Please contact us via email, Facebook, or on the Rectory telephone number for further updates. We continue to hold each other in prayer and would be pleased to receive requests for anyone in specific need of prayer. Please remember those particularly, who are on their own and may feel isolated. If you are able to access the Internet or Facebook, then please check with the Provincial Website https://www.scotland.anglican.org where details of online streaming of services will be available from this Sunday or on Facebook @scottishepiscopalchurch to keep us all together as a community. There are good online resources for liturgical prayer and lectionary reflection, such as: SEC liturgies:https://www.scotland.anglican.org/who-we-are/publications/liturgies/SEC Daily Prayer:https://www.scotland.anglican.org/prayer/CofE Worship resources:https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resourcesDaily reflections:https://pray-as-you-go.orgEpiscopal Church USA, Sunday and weekday lectionary readings texts:https://www.lectionarypage.net/Bishop Ian has been in contact with our partner diocese in Brazil and India. Attached are his messages and the replies from Bishop Marinez of the Diocese of Amazonia and Bishop Paritosh of the Diocese of Calcutta.During lockdown, Fife Cluster YF have been meeting via Zoom on a Sunday evening for around 45 mins. 28th June would have been the annual BBQ which they couldn't have so delegates and leaders wore beach dress, sunhats and sunglasses to have a virtual BBQ. in the past week delegates and leaders have been making videos, on what they like about YF which have been edited together to make the following presentation. To view video click on link to YouTube https://youtu.be/nN2Ic7d3miEYF+ is a new venture which follows on from YF on a Sunday and concentrates on the Gospel lectionery reading for that Sunday. This has been received very well so far. YF and YF+ are planning to run over the summer and any young person from halfway through P7 and above are most welcome. Glen 2020 was sadly cancelled this year but the Provincial Youth Network are planning a series of virtual events during the week 2nd Aug, more details to come.Many thanks to Holy Trinity Dunfermline for allowing us to share the video.All Church Groups are also suspended until further notice. However we will endeavour to keep in touch and support each other during this time.BlessingsChristine Fraser, Rector
Breaking NewsChurches in Scotland, including the Scottish Episcopal Church, have joined together to sign a letter commending the Call for a National Day of Prayer in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.On Sunday 22 March, people of faith were encouraged to light a candle and place it in their window at 7pm. The Bishop would like this sign of unity to continue by lighting a candle on a Sunday evening at 7pm until this emergency is over.The letter, signed by the Primus on behalf of the College of Bishops, asks that we “join in prayerful solidarity with this witness”, describing the candle as “a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, the source of hope in this life”.The announcement which includes a prayer which can be used while lighting a candle appears on the SEC website at https://www.scotland.anglican.org/scottish-christians-asked-to-join-in-prayer-every-sunday-at-7pm/ and has been highlighted on SEC media channels.
Rev Christine has indicated that she will resume the 9.15am Service as from Sunday 16th January and the 10am Service as from Wednesday 19th January.The Provincial Advisory Group met recently and has updated its main Guidance document, now that Scotland is "beyond level 0" in the Government's Strategic Framework. A clean copy of the document is available at:https://www.scotland.anglican.org/coronavirus-updates/ In issuing its updated guidance, and recognising the fact that there are now fewer legal restrictions applicable to church activities, the Advisory Group is keen to emphasise that that ought not to be interpreted as an encouragement to abandon caution. The winter months are a period when the incidence of virus infections generally can be expected to increase. In the weeks ahead, as we approach Advent, Christmas and the New Year, we can expect there to be opportunities for gatherings and conviviality, as well as the possibility that greater numbers may attend church services. That is welcome for many reasons, but the Group encourages the need for us to care for one another by the continued observance of sensible precautions.The Government's own guidance for Places of Worship has been updated to reflect the current situation and is much reduced in length from earlier versions. In the light of this, the Advisory Group has decided that, for the future, rather than producing its own detailed guidance, it encourages congregations to direct themselves to the Government guidance which can be accessed at:https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-guidance-for-thesafe-use-of-places-of-worship/The status of the majority of government and church Covid guidance has now changed and should be regarded as “good practice” rather than regulations. St Peter’s Vestry continues to ensure that the health and wellbeing of all those attending services is its priority and after discussion at the most recent Vestry meeting the following revisions were agreed in relation to St Peter’s. General points of note1.Face coverings continue to be a legal requirement in churches. The exception to this is that those who are exempt because of medical conditions. Regulations state that face coverings do not need to be worn by those leading an act of worship provided there is either a partition between that person and other people, or a distance of at least 1m is maintained between that person and others. Similarly, those who are "performing" need not wear a face mask (provided there is a partition between each performer and others, or a distance of at least 1m is maintained between the performer and others). Church choirs and worship bands can, therefore, sing without face coverings, provided their members maintain at least 1m distance from each other and everyone else. Congregational members are not "performers" and so must continue to wear face coverings whether singing or not. Facemasks may be removed for reading, interceding, and eating and drinking whilst seated.2.Despite the relaxation of restrictions, St Peter’s will continue to mitigate risks by maintaining good hygiene, practising respiratory hygiene, ensuring good ventilation and continuing to engage with Test and Protect. Contact details for those attending services will be kept. The present system of hand sanitiser on entry to the church, before and after receiving communion and on exit will continue. Toilets should continue to be wiped down after use. 3.St Peter’s is no longer required to display at the entrances the Physical Distance Based Capacity, nor are services subject to specific caps on capacity. Whilst physical distancing requirements are no longer a legal obligation (other than the limited ones referred to above), St Peters will continue to maintain 1 metre physical distancing during church services. Given the capacity of the church and the numbers attending, there is no requirement to book.4.Routine pre-pandemic cleaning practices can be resumed but, in addition, St Peter’s will clean “hand touch points” i.e door handles and light switches, between services if the services are held on the same day. There is no requirement for a minimum quarantine period between uses of buildings provided cleaning and disinfection of “touch points” is carried out between such uses. There is therefore no longer a need to clean down pews between services on the same day. The building will continue to be cleaned thoroughly once per week. Specific points of note1.Welcomers – It was felt that the congregation are now well used to the routine for seating and communion and there is no longer the need to direct people to seats. From the next rota at the 9.15am service and because of numbers, there is no longer a requirement for a welcomer (as was the case with pre-pandemic arrangements). Track and Trace details will be collected by the celebrant, or by the congregation as they arrive. At the 10.30am service, at least one welcomer will be on duty to collect Track and Trace, advise newcomers of the arrangements and steward at communion. At both services books and liturgies will continue to be collected by the congregation and returned to the bookshelf after use. If you would like to chat before the service please do use the hall to keep the vestibule free for those who wish to go straight to the church. 2.Seating Arrangements – The congregation at both services are now well used to maintaining 1m physical distancing and so there is no longer the need to direct to seats. 3.Communion – Communion will continue to be administered in one kind from the chancel steps. As has been the practice, communicants will come forward row by row at both services. There is no longer the need at 9.15am for stewarding because of numbers. At 10.30am, one welcomer on duty will direct communicants.4.PA system - The PA system will be set up for use and there is no requirement for Readers/Intercessors to switch the lectern microphone on or off. The Welcomer on duty at 10.30am will ensure that the lectern microphone is switched off at the end of the service. Readers may use the lectern bible if they wish.Craft GroupMarjorie Ward has announced that St Peter’s Craft Group will resume on Monday 6th September from 10am until 12 noon (Please note change of day and time).The following guidelines will be in place:She will be asking those attending to have a lateral flow test (free from the chemist) twice per weekHand sanitising before entry to hallMasks to be worn except while drinking and eating1 metre distancing, therefore only two per tableand Track & Trace will be in operation.Letting of HallsAs we are moving beyond Level 0, the Vestry have agreed to open up the Church for hall bookings. If you are interested then you can now download the latest Terms and Conditions together with a Booking Form by clicking on your preferred format: Microsoft Word Document .doc or .docx, PDF.At a recent meeting of the Diocesan Global Partnerships Committee, the situation in our link diocese of Kolkata in India and Amazonia in Brazil regarding COVID 19 and the lack of supply of vaccines was discussed. It was agreed that the Diocese would lobby MPs and MSPs to try to help those countries and others in the same situation by asking that both parliaments consider sending out excess vaccines to help alleviate the suffering. The Revd Canon Bob Harley, Convenor of the committee has drafted a letter of explanation and a letter template in the event that you might support this initiative. Copies of the letter and template can be found here and Google will provide you with information on your local MP and MSP. Please do help if you can.Click here for details of the proposed Diocesan Pilgrimages taking place in 2021 and 2022. Registration information is included in the leaflet, please register directly with the Diocese if you wold like to particiapte in any or all of them.
The new guidance is significantly shorter than previous versions, which reflects the fact that the Advisory Group is essentially pointing congregations to the revised Government Places of Worship Guidance, last updated by the Government in August. The Advisory Group considered whether to withdraw its own guidance altogether but was of the view that it would remain helpful for congregations to have some specific guidance applicable to the specific circumstances and raditions of the Scottish Episcopal Church. The revised guidance does not recommend new measures or requirements for congregations and is simply a revision to reflect the fact that there are considerably fewer restrictions required now than was the case earlier in the pandemic.