Worship during lockdown

As of Thursday 5th November 2020, England is in national lockdown and collective public worship is not permitted in church buildings.

Worship for the Parish of Lexden will continue online, however. We will gather virtually for Sunday worship which will continue to be live-streamed on Facebook each Sunday at 9.45am. A midweek Eucharist will also be live-streamed at 9am each Wednesday, and our Junior Church, Messy Church and other videos will continue to be posted online. You can also join us on facebook for live-streamed morning prayer at 9am on Mondays, and evening prayer at 5pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

To access all this visit www.facebook.com/stleonardslexden. Our main Sunday services are also usually uploaded to our YouTube channel which you can find by clicking here.

During lockdown we expect that St Leonard’s will usually open for individual private prayer on Wednesdays and Sundays from 11am until 2pm, subject to the latest requirements about self-isolation, social distancing, and wearing face coverings.  When coming for individual prayer, please use the NHS app and check-in using the QR on the inside door.

While nothing can substitute perfectly for gathering physically as a church community, this is not a suspension of church, but another moment when we are called to discover different ways of being the Body of Christ in this time of pandemic.  The ability of many to worship online, of others to be in touch with each other over the telephone, and all of us to pray wherever we are, can continue to feed and strengthen our community.

Our last public act of worship in St Leonard’s for a while included a baptism. We parted physically amid that hope, grace and outpouring of the spirit, and we hope that the closing blessing from that service may bring you comfort in the weeks ahead:

May God keep you in all your days.
May Christ shield you in all your ways.
May the Spirit bring you healing and peace.
May God the Holy Trinity drive all darkness from you
and pour upon you blessing and light;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev’d Matthew Simpkins,
Priest in Charge, St Leonard’s Lexden

Visiting St Leonard’s for Individual Private Prayer

Our church building is usually open for two periods of individual private prayer each week.  Our Nave (the main seated area of the church) will usually be open from 11am–2pm on Wednesdays and Sundays. (Please note that on Wednesday 4th November the Church will be open from 11am until 3pm.) During these periods the church will be available for individual private prayer, but not for worship, communal prayer, conversations or socialising, nor for gatherings of any sort.  Face masks (visors are not sufficient) covering the nose and mouth must be worn by all entering the building. If you can, please use the NHS app and check-in using the QR code.

Please note that the extension, including the toilets, remains closed, as does the Chancel, Lady Chapel, and balcony.

If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19 or if anyone in your household has symptoms or is isolating, please follow the latest guidance and stay at home.  Those in vulnerable groups should adhere to the latest NHS advice.

Here is a video produced at the end of the first lockdown to give an idea of what to expect, please note that face coverings are now required.

WHAT WE HAVE DONE TO REDUCE RISK FOR YOUR VISIT

The safety of everyone is our primary concern. Following government and Church of England guidance and regulations we have completed a risk assessment and introduced the following measures: 

HYGIENE
There is a hand sanitiser station inside the door of the church. Please ensure that you use this as you enter and leave the building.

ONE-WAY SYSTEM
Entry to and exit from and from the church is through the North West door.  Please follow the floor markings within the church.

SOCIAL DISTANCING 
Visitors are asked to observe the markers once inside. At all times please respect other people and maintain a 2m distance.  We ask that the porch, church and entrance are kept completely clear of all obstructions.

SEATING
If you wish to sit and pray, a number of pews are available. These are clearly marked with the places that you may sit (all are 2m distant from the next nearest seat).   Please do not enter the cordoned-off pews.  Kneelers and cushions are not available for use at this time.

LIGHTING A CANDLE
If you wish to light a candle, you will be able to take a clean one from the table near the candle stand at the east end of the Nave.  Please do so carefully and with particular attention to the flammable alcohol hand rub that you will have used when entering the building.

You can find our risk assessment here.

St Leonard’s is here NOW, working to love and serve our community

Though our building is temporarily closed for worship, Church continues and we are still here for our community in Lexden and beyond. We are sharing live-streamed services, prayers and activities for children and young people through www.facebook.com/stleonardslexden – you are warmly invited to join us there. Hundreds of people from Lexden and well beyond are joining us to worship each week. You’ll also find details of our Zoom-based CAP Life Skills course for those who are finding it difficult to manage their money, and of our forthcoming virtual Church Fete, among other excitements.

We pray regularly for each street in the parish by name, but if you would like personal prayer, please email us prayer@stleonardslexden.org.uk

Though we are in different places physically, we are still praying at the same times (9.00am and 5.00pm) each day, keeping in touch with the vulnerable in our community, and producing material for our local schools and other organisations. The Eucharist is being celebrated online at 9.00am on Wednesdays, and 9.45am on Sundays. Lexden’s parish church is still serving the parish it loves.

Email updates – subscribe to our mailing list
If you would like to subscribe to our mailing list and receive updates via email, please click on the following link and follow the instructions: subscribe to St Leonard’s Lexden mailing list. You can unsubscribe at any time by updating your preferences. For further details on how your information is used, please refer to our Privacy Notice.