|Published by Zoe Bell on Tue, 24 Mar 2020 19:47|
I have not issued a second circular letter before now because events were moving so speedily last week that it would have rendered an earlier missive out-of-date by the time it reached you. However, I believe that the situation has settled sufficiently to give you a reasonably accurate idea of how things stand with us as a church.
The Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England have urged everyone to follow the instructions given by the Prime Minister to stay in their homes in a national effort to limit the transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19)
This means that all C of E churches will close with immediate effect in line with the Government's instructions. There will be no Church services at all, including weddings and baptisms, although funerals at gravesides or in crematoriums can still take place subject to the established strict hygiene and social distancing requirements. Accordingly, Berkswell Church will be locked and no activity will take place within it until further notice.
You should know that the Bishop has declared that we cannot have 'virtual' communion services, namely, communion services that are videoed beforehand and uploaded onto the internet (e.g. You Tube, Facebook) and accessed from there. He says that ideally a priest could preside over communion at home with a member of the household and stream that. If this is not possible, he is content for a priest to preside alone at home. However, I am at liberty to record and upload non-eucharist services and material at my discretion.
As you can appreciate, mastering various forms of digital technology is a big 'learning curve' for me as it is for many of us. Steve and Zoe Bell, and Janet, are working very hard to promote the flow of information and to keep you all informed. However, in our current period of enforced incarceration, the Church is uploading virtual services, spiritual material and up-to-date information onto YouTube and its Facebook pages, which you are strongly encouraged to access.
In order to access the Church Facebook page, you need to have an account, which can be created as per below instructions. If you already have an account you can find us by clicking here.
1. Go to www.facebook.com/r.php.
2. Enter your name, email or mobile phone number, password, date of birth and gender.
3. Click Sign Up.
4. To finish creating your account, you need to confirm your email or mobile phone number.
5. Search for 'St John Baptist Berkswell' on your personal Facebook homepage which you will now have as a result of creating an account or enter the following: https://www.facebook.com/BerkswellChurch/
6. 'Like' the Church Facebook page by clicking the 'like' button. This will ensure that you are notified on your new personal Facebook page whenever new material is added
I appreciate that this may take many of you out of your 'comfort zone', but I am confident that you will be able to gain access to this extraordinary new digital world without too much trouble.
I hope to livestream a Eucharist from my home this Sunday if I can master the technology and if so will instruct you via YouTube or Facebook as to how you can participate.
With my best wishes