By Allen Marsden
For the last few months, the bats have had St. George’s much to themselves….until now. Recently, a visit to the chancel by yours truly and my friend “Henry” took place (and we found plenty of evidence that the bats are keeping very well, thank you). This was followed by a funeral and then our first 10h30 Morning Service since lock-down back in March, ably led by Mary and Val.
The West End Room (WER) has been seeing some action too as Covid-19 restrictions start to ease. Since mid-July, the church has been open twice a week for private prayer, with the WER turned into a substitute for the Lady Chapel. We’ve put arrangements in place to ensure that visitors can enter and use the WER in as much safety as we can reasonably provide. These include Mary’s super high-tech sanitiser-dispenser…worth a visit just to have a squirt. With the help of candles and soft background music, it’s possible to have some peace and quiet to meditate and pray. Two volunteer stewards are stationed in the front porch to keep a discreet eye on the WER to ensure all necessary precautions are being met.
It’s true we stewards aren’t exactly swept off our feet by the number of visitors and we’ve yet to have to keep a queue in order, but those who have come along do seem to appreciate the opportunity. It’s “early days” and word has yet to get round – and there are still those who unable to leave home or who are reluctant to go into enclosed spaces, no matter how safe these are made.
And we’ve discovered there are other benefits. On the many fine days, we sit just inside the porch. With the doors wide open, we get the chance to chat with the many passers-by – and make a fuss of their dogs. Then we can explain why we are there. We mention plans for church services and how we have no minister but hope to appoint one soon – and we show the village that St. George’s is getting back in business and that we are keen to play our part in people’s lives. No “hard-selling” as we’d put people off and they’d stop walking through the churchyard. It’s a bit like being the sower of seeds: let’s hope they don’t all fall on stony ground
So if you pass by the church and see two stewards sitting in the porch, looking friendly, then please take pity, stop and have a chat! And even better: come inside, have a squirt of sanitiser and treat yourself to some peace and quiet while you meditate and pray undisturbed.