I hope I haven't put you off your tea with our mug shots - but let's talk about mask wearing and current Covid restrictions. As we all know, there's no law to restrict us at the moment, so it falls to the incumbent, in discussion with wardens, to decide on the level of restrictions. And we're all in very different situations with different views - it's a great opportunity to grow grace amongst us!
Covid is becoming endemic in the population - we need to live with it . But it's still not the gift anyone wants for Christmas, especially not long Covid, and cases are rising. So, here at St Francis, we will continue to wear masks (if not exempt) at 0830 and 10am services, in order to enable as many as possible to join us and feel safe. We'll continue to ventilate the building well, too, so please wrap up as the weather gets colder. We'll also continue to have coffee outside when the weather allows.
In meetings, it will be up to the group to agree whether or not masks are worn. If you are especially vulnerable, please arrive early and make sure the meeting leader knows your situation, so they can ask others to wear masks and enable a seat by the door. Please don't be shy to let us know what you need to be able to join us in person - and to recognise it may not be the same for everyone.
What if you've been in direct contact with a Covid case? Though you aren't legally obliged to isolate if vaccinated, please do stay away from church activities so that we can protect each other. I appreciate that those of us at/in schools don't have this luxury. But here in church we do - so let's carry on doing our best to help everyone feel safe, along the lines of Paul's advice to the Corinthians, in the context of eating meat or not: 'Since you are free to do as you please, be careful that this does not hurt a weak [immunologically speaking!] Christian. (1 Cor 8:9 NLT)'
The rest of the newsletter is here