Welcome to our Website
We are pleased to announce that from Monday 22 June, the Church will be open for
Monday-Thursday from 10.30am -12.30pm.
All services, groups, concerts and activities at St Andrew's and St Francis remain suspended until further notice.
If you would welcome pastoral or practical support from the Church over the coming weeks, please contact the Parish Office on 01252 715412 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are able and willing to support others over the phone during this time, please do also let us know.
Please note that the Parish Office is now closed, but emails and phone calls will be checked at regular intervals
We do hope you will join us for our 10am service each Sunday morning on Facebook and YouTube:
To view, click on the Facebook or YouTube links below:
To join our Services on Zoom, the meeting ID is: 599 647 1397
Dear Church Family friends,
I do hope you are surviving the extreme heat we have been experiencing this week.
We have now had two experiences of “live” church here at St Andrew’s. Our Sunday 8am and our mid-week 11.30am Holy Communion Services have both gone well. We have small numbers but many expressions of gratitude about being together again.
As you know in making plans for reopening, the PCC has agreed the following guidelines:
- We want to be safe
- We want to be able to offer both live physical presence and online presence
- We want to be mindful of those shielding and those who are fearful about venturing out
- We want to proceed in small steps
- We want to be rested for a more comprehensive "return" by 1 September
The House of Bishops Recovery Group has published updated COVID-19 Advice on Face Coverings in which it reflects government guidance. The Diocesan Briefing document, issued this week, states:
Face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport and in a range of indoor venues including places of worship and church halls. While there are exemptions, outlined below, this is a legal requirement.
Places of worship are now included in the amended legislation, and consequently, the wearing of face coverings in them is now mandatory. We would respectfully ask that (apart from your having a specific medical exception) all those who attend St Andrew’s or St Francis abide by these directions.
The summer holiday programme looks like this:
Sunday 16 Aug 10am Watch the recorded service “LIVE” together in church
Bring a picnic to enjoy outside in socially distanced groups
Sunday 23 Aug 6.30pm Evening Service LIVE in church
Sunday 30 Aug 11.30am St Francis – Morning Service LIVE (Open-Air)
Sunday 6 Sept 10am Open-Air service (weather permitting)
Looking ahead, again, we are working to some guidelines:
- To be physically present with all the limitations required of us (eg. no singing, no coffee, no sharing of the Peace)
- To be present online for those who may be housebound or may be just looking
During August, the Sunday at 10am broadcasts and the 6.30pm Zoom services will continue. Please do check in with us on YouTube, Facebook or Zoom. Access details are on the website where copies of sermons and of these weekly letters are also available. And don’t forget after-church coffee and chat on Zoom on 23rd August only due to clergy holidays. The ID Code for each week will appear at the end of the morning service and on the website.
We continue to try to figure out how best to plan for September and beyond. We still have concert bookings and hirings being cancelled for the autumn and spring of 2021. Please do pray for us in this, as things are still far from back to any kind of normality.
At the same time, Josey (with the help of a little team) has been creating little bible figures which will be appearing in 31 locations in the town over the days of the month of August. This Treasure Hunt is designed to be an activity for everyone – we hope you will have fun finding out where they are hiding! There is a form giving all the details on the website. You can print one off and start your search! Number 1 is in the church porch!
It would be good to hear if anyone checked in the with New Wine programme recently. Were there talks you were particularly drawn to or new learnings and challenges you discovered? Do, please, let us know. I especially enjoyed Bishop Jill Duff, who was speaking about “Rebuilding the Walls” from the OT book of Nehemiah. Jill took the title as a metaphor for extending the kingdom or sharing the gospel in a really helpful way. She did not shy away from dealing with opposition which is always part of the spiritual picture; nor did she miss out on the celebration required when the work is done and the task completed.
Kathryn and I have had a wonderful holiday with our family in the north: days in Chorley, Lancashire with Tim and Alex, walking in the beautiful countryside; and days in Liverpool, with Zoë and Ed exploring extensive parks and the waterfront where there has been so much new development. We did church differently, meeting in their building and watching pre-recorded material together. It felt rather strange, but it was good to “see” people, even if we were not able to stay and chat after the service.
A prayer from the Church of England for all of us at this time:
Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
As government guidelines change and the furlough scheme moves into its last few weeks, we are very well aware that there is much uncertainty about financial futures and employment. I would like to thank all those who have very humbly and quietly continued to be generous to our church family and have supported us in regular giving. With our church family income radically affected, this has been particularly valued and greatly appreciated. At the same time, if you have benefitted in this period from our ministry and mission, would like to know more about regular giving and start to play an active part in it, please see our website for more info about the Parish Giving Scheme. Or you can phone the PGS directly: 0333 002 1271 to sign up to help. Please do quote that it is St Andrew’s Church, Farnham you wish to support. It would be great to have you on board in the adventure and responsibility we share together.
Kathryn joins me in assuring you of our continuing thoughts and prayers.
With all good wishes, as ever,
David 12 August 2020