To everyone at St Philip's, Cedar,
As you will know, it is now becoming possible for churches to start services again, as some of the COVID restrictions lessen. On behalf of myself and the Wardens' Circle, I thought that I would write to you to let you know what we have in mind for St Philip's church.
As you may be aware, not all the restrictions have yet been lifted. In particular, we are still unable to have congregational singing and we must still observe social distancing in the church, which restricts the numbers we can have present for a service. With this in mind, we are currently considering the following:
1. To begin with, we will continue our Zoom services on a Sunday morning.
2. We aim to hold open air services at St Philip's on Sunday 15th August and Sunday 5th September. More details about these services will come out once we have finalised plans. It is anticipated, though, that we would ask everyone coming to bring their own chairs. The services will be eucharistic but we will be receiving only the bread. At the moment, sharing the common cup is not permitted.
3. From Sunday 12th September, we hope to start services in the church. As we expect that there will still be limitations on the numbers of people that we can fit into the church (due to social distancing constraints), we are considering the possibility of making these services accessable to people at home through Zoom. Over the summer months, we will be experimenting to see if a service in the church can be "Zoomed." If this proves to be unfeasible, we will consider other options, such as having two services on a Sunday.
Please bear in mind that all of this is very much dependent upon how things develop with regards to vaccinations and COVID numbers. If we see a growth in case numbers on Vancouver Island, we may have no alternative but to revert back to Zoom services again.
For now, we would appreciate input from you all about how we go forward in this. What would you feel comfortable with? Are there things you definitely do not want to happen? Do you have any ideas about what we might be able to do? Please contact me via email ([email protected]) or phone (250-585-1345) or contact one of the wardens.
We are very grateful for all the hard work that so many people have put into keeping the St Philip's family together over these last 18 months. We know that this has been a very difficult time for everyone and that we have had to be kind and patient with one another. We all long for the time when we can meet again freely and without any restrictions. On the other hand, we know that a top priority for all of us is to ensure the safety and well-being of all our church members.
We look forward to hearing from you
Rev. David Chillman
on behalf of the Warden's Circle.