St. Michael’s post-pandemic

St. Michael’s Vicarage, Alnwick
July 2021

Dear People of Alnwick,

Many of us had hoped that, by the time you were reading this, we would have been released from ‘lockdown’ and things might have been returning to normal — whatever that might mean.

The truth of the matter is, of course, that following the trauma of the last fifteen months, a new normal will need to be established in so many facets of life. The world — including our little part of it here in Alnwick — has changed and we need to reassess all sorts of ways of life that we previously took for granted.

And so I want to take the opportunity of using this letter to talk particularly about how we may best ‘be Church’ here in St. Michael’s in our new, postpandemic, life and especially with regard to Sunday worship.

Those who have been counting will know that in the last year we have seen the deaths of eleven of our most committed members: people who were in church faithfully, week by week, and whose presence and fellowship we miss greatly. This loss represents approximately 10% of our worshipping community.

And added to this, there are still those amongst our number who do not yet feel ready to return to church and who, along with a good number of others, are maintaining their connection through YouTube and Zoom.

All of this has led to much prayer and reflection — particularly on the pattern of Sunday worship now that more settled times are on the horizon.

After a fair degree of consultation and with the agreement of the Parochial Church Council we hope to begin, from July, a new pattern of worship which will be reviewed after a six month period.

Our aim has always been to offer, within the scope of our abilities, worship which caters for the broad spectrum of those who have made St. Michael’s their spiritual home. Over the years this has evolved from the days when Early Communion, Matins and Evensong were the ‘staple diet’ of Sundays to the pattern we had of four services each Sunday until we were hit by Coronavirus.

Later Morning Worship at 11.15am has become increasingly challenging to sustain each week as people have died, become infirm or moved away. Of course, over the years, it has been of special significance to considerable numbers of folk who have felt particularly valued, nurtured and able to give of themselves because of the informal nature of a smaller gathering.

It is important that we give thanks for the real blessings that many have received from that worship (not least, in recent years, the leadership of Sue Allen) as we launch out in faith into a new way of being.

Details of our new pattern of worship are given on the front inside cover and, as we try to pick up the pieces of our new normal, I would ask that you keep all of this in your prayers.

With every blessing,


This entry was posted in Letters. Bookmark the permalink.