St Luke’s, Downham

Corona Virus Pandemic and St Luke’s (last updated 17th July 2021)

Dear Friends,

As we approach the 19th July when the Government is lifting all legal restrictions related to COVID19, I wanted to update you on the approach we are taking at St Luke’s. I am aware that some of you may be anxious, and some may be eager for that day to arrive – some would rather the restrictions remained whilst others want them gone.

The pandemic is far from over and many of the risks relating to transmission of the virus. Therefore, our approach will be a cautious one; seeking to balance the desire to regain some of what we have lost whilst still protecting each other, especially the most vulnerable

I would urge each and everyone to continue to take precautions to protect yourself and especially to protect others from the virus. Please continue to observe infection control measures as advised by our medical and scientific experts.

With regards to our on-site services, the following will apply:

  • Hand Sanitiser: We will continue to have a hand sanitiser station by the entrance and ask that you continue to wash and sanitise your hands on arrival and regularly.
  • Physical Distancing: We will continue to provide physical distanced seating for those who are uncertain. Please respect the wishes of those who want to maintain physical distancing
  • Masks: We ask that people wear masks on arrival and departure from the church and whilst interacting with others. The clergy and any servers will be wearing masks during distribution of Holy Communion and when moving around.
  • Track and Trace: We are advised to continue to keep a record of those who are attending church – either through the NHS app or via a paper register.
  • Congregational Singing: We will be reintroducing congregational singing from 25th July in a phased approach. Initially we will have a song at the start of the service, music during Holy Communion and a song at the end of the service. We advise wearing a mask during singing – especially if you are not physically distancing from others.
  • The Peace: For the time being the Peace will remain verbal and physically distanced.
  • Holy Communion: We will continue to bring Holy Communion to people in their seats. We are going to reintroduce the wine from the shared chalice, however it is perfectly acceptable to only receive the bread and nobody needs to feel they are missing out if they don’t feel comfortable receiving from the shared cup.

You are of course welcome to continue to join us via Church at Home if you prefer and we will be continuing to make this resource available.

We will continue to monitor the various factors and advice from medical experts and our bishops and will adapt our approach in order to create a welcoming and safe space. In the meantime please consider the following:

  • If you are able to be vaccinated, please do book this in. Bishop Karowei, a medical doctor as well as bishop, has produced a number of resources addressing concerns about the vaccine. In particular the following YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wtcvdDbIWg&t=2s
  • If you have symptoms of COVID19, please stay away from church and get a test.

In the meantime, I encourage you to keep praying and keep acting in a loving and caring manner towards those around you.

Other Projects and Activities:
The Front Room Club, our café drop-in has re-opened on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am to 1pm only.

To stay in contact with the church and to keep building up our faith and community please do one or all of the following:

  • If you use WhatsApp please text me on 07774516204 so I can add you to the St Luke’s group
  • If you use Facebook, please follow St Luke’s Downham (@stlukes70) for regular updates
  • There will also be regular updates on this website 
  • If you can’t do any of the above or if you would like to talk or pray or request support, please contact Rev. Nick – 07774516204 or revnickwalsh@gmail.com

Please do pray for us all as we will continue to pray for you. And as always, we encourage you to look after each other and care for those around you.

Grace and Peace

Reverend Nick Walsh, Vicar

Safeguarding:

The District Church Council (DCC) of St Luke’s Downham recognises the need to safeguard the children, young people and adults in our care and guard against the possibility of any form of abuse of children, young people and adults by persons who may be acting in the name of our parish. We take our responsibilities to safeguard everyone who attends our church very seriously and have therefore paid due regard to safeguarding policy and procedure. We therefore resolve that we will comply with the duty under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 (duty to have due regard to House of Bishops’ guidance on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults).

If you have any safeguarding concerns please speak to Rev. Nick Walsh on 07774516204, one of the Church Wardens or our safeguarding officer – Lucie Walsh on 07817478110 / walsh.lucie@gmail.com. Alternatively please contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser on 020 7939 9423 (office hours), 07982 279713 (out of hours).

If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adults Services.