From The Rev'd Andy Davis
The Revd Andy Davis BSc BD
Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of Holy Trinity, Bramley (Diocese of Guildford)
Bramley Vicarage, 1 Birtley Rise, Bramley, GU5 0HZ
Mobile: 07709 919602 Landline: 01483 892109 revd.andydavis@gmail.
I promise to provide a more up to date photograph at some point (and one where you can see my eyes) but this is me after taking a ‘Steampunk’* Wedding. Top hat and goggles were part of the uniform. This photograph won a Hampshire portrait competition!
Today, in church, I was wearing a plastic visor rather than goggles. We were back in church for worship for the first time since March; and it was my first Sunday as priest here, too!
What precautions did we have to take? Well, there had to be one entrance and one exit; hand gel available on entry; every other pew cordoned off, and only two in each pew, unless they were from the same household; all spoken parts to be said softly; no singing, except a solo voice, at the front and singing forward (away from everyone else) and no physical contact at all, so certainly no exchange of ‘The Peace’.
We did encourage people to share the words ‘peace be with you’ using sign Language, although care was needed because with only a slight deviation, instead of ‘peace be with you’, one could easily end up signing ‘baked beans be with you’ - a nice sentiment, but not quite what was needful.
The giving of Communion was also done carefully; I had to gel my hands before preparing the bread and wine on the altar, and again just before giving Communion to the people; Communion can only be ‘in one kind’ (the bread only...although it has always been understood that even if you receive the bread alone or the wine alone, you are receiving Christ in all his fullness...the full sacrament); I put the aforementioned plastic visor on, before giving Communion, and people adopted a socially distanced ‘one way system’ to come up and receive Communion, with me dropping the Communion wafers into their hands, taking care to avoid physical contact. Those isolating or shielding at home (or who would simply prefer not to come) could – thanks to the technical efforts of the Revd Graham Smith – watch the service via Zoom. Do let me know if you would like to do that yourself.
Despite all the strictures, it was a reverent and joyful service; a reminder that the
Covid-19 crisis can encourage a deeper sense of fellowship and a greater
awareness of each other.
With love to all,
* According to Wikipedia, Steampunk is a retrofuturistic subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. Ed.