If your churches are unsuitable for physically distanced worship, but you are really missing the chance to worship together in person, an outdoor service might be the answer.
The Seven Towers Benefice organised Covid-safe worship in a field. Cars lined up carefully and skilfully spaced by stewards, and participants sat on chairs they had brought next to their car. Those arriving by foot, or wishing a quieter experience had a covered area provided for them some 30 metres away.
Ali Moseley tells us what the experience was like for those taking part, “I’m so thankful for the opportunity we had to gather together to worship at the beginning of September! The afternoon thankfully was blessed by beautiful late summer sunshine that illuminated the lovely outdoor setting facing St Mary’s and Corpus Christi, Down Hatherley.
“Whilst we weren’t together in the usual sense, huge efforts were made by the team to ensure that 50 plus congregants could gather and worship in God’s wonderful creation within a Covid secure space. Everyone seemed comfortable and at ease and the Holy Spirit certainly joined us.
“We set a Songs of Praise service which allowed for members of the congregation to choose the songs and give testimony to them. The wonderful collection offered up by our amazingly talented musicians ranged from beautiful, floral, historical tunes penned in 1811 to more contemporary, rousing and jumpy tunes written in 2013. The testimonials that accompanied the choices brought us heartfelt tales and a insight into each believer’s story. The range of music was well received by the gathered worshippers aged between 18 months and 80+ years and saw moments of stillness and contemplation mixed with joyous worship following fun actions and/or the raising hands in awe and wonder.
“The afternoon was beautiful and served to prove that ‘where two or three are gathered in His name’ – He is there! (Matthew 18v20).
“It was open and simple and shows that we can focus and connect with our wonderful God, regardless of what is going on around us, despite not using our fabulous buildings and even when faced with strict social distancing rules; we are one body and together we will continue to worship our one, true and living God. I cannot wait for the next opportunity!”