General Information

CORONAVIRUS - General Information

Updates will be posted on this website as and when new information is received.

NATIONAL DAY OF REFLECTION, 23rd MARCH:
The Church of England is encouraging the nation to take a minute’s silence at 12 noon on Tuesday, 23rd March to show support for the millions of people who are bereaved, and take a moment to connect with someone.
To download a PDF file of the poster for a QR code to light a candle online:- Click Here

Below is the special prayer for this Day of Reflection:-
God of Love,
As we think about all that has changed this year,
help us to trust that you are always with us.
As we remember those who have died,
help us to trust they are at peace with you.
As we reach out to others with kindness and care,
may hope shine out in every heart and home.
Amen.

A Prayer for the Nation in light of the Covid-19 death toll:
We remember before God those who have died and we pray that God's love will surround all who mourn them, now and always:-
Gracious God,
as we remember before you the thousands who have died,
surround us and all who mourn with your strong compassion.
Be gentle with us in our grief,
protect us from despair,
and give us grace to persevere
and face the future with hope
in Jesus Christ our risen Lord.
Amen.
 

OFFICIAL CORONAVIRUS UPDATES


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 21st MARCH 2022:

New guidelines were issued by the Church of England on 21st March 2022. The following changes were then made:
-  The collection plate can be passed round as before the pandemic
-  The peace may be shared in whatever way is deemed appropriate for those attending; parishioners are asked to please be mindful that there are some who need to be more cautious than others.
The chalice may once again be offered at Holy Communion. It was agreed at the Benefice Wardens' Meeting on Thursday 7th April that the chalice will be offered at all four churches but there will be no pressure on parishioners to receive the wine if they prefer not to do so.
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 28th JANUARY 2022:

Following the lifting of plan B measures in England from Thursday 27th January, "Face coverings are no longer mandatory in any setting but may be recommended in enclosed or crowded places, particularly where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet".
At services in Great Brickhill and Little Brickhill churches it will be up to individuals to decide if they wish to wear a face masks or not. Due to the size of the building, at Bow Brickhill and Stoke Hammond it will be recommended that people continue to wear a face covering.
Communion will still be administered in the form of bread only.
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 19th JULY & October 2021:

Covid restrictions were largely lifted on Monday, 19th July. The Church of England issued guidance saying that each church can recommend/advise/encourage certain restrictions to remain – they cannot enforce any restrictions. The Rector in consultation with the Wardens at each church will decide what is appropriate for that church. The main criteria for any decision are made on the size of the building and the likely number in the congregation. It will therefore be different restrictions that will be recommended at each of our four churches. The main differences will be regarding congregational singing and the wearing of face coverings.

The recommendations in place for services in GREAT BRICKHILL from 25th July have now been revised. From 7th October the recommendations are:
-  The doors will be open for ventilation
-  Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance
-  Communion will be administered at the altar rail in the form of bread only
-  Hymn singing will take place and the congregation will be allowed to stand
-  Individual's choice as to whether they wish to wear a mask or not
-  The QR code will remain on the door for those who wish to use it
-  The collection will be taken as in recent weeks, no passing round of the collection plate 
THE ABOVE RECOMMENDATIONS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

The recommendations below for the BOW BRICKHILL services have now been revised until further notice:
- The church door will be open for ventilation
- Hand sanitiser is available at entrance
- People can decide where they would like to sit
- Hymn singing will take place for all and we continue to recommend the congregation wear masks. 
- Communion will continue to be administered only in the form of bread. 
- The QR code will remain at the door for those who wish to use it. 
For any further information please contact Warden Stuart on stuleeming@aol.com 

The recommendations in place for services in LITTLE BRICKHILL from 22nd October are:
-  The doors will be open for ventilation
-  Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance
-  Communion will be administered at the altar rail in the form of bread only
-  Hymn singing will take place and the congregation will be allowed to stand
-  Individual's choice as to whether they wish to wear a mask or not
-  The collection will be taken as in recent weeks, no passing round of the collection plate 
THE ABOVE RECOMMENDATIONS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

For the recommendations in place for services in STOKE HAMMOND, please contact the Wardens:-
Diane Webber:-  01525 270409  dianejwebber@gmail.com
Harry Davies:-  07773 065271 harrydavies470@btinternet.com
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 30th JUNE:

Guidance was issued on 30th June allowing refreshments to be served after a service or as part of a community activity or event. Food and drink can be served for consumption inside, outside, and for takeaway or delivery
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE RE SINGING:

A limited amount of singing is allowed by choir members - 6 amateur singers can perform, or rehearse for performance with physical distancing being maintained at all times. There is no limit on the number of professional singers. Oudoor singing is allowed but no congrgational singing in church. Members of the choir sang for the first time at the Good Friday service at Great Brickhill on 2nd April.
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 6th MARCH:

With the continuing success of the vaccination programme and the large drop in local COVID-19 case numbers, the Wardens of the four parishes, along with the Rector, have agreed that live services in church will re-start on Palm Sunday, 28th March.
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 20th JANUARY:

Notification has been received from the Director of Public Health for Buckinghamshire Council and from the diocese that communal worship should not continue during lockdown. The COVID-19 case rate across Buckinghamshire has now reached over 600 cases per 100,000 people, with more than 75% of cases being the new, highly infectious strain. In view of the increased risks of this variant, the recommendation is that communal worship in faith buildings does not take place during lockdown. All church services are therefore suspended until further notice.
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 4th JANUARY:

Following the PM's announcement of a national lock down on 4th January, the government has not suspended public worship and at least for the time being, services will continue in all four churches in the Benefice.
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 23rd NOVEMBER:

Following the publication of the Government's Covid-19 Winter Plan, permission has been given for the resumption of public worship from the end of the second lock down period on 2nd December, regardless of the location and tier. Services in the Benefice will resume on Sunday 6th December.
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 31st OCTOBER:

Following the Prime Minister's announcement, churches must close from midnight on 4th November until 3rd December, except for private prayer. There will therefore be no services in church in November after that date. Go to the "Service Details" page for details of the alternative on-line services.

For details of when the four churches will be open:- Click Here 
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 22nd AUGUST:

There will continue to be a limited number of services across the Benefice for the next two months. We are very aware that there are some who are not yet be ready to come back to services in church. There will be occasional virtual services to cater for those who do not yet feel able to venture out to church and we will continue to share information about the weekly virtual worship opportunities that are being either televised or live streamed from around the country. The information is posted each week at the church and is also uploaded onto the website in the dedicated Coronavirus section.

A schedule of services for September can be found on the "Coronavirus Worship Details" page.
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 25th JULY:

Further to the Prime Minister’s announcement that places of worship may re-open for worship from 4th July, it has been agreed that live services across the Benefice will resume in August. There will also be virtual services to cater for those who do not yet feel able to venture out to church.

With regard to live services there will be one service per day at one of the churches on the first four Sundays in August at 11.00am. Although there cannot be any singing, the organ will be played at various points. We are aware that there are many who have been shielding or in vulnerable groups who do not yet feel comfortable in going to public places. By the middle of August, we will have more of an idea as to what people might like and will be in a position to plan for services in September and beyond.

A schedule of services for August can be found on the "Coronavirus Worship Details" page.
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 17th JULY:

Further to the Prime Minister’s announcement that places of worship may re-open for worship from 4th July, it was agreed at the Benefice Wardens' Meeting on 16th July that in principle live services would be resumed in August, subject to the required approval by the PCC of each of the churches. There will be virtual services as well to cater for those who do not yet feel able to venture out to church. A full schedule will be provided by the end of next week.


STOKE HAMMOND CHURCH OPENING:

If anyone would like to visit the church, please contact Diane Webber 01525 270409  dianejwebber@gmail.com
 

LITTLE BRICKHILL CHURCH OPENING:

A note from the Church Warden at Little Brickhill:-
You’ll know that, with the gradual easing of the lockdown regulations, we’re now allowed to open the church, at this stage for quiet private prayer, but we hope that it won’t be too long before we can start to resume services. The church has now been cleaned and aired and hand sanitizer, disposable gloves and wipes are in place for your use. All books have been removed so, if you wish to, please bring your own prayer book and Bible. If you’d like to go into the church, please contact Alison Packer on 261569 or Sarah Lawless on 261721. We’ll be happy to let you borrow a key. Obviously, please don’t go into the church if you have any symptoms of Covid 19 and if you should develop the virus after visiting the church, please let us know immediately.Thank you and Welcome!


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 4th JULY:

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that places of worship may re-open for worship from 4th July, much information has now been received from the government and the church authorities.

We are not yet in a position to re-start services as we need to be sure that certain conditions are met and all the guidance is followed. We will keep you up to date with the situation at all four of our benefice churches and advise you as soon as any decision has been made to resume services.


BOW BRICKHILL CHURCH TO REOPEN:

Bow Brickhill church will open weekly for private prayer on Sundays, from 5th July, 10.00 - 11.00am.
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 23rd JUNE:

The Prime Minister announced on Monday 23rd June that places of worship may re-open from 4th July, providing certain conditions are met and government guidance is followed. The government has also given permission for weddings to resume from the same date. The detailed guidance from the government is still in preparation. Updated guidance from the national church will need to follow. It may, therefore, be some time before we have all the necessary information to begin to plan for physical services to start again. Each individual church will need to prepare carefully and there will be much to think through.

It is very welcome news that some of us will be able to meet again in our familiar and much-loved building. When we are able to do so this, it will be far from a return to normal life before lockdown but we will be able to start restoring and rebuilding some of what we have lost. It is clear that we will not be in a position to hold services next weekend. When services do resume, whatever pattern of worship is offered, we will continue to share information on the virtual worship opportunities that are available.


GREAT BRICKHILL CHURCH TO REOPEN

Great Brickhill church will reopen from Sunday, 21st June for socially-distanced private prayer. The church will be open on:
 Sundays:- 10.00am – 2.00pm
 Wednesdays:- 2.00pm – 5.00pm
The opening times will be increased as soon as it is safe to do so following the guidelines provided to us.
There is hand sanitizer available at the entrance and we ask that you read the guidance provided on the blue notice board as you enter the church. Much of the church has been cordoned off and all bibles, books etc have been removed. Please take your own bible or other reading matter with you. There are chairs available near the altar should you wish to sit and say a prayer, or merely enjoy the wonderful space.
Reopening the church for private prayer is the first stage in getting back to how things were before the lockdown and being able to hold our regular services and activities. Church opening times and other updates will be posted on the website.
 

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 13th JUNE:

Following a recent announcement that places of worship could reopen for individual private prayer from June 15th, the government has now revised the date to June 13th. Although the guidance allows for places of worship to reopen for funerals and individual private prayer (only), the decision of how and when to begin the process of doing so will be taken by each church individually. There are a number of measures that have to be in place to ensure everyone’s safety before a church is open again. Information on the opening of any of our four churches will be provided at the appropriate time.


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 10th MAY:

Following the Prime Minister’s statement to the nation on Sunday 10th May, it is clear that we will not be able to join in any live worship in our churches until at least 4th July, and probably much later than that. We are hopeful that churches will be allowed to open for private prayer before then, but in the mean-time we have to wait and see what official announcements are forthcoming.


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 23rd MARCH:

Following the Prime Minister's announcement at 8.30pm on 23rd March all church buildings are now closed. There will be no public worship, private prayer or any other meetings or activities in churches until further notice.
 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 20th MARCH:-

WEDDINGS, FUNERALS, BAPTISMS:
Special guidance has been issued with regard to weddings, the reading of Banns, Funerals and Baptisms. If you need any of this information please write to:- rector@brickhillschurches.org.uk 

THE CHURCH ANNUAL MEETINGS:
The dates had already been agreed for the Annual Church Meetings for each of the four parishes. Bishop Steven has signed a legal instrument to extend the deadline for parishes to hold their annual meetings to the end of October 2020. Current office holders will accordingly be able to remain in office longer than they would otherwise have done. A new date for the Annual Meetings will be circulated at the appropriate time. 


CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE 17th MARCH:

In light of Government guidance around non-essential contact, we have received notice that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued advice that public worship is suspended, and so there will be no further Church services or other midweek meetings until further notice. 

Details on how best to cope with the virus can be found via the World Health Organisation website which will provide rolling updates and the best ways to mitigate against the spread of the infection:- Click Here

NHS England also provide updated and expert advice via their website:- Click Here

This is clearly a fluid and developing situation and the advice and guidance issued by these expert authorities will be monitored in relation to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.  Updates will be posted on this website as and when new information is received.