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Thanks and Praise

by Michael Ford last modified 24 Jul, 2020 05:02 PM

Having spent time preparing their buildings, many of our churches are now able to unlock for worship.

Across our Diocese, volunteers have been embarking on rigorous cleaning regimes, bought copious supplies of hand gel and printing out signage that encourages social distancing, all so those who have been waiting since March to worship inside a church can return.

St Mary's Dorchester Facebook page contained the following post that echoes others posted all over social media:

"Absolute joy and great emotion at our first service after lockdown. So wonderful to be back in church to praise the Lord, very special time."

But those who are returning are discovering that worship under the government guidelines is very different from what congregations were used to before lockdown.

There is no singing of hymns and those attending worship must adhere to social distancing rules.

For many small churches, or even larger ones where the layout does not lend itself to safe social distancing, especially where there are large congregations, holding services outside in good weather is a better option.

That was the case when the congregation and community of St James in Poole wanted to say goodbye to the Revd Lewis Pearson.

Lewis had served as an Assistant Curate in the parish and the congregation had supported him through his curacy, which saw him ordained as a Deacon and then as a Priest. 

Thanks and Praise- Saying farewell to Lewis Pearson

Those who gathered, socially distanced outside the church in the centre of Poole Old Town, sent him out with love and prayers to his new parishes in the Benefice of Winterbourne Valley and Milton Abbas.

The Revd Lucy Holt, Rector at St James said: "I am so grateful to have had him share in ministry at St James."

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