Updated 14th July 2020
St James the Less will begin public worship on Sundays from 26th July at 10.30am. (NB no public worship on 23rd and 30th August)
The plan is to also ‘Zoom’ the service from inside the church so that those of you who do not wish to (or cannot) come in to the church building can still join in with the worship using Zoom. (Zoom can be used by anyone with an internet connection – be that a computer, tablet or phone. If you would like help accessing Zoom please ask me.)
Please be assured that the PCC will carry out risk assessments and implement Diocesan and Government advice so as to enable our worship to be as safe as possible (although of course it is not completely risk free), but please feel absolutely no pressure to come in to the building if you feel uncomfortable in doing so (I know a number of you who this will be true for). For some of you it will be entirely right not to come in to the church building yet, for a whole variety of reasons. We will continue to try and ensure you still feel fully part of St James the Less.
Like pubs and restaurants, churches are being asked to keep track of who comes in to the building and so if you come on a Sunday we will take note of who is there. This info will be kept for 21 days and then destroyed.
I hope that you will have picked up from the news that our services will not be like normal. For example, as publicised in the press, there will be no singing. But also, we will have reduced seating, an ‘in’ door and an ‘out’ door (unless your mobility is such that the tower entrance is also your safest exit), you will be asked to use hand sanitiser and stay 2m apart from other people. Socialising in the church building before or afterwards is also not permitted – hence the Zoom socialising I mentioned earlier, and you can of course chat outside the building should you wish to! As you will have seen or heard today face masks are becoming more important for the restriction of the spread of the virus and so you may wish to wear one in the building. I will wear one for Holy Communion, and you will only receive bread, which I will bring to you in the pews. The children’s corner will be removed but individual resources will be provided for any children who come.
Those are examples of some of the ways that things will be (very) different on Sundays, but the core will be the same… we will – either in person, or over Zoom – worship God, hear God’s Holy word, pray together and ask forgiveness etc etc. We will be church.
Finally I should remind you all that if the situation changes again nationally, or here in Tower Hamlets, we may be asked to close again. This is the nature of these strange days.
I understand that the above is quite a lot to take in and may cause you all sorts of emotions and so please do contact me if you have any questions, queries or concerns.
With love and prayers in these ever changing days.
Rev Chris Newman-Day
St James the Less, Bethnal Green
020 8980 1612
Welcome to St James the Less. People have been gathering to worship God at St James the Less for over 177 years. We’d love it if you joined us and helped us be the people of God in this particularly wonderful part of East London.
Our Sunday morning service starts at 10.30am and lasts about an hour.
You will find our church in St James’ Avenue, just off Old Ford Road, near to Victoria Park and the old London Chest Hospital. There is plenty of on-road parking, free on Sundays, and the church is 10 minutes’ walk from Bethnal Green Tube Station.