Christmas Services Update

22nd December 2020

Christmas Services Update

Dear Friends,

You will have heard the news over the weekend of the new variant of Coronavirus which is curtailing Christmas plans and limiting the movements of most people, but especially those within Tier 4.  The Archbishop of Canterbury has also issued a note emphasising the need to be wise as we decide whether it is safe and secure to worship over Christmas. 

As such, I met with clergy and others online on Sunday afternoon to consider what impact, if any, this news would have on our Christmas services over the next few days.  We had a useful discussion covering many points of view which I found helpful in reaching a consensus, the results of which we are communicating to everyone today.

The changes to the service pattern over the next few days are as follows: 

Thursday 24th December – Midnight Mass – 11.30pm, St Mary’s Church

This service will continue as planned with the exception that there will be no singing by the planned small choir. We will listen to the carols being played by Debbie Emmott-Dart, humming gently, but not singing. We have 45 spaces available and currently 29 have booked to attend. Booking will be essential, so if you do wish to attend you will need to let us know ASAP.  We will not exceed 45 in attendance and we will not be allowing ‘walk-ins’ at this service, unless there is significant sufficient space still available at 11.28pm.

Friday 25th December – Joint Parish Christmas Morning Service  – 10.00am, Church Green

This service (being outdoor) will continue as planned with singing allowed.  Please come prepared for a bright, sunny, if chilly Christmas Morning. The service will last 30-35 minutes and bringing a chair might be useful, although I daresay some might be available from St Mary’s. 

Sunday 27th December – Holy Communion – 9.30am, St Mary’s Church

Sunday 27th December – BCP Holy Communion – 10.30am, St Swithun’s Church

We have decided that to cancel the planned service at St Mary’s at 9.30am on 27th December but will continue with the BCP Communion at St Swithun’s at 10.30am. Again, booking is essential to attend. Whilst amending a previously published rota is something I don’t like doing, by cancelling this service we reduce the risk on this Sunday by focussing our efforts in just one service, not two. Please follow the usual social distancing guidelines in place at St Swithun’s. Spaces are limited to 30, if the balcony is used.

I hope this helps you plan accordingly and whatever the service I, and those sharing in ministry with me, look forward to welcoming you to our churches as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ – joy to the World!

With every blessing for a peaceful and safe Christmas,

Revd Paul Bradish

Rector, Kings Worthy & Headbourne Worthy