Action Zones 

Are we there yet?

2nd May 2021

Rev Rosie Bunn
Rector of All Saints Church, Belton
St Peter & St Paul Church, Burgh Castle


The words that many a parent has heard from their children whilst on a journey, often when there is still a long way to go! Of course the children have no idea how long the journey is going to take, and it’s a fair question. Even if we have done the journey numerous times, we can’t always be sure when we are going to arrive. Tim and I certainly found that to be the case when we made many journeys to Scotland to visit our sons; our journey time had, on occasions, been made longer through roadworks, accidents, etc. by just over three hours
“Are we nearly there yet?” is a question I have been asked more than once in relation to the church being open again, and for our regular occasions of groups meeting together to be restored. I want to say, I hope so. I want this long journey in unchartered territory to come to an end; it looks likely that the end is in sight, that Yes, we are nearly there. But, and there is a ‘but’ the reintroduction of all the ‘normal’ meeting points still comes with some concern, and there is still the possibility of a diversion or a hold-up occurring on our route to freedom
How do we emerge from what has been such a tough time for everyone, with our concerns of loving care for everyone; those who are eager to return, and those who are extremely hesitant to be with people again? What is the loving thing to do? All Saints Belton has “Love God. Love people. Love life” as its strap line. What does loving people mean in these circumstances? There are many thoughts and different ways of expressing this? There are practical matters to consider too; increased cleaning for one
It seems that we are being told that Hands Face Space will need to be a continued focus, even when the legal restrictions are removed. Social distancing in larger groups indoors, might still be advisable and the loving thing to do. The question of whether we will be able to sing in church when we are all together, is still to be answered
At the moment, with social distancing, we cannot get more than thirty people in All Saints Belton; in Burgh Castle Church it is less than that. However, even though the regulations are changing as of 17th May, I can still only welcome 30 people into church for weddings and funerals, or 15 people for a “support group” for bereaved persons or new parents. However, in talking to leaders of groups meeting in other venues, their opportunities to meet seem to come earlier than on church premises
I know that many people are frustrated; so many very keen to get to see friends they haven’t seen for maybe over a year. I have been mulling over what is the loving thing to do, as well are reading and re-reading the advice of the Church of England on the relevant Regulations for each Step. As a church we are working on a road map which will enable the safe return to groups as soon as it is possible, with arrangements for meeting outside (hopefully in good weather) beginning this month
A service of Holy Communion will be held in Burgh Castle Church on Sunday 2nd May and in All Saints Belton on Sunday 23rd May. Various groups will continue to meet online, and every Sunday for church services, and we will continue to put into place the careful preparations ready for the relaxing of all regulations hopefully on the 21st June. What a gathering it will be when we can all meet together and enjoy refreshments together! I can’t wait and I’m sure many of you feel the same! May God bless us in our patient waiting
Rosie Bunn 


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