Thank you! We wanted to know what you thought about returning to church; after all, we are all one in Christ. So a couple of weeks ago we asked you and you told us! We have, at the time of writing, 67 responses. Thank you for caring and for sharing your views!
We were pleased to have 7 responses from people who attend a church outside the benefice or don’t have a regular church, as well as the 60 who worship within the benefice.
Here’s a bit about what you, collectively, said:
- Roughly a quarter of you are ready to go back to church: nearly half are more likely to go back sometime later this year. For the remainder, it will depend on the rules.
- Only 5% of you thought we should open the churches immediately, with nearly half wanting a gradual opening over the summer, a quarter wanting to wait until September, and 20% suggest waiting until restrictions are lifted.
- Where we might have more people wanting to come than seats, you expressed a range of views! There was no clear winner, although some form of booking or rota was accepted (making sure we allow for those not online).
- Lots of you make use of our online offerings and you would like many of them (especially worship) to continue. Two thirds or more of you want to watch online, when not attending in person. Around half of you would still be interested in watching a streamed service from another church, or our homes, even if you attend in person.
- Nearly a third of you would like to join in with live services: we’re looking at how to make that work.
- You also gave us over thirty written responses, with helpful and constructive suggestions: again, thank you!
You’ve encouraged us and given us a lot to work with. Based on the results, Diocesan advice, and what we feel is sensible, we’re starting to open up, gradually. Our first service will be from All Saints: practically, we can make it ‘COVID-secure’ and it’s got a broadband connection, so we can stream live! We’ll also offer communion, in our first week, from St Mark. Beyond that, we’ll keep ‘gradually opening’ and learn what works, and what doesn’t.
Our online services will keep going: please bear with us as we work through what it means to worship in person and online!
If you have further suggestions, or questions, please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re all on this journey together!