Shepton Mallet Benefice and the Coronavirus (covid-19)

13th

October

2021

18th July

2021

July

25th

2021

January2021

A letter from Jonathan

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Services online

For those still unable to return to church for our 11.00 Sunday service, we’re delighted to let you know that you can tune in to hear the service audio live each Sunday morning via our existing radio station, Shepton LifeStream. For more details, to see what’s currently playing, and for a full schedule of programmes, click here.

Click on the player below to listen at any time on your PC, laptop or other smart device. If you have Alexa, you should be able to set up Alexa to play Shepton LifeStream as a skill. See your Alexa app for more details.

Shepton LifeStream is also available on MyTuner Radio, via its website or by downloading the MyTuner Radio app for IOS or Android devices. Set up Shepton LifeStream as a favourite!

We are currently working towards providing a video livestream of our weekly Sunday services and hope to bring that online as soon as possible. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the content on Shepton LifeStream - 24 hours a day.

Ask to honour


Dear Church Family

Stranded on the island, Robinson Crusoe looked to Psalm 50 verse 12-15 for hope. In verses 14 and 15 God says, 


14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God,

‍    fulfill your vows to the Most High, 

15 and call on me in the day of trouble;

‍    I will deliver you, and you will honour me.”


As we grow in our understanding of what God has done for us in Jesus, it is very natural to be so moved in our hearts that we want to "Sacrifice thank offerings to God . . . “. There are many ways we might do this: giving our time, giving financially, using our God given gifts to the blessing and building up of others. And whatever we promise to do, our thanks is properly expressed when we do it!  “. . . fulfil our vows to the Most High." This is a great way of responding to God from hearts of thanks. 

But we need to be clear in our thinking. Responding out of thanks to God is very different to 'doing God a favour.’ As Paul says so simply in Acts 17 verse 25, 'God is not served by human hands, as though he needed anything.' There is nothing we can do to put God in our debt. Ultimately, He does not need us, it is we who need Him. Rather, as Psalm 50 continues, “. . . call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me.” God says that when we call on Him in our needs, He responds and we honour Him. Asking for His help expresses this dynamic of dependence on our loving heavenly Father.

We honour God by praying that He would meet our needs and by trusting He will answer perfectly, as any truly wise and loving Father would. So, what do you need? If you really need it, just ask. 

I trust this warms your heart as it gets colder outside! 

Blessings
Jonathan




Remember! Listen live to the audio of our services via our new internet radio station, Shepton LifeStream which is accessible from the player below or with full details of what’s playing now and our daily schedule of programmes, click here.

Click to play

Benefice Updates

Sunday services at St Peter and St Paul’s

Updated!

Following much prayerful consideration, the Rector, churchwardens and PCC have decided to modify our attended services from Sunday 18th July 2021. Our live audio stream on Shepton LifeStream is now operating - see here for full details.

Covid recommendations will still be in place for anyone visiting the church building at this time. The protocols below follow current government advice and regulations regarding attended church services. Please read through if you wish to attend. We look forward to seeing you!

While we have put in place recommended hygiene and distancing practices, it is very important that you make an informed decision about when to return to services, taking into account any health issues and risk factors which apply to you or your family. For any who can’t attend, we’ll continue to stream services online so there is no pressure to return before you feel ready to do so.


Church Update 🚦 📯

With the lifting of all major covid-19 restrictions by the government, and new guidance from the Church of England, we are able to change some of the ways we worship and meet together, particularly on Sundays:


What’s Changing?

+ SINGING -We can now sing together(🙌 ),though still behind masks for the moment.

+ SOCIAL DISTANCING - We will keep social distancing between households, and we will ask people to keep wearing their masks throughout the services.

+ HOLY COMMUNION - We will continue to celebrate Holy Communion using bread dipped in the wine.

+ FELLOWSHIP - We will continue to have times of fellowship and refreshments outside when the weather allows

+ SAFETY - We will continue to have maintain good ventilation and ensure hand sanitising is available throughout the building during our times together.

As we continue to regather, join us to worship the Lord Jesus, and to pray for our town and community 🙏 . We can’t wait to see you all!

Arriving

  • Doors will open at 10:00 so to avoid a queue please don’t arrive before then! It might take a little while for us to get everyone in safely, so thank you for your patience.
  • In line with government recommendations, we will be displaying the official NHS QR code poster in church and in Peter Street Rooms. If you have downloaded the NHS COVID-19 app, please scan the QR code as you enter the buildings.
  • Parking, as always, is very limited. Please park in the public carparks unless there are mobility issues that would make this very difficult.
  • You’ll need to stay with your household as you come in and for the duration of the service and to stay two metres away from other groups
  • You’ll need to have your own face covering, ready to wear whilst you’re with us - and take home with you after the service
  • We’ll ask everyone to use the hand sanitisers provided as they enter the buildings, and before they receive the bread at Communion when it is held.

During the service

  • Please do not shake hands, high 5 or hug anyone - the Shepton wave is the new way of greeting each other!
  • We are now able to sing out loud (Alleluia!), but please keep your mast on for the time being.
  • Please bring your own bible and notebook etc
  • Please bring a drink if you need one as we will not be providing refreshments.
  • The Peter Street Rooms ground floor accessible toilet will be open, but best just use in an emergency to be on the safe side.
  • The collection will be not be taken during the service - there will be a collection basket at the door if people wish to make an offering as they leave.
  • There won’t be a paper service/notice sheet - please ensure that you can see one of the screens.

Departing

  • Please do not shake hands or hug anyone as you leave! 
  • Please have fellowship whilst respecting social distancing as you do so.
  • Feel free to feedback any comments. We’d love to make the experience of being together as good as possible while being as safe as possible. 


If you or any of your household: 

  • feel unwell
  • show or have shown any symptoms of COVID-19 (or have been in close contact with someone who has) within the last 14 days
  • have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (or been in close contact with someone who has) within the last 14 days
  • have been asked to self-isolate under the NHS Test and Trace scheme or have returned from a country outside of the UK government exemption list in the last 14 days

we would kindly ask you to please stay at home and join us online instead.

Supporting our fellowship

We are keeping a list of those who are self-isolating, along with any particular pastoral or practical needs so that we can arrange appropriate help. Morag Brown is co-ordinating this. Please let her know of any needs or changes to need as they arise.

Keeping us praying

Praying together as a family is vital. We will be sending out a weekly list of prayer needs for the whole church family and our community. Do try to set aside a time each day to pray - many of us are pausing at 8 in the mornings and evenings to do this, and knowing that others are too at the times is encouraging.