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Church opens again for public worship

posted 1 Jul 2020, 11:30 by Saint Charalambos

Dear Brothers and sisters in Christ,

On Sunday the 5th of July 2020, St Charalambos Greek Orthodox Church will once again open for public worship.  There will still be restrictions and we must all still do everything we can to limit the spread of the virus to protect each other, especially the most vulnerable. Thus, in accordance with the government guidelines on “restrictions to capacity”, services will take place with a congregation limited to a maximum of 15 people at any one time. Once the maximum number of 15 people has been reached, entry to the Church will close until the end of the service.

Fr Nicholas is looking into the possibility of holding a service on Saturday morning, in order to avoid the church being overcrowded on Sundays. Please contact us if you are interested in that.

As the government guidance advises that “the ceremonies and services should be concluded in the shortest reasonable time”, the service will commence at 8.30 am with Matins (Orthros) and the Divine Liturgy will follow at approximately 9.30 am. Memorial Services will be conducted after the Liturgy has finished and the church has been sanitized. Please get in touch with us to make the necessary arrangements.

Please follow the guidance on hand hygiene. Queue management is also important so the flow of groups in and out of the church can be carefully controlled in a socially distanced way, reducing the risk of congestion or contact. When queueing to receive Holy Communion continue to observe social distancing. Parents are responsible for their children's safety.

The Government Guidance stipulates that “Individuals should be prevented from touching or kissing objects that are handled communally” and we kindly request you to observe this rule. Please observe social distancing as much as you can. Worshippers are encouraged to wear face coverings to offer protection to others. Once the Liturgy is completed, we kindly ask you to depart promptly, to minimise the risk of contact and spread of infection.

None of these rules detracts from the centrality of our encounter with the Risen Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. We ask everyone to respect and follow the guidance. Let us not forget St Paul’s advice “Let all things be done decently and in order... For God is not the author of confusion but of peace”. Please do follow the instructions of the church committee members who are volunteers and try their best “Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

Let us give thanks to the Lord for being able to meet in His House and let us keep on praying that He will have mercy on us and deliver us from this fearful plague and all other sorrows and calamities.