Update for Spring 2021
02 May 2021
Meeting together as a Church Family
Glorious spring is here and we are delighted at the possibility of meeting together more as a Church family. The past 12 months have been extraordinarily challenging, but we have done our best to stay well-connected via the internet and telephone. We have learned how to have homegroups, prayer times and other meetings using zoom, and we have continued to offer Sunday services at 9.30am with recorded and livestreamed worship. Chris Newman has done a lot of work, providing recorded online material for children and families, and for school assemblies. We are very pleased to hear that so many have taken the opportunity to be vaccinated. However, we shall still need patience as we slowly return to what we think of as 'normal'. There is still much uncertainty over the virus and its mutations.
A number of you have been asking why All Saints has remained closed, despite falling infection levels and increased numbers having been vaccinated. This decision has been made by the Rector, the wardens and the PCC and reflects our desire to re-open gradually and safely - broadly in line with the government's timetable, announced by the Prime Minister on 22 February, for easing the lockdown rules. We realise how keen we all are to return to worshipping in the church building, and very much hope that - subject to the Prime Minister's announcement about possible easements that will apply from 17 May - we will be able to resume services inside the church building with a congregation from 23 May. There will be one service, at 9.30am. [However, social distancing and face covering will still apply; we will have to limit the total numbers attending; we will not be able to sing or socialise, and Communion will be offered in one form only.]
9.30am Parish Eucharist (23-May-2021) · ChurchSuite Events
9.30am Sanderstead Celebration, in the Church Hall (30-May-2021) · ChurchSuite Events
For Ascension Day, Thursday 13 May, at 2pm a short service of music, readings and prayers will be held outside the church. There will be a limit of 30 attending, and you will be invited to book.
Ascension Day Outdoor Service, not HC (13-May-2021) · ChurchSuite Events
Restrictions on other indoor church meetings will continue at least until 21 June when the government hopes all restrictions can be removed. We shall keep you informed. As for as the Church Halls are concerned, where Government guidelines permit we are commencing hall hire to groups that have a legal permission to meet. It is up to the hirer to demonstrate their right to meet and to carry out their own covid risk assessment for their activities.
Our priority focus in mission is Children and Families. Chris and Sam Newman will soon be moving into 285 Limpsfield Road. He is keen to build relationships and start with activities for gospel ministry with children and their families, both indoors and especially outdoors during the warmer summer months. We have been praying with Chris and have great hopes of a renewal of work with families. But we must not leave it all to him, and I do hope when the Church Council prepares the plan of action we are going to take, that you will all get behind it, own it and pray over it. We are one church family, so please be assured that we shall of course continue to provide for 'seniors', with friendship, activities and pastoral care.
Our priority area, along with the community around All Saints, is Hamsey Green. As you know, St Antony's closed for Sunday services at the end of 2019, and there is a lot of work to do to build up a committed fellowship of Christians in Hamsey Green. In order to express our commitment to Hamsey Green – which I think often felt rather forgotten when we were a Team Ministry – our PCC agreed that we will be known as 'The Parish of Sanderstead and Hamsey Green'. Of course, the official legal name remains 'The Parish of Sanderstead' and can only be changed after due consultation with the whole community.
Thank you for your patience, prayers and support during this difficult time. At All Saints we will continue to attach the highest priority to everyone's health and safety - not least, because of an expected "third wave" of the virus later in the Summer.
With love and prayers,
Rev Canon Martin Greenfield and Churchwardens
Friends, the pictures and news from India on CV19 have been very distressing, with the huge number of sufferers and the dreadful shortage of oxygen and equipment. Here's how you can help:
As India's battle with coronavirus continues, and people are dying for lack of hospital beds and oxygen, a small rural hospital in north India has appealed for help to buy an oxygen generating machine and 3 ventilators.
Kachhwa Christian Hospital, near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, has just been appointed a Covid hospital, as the officially designated hospitals have been overwhelmed. Facing an acute shortage of oxygen, they have applied to purchase an oxygen generating machine that will save lives. Now they also need 3 ventilators to help the patients that keep coming to the hospital. The numbers are increasing daily and they have to turn some away.
The hospital has applied for an oxygen generating machine. They are locally available, costing Rs. 2,000,000 (£20,000). They hope it can be installed within the next two weeks. They also need to purchase 3 ventilators, costing £10,000 each.
To give to this appeal, go to the South Asian Concern website at https://southasianconcern.