22 December 2020
It is with a very heavy heart that the Ministry Team have decided to cancel all in-person services over the Christmas period. The decision was made because:
- the new Covid strain appears to be up to 70% more contagious;
- there is a dramatic increase in cases in West Oxfordshire and we need to be even more cautious, especially for those who are vulnerable;
- we want to protect the already exhausted NHS frontline;
- it is the socially responsible thing to do in mercy and kindness for all the communities we serve;
- and finally, we believe that on-line worship is no less real and our worship of the God who comes among us in the Incarnation will continue in this way.
This decision will be kept under active review. In the meantime, everyone is welcome to join our online services including Christmas Eve Crib Service; Christmas Eve Eucharist; Midnight Mass from Christchurch, Oxford and the Benefice Christmas Eucharist. Full details are on the link below.
11 September 2020
Our online services on Sunday at 1030 and Thursday at 12noon will continue. Subject to Government and Church of England guidance we intend to open our churches for the following services: Service Rota Sep Oct 2020
09 September 2020
As we prepare to re-open our churches for services, please see below summary documents to read before attending a service in one of our buildings.
- Re opening Holy Trinity September 2020
- Re opening St John's Hailey September 2020
- Re opening St Mary's September 2020
27 August 2020
The PCC of Witney have made the decision to open the doors of our Churches for some services, from Sunday 13th September. Read the full statement here: Opening Churches 27 August 2020
20 August 2020
As we continue to re-open our buildings for occasional offices, risk assessments will be published here.
- St Mary's Risk Assessment 23 July 2020
- St John's, Hailey Risk Assessment 19 August 2020
- Holy Trinity Risk Assessment 22 August 2020
31 July 2020
Following today's government announcement the Church of England have issued the following statement:
"The Prime Minister has outlined plans to make face coverings mandatory in Places of Worship from 8th August and has withdrawn guidance to permit indoor professional performances with immediate effect. We will study detailed government regulations and guidance once they are available and will update our guidance accordingly.
In the meantime, we continue to strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus (COVID-19) and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing."
26 July 2020
The Church of England, in line with government guidance, strongly advises the wearing of a face covering (mask) when attending a place of worship:
“We strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus COVID-19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.”
24 July 2020
The Rector, Wardens and PCCs take health and safety responsibilities very seriously. Working with wardens, we have developed the National Church’s Covid Risk Assessment for our activities. Our aim is to provide staff with a safe workplace, and for pilgrims, prayers and visitors, a space where our beautiful churches are safe to reopen with restricted activities within the current climate.
- We have carried out Covid-19 risk assessments and shared the results with the people who work here. The current risk assessment for St Mary's is available here; we will update as others become available
- We have cleaning, hand-washing, and hygiene procedures in line with guidance in place;
- We have taken all reasonable steps to maintain a two metre distance in the workplace and within the churches as they reopen;
- Certificates/Signs confirming compliance with the Government’s guidance on managing the risk of Covid-19 are displayed in all appropriate areas;
- Clear visitor guidance is in place as we begin to reopen our churches.
Thank you for your patience and whether you are able to visit, or have to remain at home for now, please know that you are cherished by God and as a part of our Benefice.
If you have any particular concerns please contact the Rector or a warden.
06 July 2020
For an update on re-opening the buildings within the Parish of Witney, please read An Update on Our Churches and Worship
Here are a list of useful resources
- Oxford Diocese: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for parishes
- Church of England: Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for churches
- Full Fact, to make sure the information you're seeing online is accurate
- Mind, to get advice on how to manage any stress or anxiety that you may be feeling right now
- DeathLife: Christian resources for living well in the light of mortality
- Cruse Bereavement Care have put together a set of resources about how bereavement and grief may be affected by this pandemic. It covers some of the different situations and emotions bereaved people may have to deal with.