St Philip and St James’s church, Grafton Road, Cheltenham, GL50 2DD

Message from the Team Rector, 28th August

A Message from the Team Rector…

Dear sisters and brothers

After five months apart, we will be gathering again for worship from Sunday 6th September.  I am sure that there are many who are looking forward to congregating again but there will also be others feeling unsure about this.  There has been much work to prepare for this next step and I wanted to write to you to give you details about how we can all play a role in gathering and praying safely together.  Firstly, I would like to draw your attention to the attached document entitled ‘St Peter’s – Welcoming You to Worship’.  Can I ask that you take time to review this document as it covers much that will need to be different about the service.

I also wanted to write to you now to let you know that we will be operating a booking system for services to ensure that we maintain safe numbers at each Church and appropriate social distancing.  The capacity for St Peter’s is 60 and the capacity for Emmanuel is 100.  Bookings will be organised on a weekly basis with the system accepting bookings from 09.30 on Monday morning.  For those unable to book online, you will be able to ring the usual office number to make a booking.  The office is staffed from 09.00 – 13.00, Monday to Friday, and we would ask that you ring during these hours.  Should you call outside of those hours, we would ask that you leave your name, phone number and email address.  Please note that we will only take bookings for the following Sunday from this time.

As part of that booking we will be asking for contact information which will allow us to support the government’s track and trace programme.   For all individuals attending services, we will require a name, phone number and email address; these details will be stored securely, and deleted 21 days after the service.

Because of the Bank Holiday, bookings for 6th September will open from 09.30 on Tuesday 1st September; you will be able to reserve places using the following link:

Please do not leave messages beforehand as these will not be included in the booking system.  If you experience any difficulties next week using this link, please do contact the Parish Office.  Those who are involved in enabling the service to run on 6th September will receive a separate email shortly regarding reserving places.  In future weeks, we hope to streamline this system for service volunteers.  More details will follow as we establish a routine.

We will of course be reviewing all of these systems as we move forward and will need to keep all of these procedures under review as we follow the latest government guidance.  We would ask that you bear with us, as we find our way in this strange new world!  Should you have any thoughts for improvement, do speak to or email myself or the Churchwardens.