A Return to Worship – Please Read Carefully

Dear All,

As you will have heard, the government has relaxed the rules and public worship will be able to resume on Sunday.  Significant restrictions are still in place and the services will be different, however I am convinced there is enough freedom to allow significant and meaningful worship and in the short term we may even appreciate the quieter, more reflective style that will be required.

I want to say how much I have admired the spirit in which all those I have been in contact with over the last few weeks have faced this challenge.  It has not been easy for any of us but you have risen to it with courage and fortitude and there have been many examples of people reaching out to help others and tackling the demands of new technology.  I appreciate that many will still feel very cautious about gathering with others and for some it will not be possible but I want to assure you about what we are doing to make coming to church safe and enjoyable.
Clergy and wardens have been given detailed advice which we have followed to the letter, especially with regard to cleaning and enabling social distancing to take place.  Detailed risk assessments have been carried out.  If you would like to see the one relating to your church please reply to this email and we will send it to you.  We would not consider opening the churches for worship if we were not satisfied that it is safe to do so.

One concern is that some may have grown quite comfortable with not coming to church on Sunday and may even have quite enjoyed the extra time.  I do understand this, but would urge you to make the effort: gathering together for worship is at the heart of our life as a church and although it is possible to keep things ticking over in other ways for a while if we do not get back to corporate worship the churches will die.  It is also important for the communities we serve to have at their heart a living, worshipping, praying community.  It is the main thing we have to offer the world in these dark times.  

As the pace of things picks up it will not be possible to maintain some of the online things we have been doing but we recognise that for those still unable to come some kind of virtual link will be important.  The service for this Sunday (in its usual form) can be found here and at the top of this page.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib4ZYPJDFz4

It premieres at 4:00 pm this week, the logic being that people might come to church and then watch a video but are less likely to watch a video and then come to church!  It’s just a little nudge to come if you possibly can.

So I hope to see as many of you as possible as soon as possible.  The various services for this Sunday and next are listed below.  Please pass this email on to any you think may not have received it but might be interested.
Stephen

Services for 5th July


9:30 am Belstone Holy Communion

9:30am Bridestow Morning Prayer

9:30 am Northlew Holy Communion

11:00 am Hatherleigh Holy Communion

11:00 am Lydford Morning Prayer

11:00 am Okehampton Holy Communion with provision for children.

Services for 12th July (May change, please watch for updates)

9:30 am Meeth Holy Communion

9:30 am Inwardeligh Holy Communion

9:30 am Belstone Holy Communion

11:00 am Hatherleigh Holy Communion

11:00 am Lydford Holy Communion

11:00 am Okehampton Holy Communion with provision for children.

NB Okehampton, Hatherleigh and Lydford will have services every Sunday at 11:00 am.  For other churches please be patient as a longer term pattern is determined.  

Who are we?

We belong to the Church of England and are part of the Diocese of Exeter. There are currently fourteen active churches, including a ‘Chapel of Ease’ within the Okehampton and Northmoor Churches Team Ministry. There is also ‘St Mary’s’ of Ashbury which does not have services on a regular basis.

What we stand for

We are proud to be part of the Christian Church around the world and to affirm our unity with other Churches in the town. We understand the purpose of the Church to be:

TELLING

Telling the good news of God’s love for the world as shown to us in Jesus Christ.

NURTURING

Enabling Christians to grow in their understanding of God and of their faith

SERVING

Playing our full part in the life of the town, helping it to be a safe and healthy community, seeking ways to put our faith into practice.

TRANSFORMING

Recognizing injustice in all its forms, speaking out against it and seeking to overcome it.

TENDING

Acknowledging our responsibility for the created world and trying to live in a sustainable way.

We look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful churches.

 If you would like to speak with or contact anyone about our churches or our ministry then please contact a member of our team. We look forward to hearing from you

Meet the Team

Rev Stephen Cook

Team Rector

Rev Leigh Winsbury

Team Vicar

Rev Adrian Brook

Team Vicar

Rev Richard Bache

Team Curate

Alison Duckers

Pioneer Minister

Ruth Cartlidge

Team Administrator