St Mary's News and Information

St Mary’s & St Luke’s News and Information for 23 August 2020 Trinity 11

23 August 2020
Trinity 11

This Blog takes the place of the printed Weekly Sheet for now

This Sunday
Live Streamed Worship

After Church Refreshments

**Sorry, but there will not be no Zoom Meet Up after the service this Sunday 23 August**

St Luke’s will remain closed for the time being and will be assessed with a Risk Assessment due to be carried out in September

Reopening Our Churches - a road map

In the meantime we will continue to open for Private Prayer. Here are the dates/times for this week. From 8 August Face Coverings are mandatory by law in church buildings unless you have an exemption.

From the Rector
The past few months have challenging for all of us in so many different ways. For businesses and charities finance has been a very serious challenge. It’s sad to see all the redundancies that are taking place in our country and I can’t help but think that this is only the beginning.

Of course churches are not exempt from the financial difficulties and, I’m afraid, that includes our own church. Our Treasurer, Daphne, has alerted me and the PCC to the fact that, if our finances continue as they are, we could potentially run out of money in the next seven months. We will not be alone in this and many churches and charities will be facing the same issue. Our main issue is that our fixed costs have remained the same whilst our income has plummeted. We have lost a considerable amount of income from lettings and the issue of people not finding it easy to give, either practically or through personal financial pressure. We have done all we can to keep expenditure down to a minimum and I’m aware of very generous giving that has already happened (I don’t know the people, just the figures) to enable us to do what we’ve done during the past few months. 

How can you help?

  • Please remember our church finances in your prayers
  • Many people haven’t been able to give as we haven’t been able to deal with cash – we can now, please speak to our wardens Joy or Sue and see how you can give by cash
  • It may be that as you haven’t physically  been to church for a few months you’re not sure how to give and what is the best way, please see further down in this Blog on how you can give online 
  • Remember the church in your will through a legacy, whilst this is not immediate giving, however it is an effective way to give to the church and sustain it for future generations
  • If you can, please respond to this appeal by making a one-off donation on top of your normal giving – this would have an immediate effect on our finances
  • If you shop online, including Click and Collect, enrolling with Easyfundraising – click here to find out more and enrol – we’ve raised £1,652 though Easyfundraising so far – join in!

As a reminder, please see further down in this Blog on how you can give online 

I am sorry to hit you with this, but it is only correct that I share this with you now so you are fully aware of the situation.

With prayers and blessings for you and your loved ones. Mike

The latest Information on the Reopening of our Churches and Church Hall
  • Face Masks are mandatory in Church for all services and the Church Hall from 08 August excluding those with a valid exemption or who are taking part in or are leading the service (as long as physical distancing cen be observed)
  • Private Prayer in Church: St Mary’s is now open for Private Prayer. We are Covid-19 Secure. We have implemented Social Distancing and other Measures for the safety of all who enter. There are restrictions in place and we only have 9 pews available, one per household.  
  • Public Worship is permissible in church buildings from 4 July. Please see the post above for the planned Road Map for reopening 
  • Funerals are permissible in church and we will conduct them at St Mary’s on request. Funerals in church buildings are severely restricted at the moment. Immediate family only are allowed and no hymns may be sung. Please discuss options with a Funeral Director to see what’s best for your family and loved one. We continue to conduct funerals at the Graveside and the Crematorium.
  • Weddings are permissible in church. They are limited to 30 people in total (including the minister) and hymn singing or an organist is not permitted at the moment.
  • Baptisms can go ahead providing appropriate steps are taken to minimise risk and are limited to 30 people including the minister. During the coming weeks, Polly will be in touch with all those who had Baptisms cancelled to rearrange dates. We will be conducting Baptisms outside of the main services. We will not be taking any new bookings at the moment until we have rescheduled those that were cancelled. It will be 2021 before we take new bookings. Please see the CofE guidance on baptisms for more information.
  • The Church Hall is closed to any public access at the moment. We are working towards reopening the Church Hall on 07 September 20 – you can read our Covid-19 Secure Policy and Interim Booking Procedures here 
  • St Luke’s, worship and lettings – we are planning to do undertake a thorough Risk Assessment in September – details to follow
  • As changes to the guidance happen we will update this information accordingly – you can see the full guidance on all of the above at: 

Dear Friends,
A number of queries have been raised following the new government and Church of England guidance about the reopening of church buildings for public worship, in particular how the government and Church guidance is clear that this can only be done when it is safe to do so, and the requirement of the Canons for there to be public worship every Sunday.
My view is that the Canons are like the skeleton in the body; they need to be strong and tough so that the body can thrive, but the skeleton is not the whole body. The Canons remain and are there for our good and the good of the whole church. They were not designed or are able to cover every circumstance of the Church’s life; they are not the muscles, the flesh, or the bloodstream, and without the Holy Spirit they are dead. As the guidelines make clear, the priority is safety, and I want to make it clear that if anyone asks for my direction in relation to longer-term delay in the opening of buildings for public worship my view is that we dishonour the intention of the Canons unless we open safely, and I will be very sympathetic to the incumbent and PCC as I make that call.  
I hope this is helpful and enables us all to balance permissive and prescriptive well. Of course, in the Lord’s mercy, so much more has been given to us over these last weeks, especially with those who have joined our worship online. I am praying that as a diocese, we don’t miss what God has been giving to us in the responsibility we now have to reopen safely. Perhaps the time of July and August will help us in this preparing for this next stage and enable us to keep learning from what we have been through.
Can I repeat so many thanks to everyone for the resilience and endurance (even when it may have felt anything but) over these last weeks and reassert the recent message in the pastoral letter about rest, holiday and sabbath.
With love in Christ

See our Church at Home Blog for Sunday's Readings and resources for use at home

If you have an article for the September Magazine you can submit it at Or email to


Funerals this past week


Funerals still to take place
Gillian Margaret Booth

Please keep their families in your prayers.

Giving to our church Online or by Phone Banking

It's simpler than you may think

A message from Revd Mike.

May I thank everyone who has kept their giving going during the past 3 months, it has been a challenging time and also challenging financially. From a church perspective, most of our outgoings remain the same whether the buildings are open or closed, so the challenge has been keeping the cash flow going to cover these costs. I am grateful to those who have been able to give extra and have given extra to the church.

Handling cash and cheques has caused us an issue during the pandemic and will continue to do so. Cash as we’ve not been able to allow anyone to process cash giving during this time, not that we’ve had much given in this way and cheques mean me having to visit the bank with them.

Joy & Sue attended an online Webinar about encouraging and managing giving during this time which advised that we should encourage people to move away from giving via cash & cheques and ask them to give via online or phone banking.

If you normally give via the plate each Sunday you can give securely via Give a Little by following the link below. If you’d like to give via online banking, which means we don’t lose the Fees, the details are below. You can set this up on your own online or phone banking unfortunately, we can’t process paper forms at this time.

Thank you for your support. Mike (Rector)

Online One off giving

You can give via our very simple online giving partnership with Give a Little and Sum Up. Simply click the button below. Sum Up take a small transaction fee from what you give.

Giving via your bank

You can give via your bank via online banking or telephone banking. If you do it this way we receive 100% of the money you give, there is no transaction fee. Here are the details you need to make a payment directly into the church bank account. For phone banking you may need to take a look at a statement from your bank and it normally has the details of how to do this on the back. You can give once or set up a monthly payment. Please remember to never give passwords over the phone and only call the official number on your statement.

Account Name: St Mary’s Wistaston PCC
Sort Code: 08 92 99
Account No: 65067004
Ref: << your initial & surname>>


A very simple way to give, if you shop online or do click and collect, is through Easyfundraising - it doesn't cost you a penny as by using Easyfundraising a percentage of what you but gets given to the church.
In total we've raised over £1600 through Easyfundraising. For more information on this please click the button below.

This will be the last Church at Home weekly Blog Post for a couple of weeks. The information on here will still be current for this period.

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