This coming Sunday, the 8th of November, is Remembrance Sunday and sadly, because of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, things will be different this year.
At Bendochy Church there will be an Act of Remembrance in the Church grounds, around the War Memorial at the gate, at 10.00am. We will still have to remain in household groups and maintain a social distance, and we will still have to give contact details for Test and Protect.
At the Abbey Church there will be a short Service of Remembrance beginning at 10.50am. Again the current restrictions in place for Sunday worship will apply, including wearing a face covering, and unfortunately, because of restrictions in numbers, only a limited number will be able to attend.
None of these situations are ideal, but we will still be able to commemorate the day and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice during both world wars, and indeed in every conflict since. At both services there will be an opportunity to make a donation towards Poppy Scotland.
Both our churches will be open for worship this Sunday morning at the usual times of 10.00am at Bendochy and 11.15am at the Abbey Church. Things will of course be different so please read the various signage as you enter with regard to face coverings, social distancing, hand sanitisers and seating arrangements etc. Regrettably, because of the need to socially distance our seating the capacity at both churches has reduced significantly. At Bendochy this has been reduced to between 13 and 18, depending on the size of different household groups, ie individuals or couples, and at the Abbey to between 25 and 41, again dependent on the size of household groups and we apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. We look forward to welcoming those who are able to join us but will continue with the on line Reflections too.
Both Churches are at different stages in progressing with the requirements of the Covid Risk Assessment which needs to be completed before we can re-open, and more details on that can be found on the page Updates From The Minister. However, both churches are hoping to re-open around the first or second week in October. Please keep an eye here on the website where we will give a definitive date as soon as we can.
Both our churches remain closed at this time, however, work at the Abbey Church is on-going in respect of completing the Covid Risk Assessment we need to do before we can re-open and hopefully we will be able to submit that paperwork for Presbytery approval very soon. Bendochy Kirk Session will meet re-convene their virtual meeting next Wednesday at which time a formal decision will be taken as to the way forward. Once we have more information we will post here on the website and on the Minister’s Letter Page.
Over the past couple of weeks one or two people have been asking about the possibility of making a donation or being able to contribute some of their offerings to our churches in this time of lockdown. If anyone would like to like to do so this would be greatly appreciated. As you will all be aware, even although we are unable to gather for worship we still have financial obligations to fulfil so any help in this way would make a difference. Both Kirk Sessions would like to thank all who have been continuing to make their offerings via Standing Order and if anyone would like to consider changing to this means of giving that too would be helpful.
If anyone would like more information on this please contact our respective treasurers David Donaldson (01828 640017) or Peter Godfrey (01828 627028)
Or email myself (Andrew.Graham@churchofscotland.org.uk) and I can forward on your email to either David or Peter.
The Moderator of the General Assembly of The Church of Scotland, along with the leaders of all our Churches, has called for us to join together for prayer this Sunday, the 24th of May, at 7.00pm where together we can pray for our communities, our nation and our world at this difficult time.