Raymond is going to be away for the next two Sundays. Because of that we have decided not to re-open the 11am service until Sunday, 8th August.

Mask wearing will no longer required in public buildings. We expect that many people will still choose to wear their mask both in shops and in church. Boris Johnson is urging us to be cautious.

England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance have said they will continue to wear face coverings:

  • indoors, in any situation which is crowded, or where people are close together
  • if asked to by any “competent authority”
  • if someone else was uncomfortable, as a “common courtesy”

We are trying to find the right way forward for St John’s. Our opening position is this. The 9am service will continue in the same form we have got used to over the last ten months. We will have music on the screens as normal and will be offering communion poured out into individual plastic glasses.

We will no longer insist that people wear masks as they enter the church. And we will be allowing singing.

However, we know that:

  • shouting or singing loudly can produce 20-times the mass of aerosol than speaking at a normal level of loudness
  • wearing masks reduces the mass of aerosol expelled when singing.

So it makes sense that we wear masks while singing and we are asking members to do that.

We expect to apply the same principles to the 11am service when we begin again on Sunday August 8th. We will not be putting the missing chairs back so the rows will remain far apart from each other. We do not expect to require more for some time yet.

We hope to bring other groups back into church, but we will proceed with caution.