The Vicar, Wardens, and Trustees of St Albans Anglican Church are pleased to announce that the we will be moving into Phase Two of re-opening for public worship.
The move into Phase Two will begin August 16 and will take place in stages in order to ensure that the protocols and practices put in place work as intended. Together we will discern the best choices for the health and safety of congregation and visitors.
St Alban’s Phase two approach allows for in-person services with some live music. Live Streaming of Sunday’s 8:30am and 10.00am services will continue.
The following changes will take effect August 16:
–The 8:30am & 10am Service of the Word will be open to an in-person congregation of up to 50 people. The 10am service includes live music – piano or organ, and up to 2 physically distanced singers – under the direction of Kyumin Lee. However, congregational singing will not be a part of this service.
–The service will also be livestreamed on St Alban’s Facebook Page.
–There will be a maximum of 50 people at all in-person worship services, seated at least two meters apart. This includes the presider, preacher, readers and any musicians. Some areas will be roped off to help with physical distancing.
–Everyone entering is required to wear a mask. If you have your own reusable, non-medical mask, please bring it with you and put it on before entering the building. If you do not have a mask, or forget your mask, disposable masks will be available at the entrance to the church. You will notice the vicar, and readers, will not be wearing masks during the service. They will be wearing masks at all other times.
The washrooms will be closed to the public, except in case of emergencies.
-In order to help ensure the health and safety of everyone who comes through St Alban’s Services staff and Custodian will be thoroughly sanitizing after each service.
– There will not be a receiving line after services. Parishioners are asked not to congregate in the building after the services. This is a temporary measure to help maintain appropriate physical distancing.
-Printed bulletins will be available in the church. Digital bulletins will also be available for download on the church website.
Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals
Baptisms, weddings, and funerals may continue and must be limited to fewer than 50 people in attendance, while following physical distancing and sanitization guidelines. If you wish to book your wedding, Baptisms and Funerals please contact Jennifer Kirk (email@example.com).
For many people, being able to come to the Church for in-person Sunday worship is a moment of joy. For some, the idea of being in a room with 49 other people may not be such an exciting idea. No one is obligated to return to in-person worship if they do not yet feel ready to do so, or if they are in a high risk group (due to age, underlying health conditions, etc.)
All other on-line worship and ministries will continue – Wednesday Morning Prayer until further notice.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Vicar or Wardens and Trustees.
It is time again for my monthly letter. We have been living with COVID for five months. In these months we have learned how to live-stream and record our services through one Facebook to another, then upload them on the parish website. We’ve started a Vicar’s blog on our website as well. Kyumin and I have attempted a few different approaches to music in the liturgy, and we will continue to explore the conundrum of the importance of music to our prayer and the ‘no singing’ directive. By the way, that isn’t from our Bishop but from the BC Choir Federation. It has been found that the virus travels further through the air when we are singing.
The main question parishioners are asking is, “When are we going to be able to come back to church again?” This was discussed at the June Parish Council meeting and will be looked at again next week. Coming back together will mean having teams of at least 3 sides-people/ greeters at the 10 am service, and two at the 8:30 am for the foreseeable future. Where we sit and how we move in the church will be changed. How to put a candle up with prayer at the prayer bowl will be different. The differences exist so that we are doing all that we can to keep one another safe. As with the masks we will be wearing, this is about the persons around us, an immediate practice of love of neighbour.
Our food ministries continue quite strongly with skeleton teams doing the work. Many families in Richmond are receiving a weekly hamper in one of the new endeavours that has been started with funding for COVID-related work. Kudos to Dianne Woodhouse again! I understand that single parent families are a growing focus of this outreach in the near-future. Those without shelter, those who are the most marginalized in our community, continue to receive food on Fridays at noon, and sandwiches are delivered on the weekend. The Community Meal has moved toPresbyterian Church just for the summer, and up to 35 meals are taken out to shelter-less people in the area after the take-away boxes are given to those who attend.
What has been going on Sundays here has been a source of confusion. We are following the guidelines the Bishop and team sent out on May 20th, so only the necessary people for the service are permitted to be with me: one or two readers, a prayer leader, deacon, and me. It is my hope that we will be moving to Phase II (open but no Eucharist) before the end of the summer if possible.
The Diocese has relieved us of paying assessments since April until August, and they have also been paying salaries for parish priests for April and May and have also paid some monies towards the salary for our Office Administrator for June and July giving parishes as much room as possible to pay the ordinary bills that don’t have any respect for a pandemic. Our Treasurer, Sandy Scherban, reports that we are receiving about one-third less income than our usual. Many, many people have continued to be faithful in their giving and to them we are truly thankful. We continue to pay our Office Administrator, our Musician and janitor in addition to our Vicar (which again we are grateful that this was covered by the Diocese for May and June). We continue to have the usual light, water, garbage recycling and electricity expenses and we are not able to rent our parish hall or lounge at this time for events etc due to the pandemic.
Some parishioners indicated they will wait until we are ‘in person’ again, and we ask you to rethink that choice. We need to keep a long-term perspective as much as we are able.
What is the mid-term perspective? Some folks think we’ll see the ‘second wave’ hit this fall and may have to return to Phase I again. Some are reporting they do not expect to have businesses, schools and such open for ‘normal operations’ until January 2021 at the soonest. Given the number of viruses we have seen in the past decade on a global level, I can’t help but think that, while we may find a vaccine for this virus, there will be another one not too far in the future. The challenge to us about being church, sharing worship, making community and caring for others will continue. The Church will not look the same as we have known her. There will be less of a sense of ‘standard operations’ and more diversity in “doing church.” St. Alban’s clearly has a mission and ministry in this community. I pray we be given the imagination and energy to find new ways of being a faith community from which our ministries spring.
Blessings in Christ to you,
Rev’d Paula Porter Leggett, Vicar
St. Alban’s in Richmond