Public Worship Resumes at St Martin's
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Restarting Public Worship
Attending worship has been one of the few reasons allowed by the Government for us to leave our homes throughout the current lockdown. However, given the way the infection rate was escalating in January in our own community as well as elsewhere, I agreed with the Churchwardens that it was our moral responsibility to heed the plea of the Mayor of London and stop gathering together. That crisis has now passed, so unless any further restrictions are announced, the Churchwardens and I have decided that public worship will resume at St Martin’s from the weekend of 27th/28th February.
We must emphasise though, the need for us all to continue to be punctilious in observing protocols regarding hand sanitation, face masks and physical distancing. In common with churches everywhere, we at St Martin’s have taken great care over these matters. We are confident that our church remains a safe place for us to worship.
Don't forget that for Mass on Sunday and the Vigil Mass at 6pm on Saturday, you need to reserve your place here.
You will have read my announcement earlier this week that I will retire as your Vicar on 10th July, close to the 40th anniversary of my Ordination. As is the custom in the Church of England, the process of finding a successor will not begin until after my departure, so there will be a gap, probably of several months, before your new Vicar is in post. This period is known as an ‘Interregnum’. Once the Interregnum begins, there is a clear legal process that the Parochial Church Council will follow. This will include appointing two representatives from the PCC who will work with the Bishop of Willesden and the patron of our parish to recruit the new Vicar. Since 1422, the patron of our parish has been the Dean and Chapter of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
We are fortunate that the Interregnum coincides with a time when we have two curates and the support of retired and neighbouring clergy, as well as strong and able lay leadership within our church community. This means that you can feel confident that the normal pattern of communal worship and prayer will continue, subject to constraints imposed by the pandemic, while the post of Vicar remains vacant.
Thanksgiving for the blessings of past years, as well as preparation for all that lies ahead, are matters about which we should all commit ourselves to pray from now on. A form of prayer in which we can participate collectively will be circulated in due course.
With my best wishes and prayers,