have made it through to the end!
Let me finish by sharing one of my favourite verses as a blessing (Romans 15.13):
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let us continue to be the people of hope in our community.