Face it, the church can be a wel­com­ing place

The Wokingham Paper - - NEWS -

Walk­ing down the road to­day

I saw some pic­tures on dis­play

All the lovely pic­tures

Fas­tened in a row

I stopped and stud­ied all of them

I did not want to go

Who had drawn th­ese pic­tures

And why? Was it a test?

It was easy to see as you will agree They had all done their very best So thank you to all the artists Thanks for the dis­play

Look­ing at your pic­tures has re­ally made my day.

That’s a verse pinned next to some bright por­traits that have gone on show out­side one of the bor­ough’s churches.

Ear­ley St Peter’s, in Church Road, in­vited its con­gre­ga­tion to get draw­ing. While it can’t meet in per­son at the mo­ment due to so­cial dis­tanc­ing rules, it has been us­ing the in­ter­net to hold ser­vices.

And it has also been call­ing

150 house­holds each week to en­sure that the church stays in touch with its parish­ioners.

It asked them to draw pic­tures of them­selves to mark St Peter’s Day.

The Revd Han­nah Hob­day said: “It’s one of my favourite Sun­days of the year, on­line ser­vices are not the same. We be­long to­gether even if we can’t meet to­gether – the pic­tures are a cel­e­bra­tion of our church fam­ily.

“There’s a va­ri­ety, that’s what church is. We’re not one type of peo­ple, God loves ev­ery­one.”

Like oth­ers in Ear­ley, it is now in the process of re­open­ing – deep clean­ing both church and halls, and start­ing to wel­come peo­ple for wed­dings, chris­ten­ings and fu­ner­als. But it prob­a­bly­won’t be un­til next month that it can hold ser­vices.

For now, churches are al­low­ing peo­ple to come in for silent prayer.

Un­der the cur­rent guide­lines, the build­ings are able to be used for per­sonal vis­its.

Each church has its own sys­tems in place for so­cial dis­tanc­ing, and th­ese are clear­ly­marked.

OUR LADY OF PEACE ON WOK­ING­HAM ROAD: Open daily be­tween 10am and 6pm. EAR­LEY ST PETER'S: Thurs­days from 10am to noon and 6pm to 9pm. TRIN­ITY CHURCH: 2pm to 4pm on Tues­days, 9am to 4pm on Wed­nes­days and Thurs­days 11am to 4pm. EAR­LEY ST NI­COLA: 7pm to 9pm on Tues­days, 2pm to 4pm on Wed­nes­days and 10am to noon on Fri­days.

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