The Heart of God for Chertsey

Church temporarily CLOSED

Temporary Closure of St. Peter’s for Sunday Worship from 3rd January, 2021

Following discussions with staff team, church wardens and PCC and other local incumbents, this week, a decision has been reluctantly made by the PCC to continue with online worship only for the month of January and not to offer ‘in person worship’ on Sundays or mid week opening for private prayer. This decision was not taken lightly, has sought to be objective and not respond emotionally to our current local situation. The decision will be reviewed again later this month.

As one of the very first local churches to re-open for public worship following the first lock-down, this decision was made with a very heavy heart. There are some general but specific local concerns, which have led to this decision.

1.
The last week has seen our local hospital (St. Peter’s, Chertsey) diverting ambulances to Guildford as it is overrun with Covid19 cases. Members of our congregations working within the NHS are reporting unprecedented pressures owing to Covid19 locally. The church is mourning the loss of three worshippers who have died from Covid19 including a recent ordinand. Other worshippers are infected with the virus.
2.
The clergy team is conducting nine funerals in the next three weeks, five of which are likely to be taking place in church. This is posing considerable pressure with regards to cleaning and disinfecting surfaces between services and, of course, before and after Sunday worship. Funerals will continue. We are expecting further funerals later this month. With the building in such heavy use the risk of infection is inevitably going to be much higher for those worshipping on Sundays or indeed at any time. This is critical.
3.
Until now, the church wardens and I have been confident that we are as Covid19 secure as possible through rigorous social distancing, mask wearing and disinfecting. We have a large building and have kept to the 2 metre rule. However, with a heavy rise in infections locally since the highly transmissible (50-70% more transmissible) new variant of Covid19 has taken hold we are less confident that the measures set under the original variant, are secure enough especially with such heavy use of the building through funerals.
4.
There is a sense that remaining open for worship, whilst legal, is perhaps not a good witness to the wider community which is effectively locked down (‘it’s OK for them’). We are also conscious of many NHS staff within our church who are up against it and believe we should make a socially responsible decision not to potentially increase their pressure, and that of their colleagues. It would be all too easy to stand up for our
rights to worship in person in these circumstances.

St. Peter’s has a very strong online presence, which is valued by the gathered and wider community. Throughout January, the existing online ministry will continue via Facebook Live and YouTube.

  • Sundays
    • 10.30am – Worship Livestream (weekly)
    • 6.30pm – Holy Communion (every two weeks)
  • Wednesdays 9.00pm – Mid Week Refreshment (weekly)
  • Fridays 10.00pm – Compline/Night Prayer (weekly)
  • Monday-Wednesday 9.15am – Morning Prayer via Zoom (Codes available)

Most Home Groups will continue to meet via Zoom
The latest Alpha Course will begin at the end of January via Zoom
‘Sceptic Space’ will continue to be offered on a regular basis

For those who are not online the team will ensure that contact via phone continues throughout January.

With every blessing and Happy New Year
Tim Hillier, Jan Alexander, Dave Phillips (Vicar and Church Wardens)

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Find our videos!

There are three places you can go to to find our services and other videos

Services are generally available in HD 1920 x 1080 resolution on YouTube and 1280 x 720 on Facebook.

Covid 19 : Partial Church Reopening

St. Peter’s Church July 7th 2020

Following consultation with members of the PCC, close attention to Church of England guidelines and completion of a risk assessment, Tim, Jan and Dave (Vicar and Church Wardens) are making plans to re open the church in the following ways:

Firstly, streamed Sunday worship will continue for the foreseeable future and will continue to be available by Facebook and YouTube. ‘Hope in a time of Fear‘ will also continue on Wednesday evenings along with Sunday evening Communion Services on a regular basis. Together the church is engaging weekly with 500+ people in this way.

Opening for Private Prayer
From Wednesday 15th July the church will be open for private prayer between 2.00pm and 4.00pm and then each Wednesday at the same time. It will also be open on Saturdays, beginning on 18th July between 11.00am and 1.00pm. The church will be supervised, social distancing will be maintained with a specific area designated for prayer.

Sunday Worship
From Sunday August 1st , the church will be open for worship at 10.30am. We are hoping this will involve the streaming of the morning worship which will be watched simultaneously with those at home. There will be a team member present who will lead prayers before and after the streamed service. (Currently singing is not permitted under Covid 19 rules). We will be able to accommodate between 17 and 55 people at any one time depending on the ratio of single people, couples and larger family groups. We anticipate to be able to accommodate around 30 people per week and adhere to social distancing.
We are looking to organise some one off outside events this summer and occasional communion services on a Sunday evening, albeit for very small numbers.

Weddings and Funerals can now take place with the first wedding on July 11th . A maximum of 30 people will be able to attend. We are postponing baptisms in the short term.

We are looking to re establish our work with children and young people very soon including some Sunday activities. The PCC will be reviewing these plans in August in the light of further advice from the Church of England and government.

In due course we will all meet together again!

We are seeking volunteers to be ‘on duty’ for week day opening. If you would be free to help, please contact Carol Murphy on 07712 086743 or carol@murphys.be

Tim Hillier (Vicar)
Jan Alexander (Warden)
Dave Phillips (Warden)

Give as you Live – raising funds for St Peter’s

If you shop online with supermarkets, Amazon, eBay, or many other stores, you can contribute to St Peter’s at no cost to yourself by opening an account with Give as you Live. When you visit your online store, they will make a donation to St Peter’s. Please consider joining this scheme to help raise funds. The signup page is below.

Development Project 2019-2022