Like many parishes Thorpe St Andrew has enjoyed online worship and fellowship during the lockdown, through Zoom and Facebook, but after returning to worship in church in July, they wanted to do something to celebrate the summer, which was safe but face to face.
On 9 August they enjoyed a wonderful open air Eucharist in their churchyard in the beautiful summer sunshine. Parishioners were encouraged to bring their own rugs and garden chairs, so the worship had a really summery feel. The parish put up several gazebos and brought out a lot of what was needed from the church. There was much for the parish to celebrate that day since their new curate, The Revd Taylor Wilton-Morgan had been ordained deacon in the Cathedral a few days before, so this was his first service as a deacon within the parish. He was vested in a dalmatic and preached the sermon.
The parish also celebrated the beginning of a new ministry for Nicole King, a faithful member of the congregation for many years and organiser of the Parish's Cafe Church, who was commissioned in the service as Authorised Worship Assistant. Rector of Thorpe St Andrew, The Revd James Stewart said: 'I had been planning an open air service in the churchyard for a number of years, but our return to church after lockdown seemed like something to rejoice in on its own. Our ministry team here is growing with a new curate and AWA, so with the lovely sunny weather it turned in to a real festival. It was a joy to behold!' People sat in family bubbles, were socially distanced and since it was outside there was no need to wear face coverings, which became mandatory in churches the day before. After the service the large number of socially distant parishioners stayed for a picnic, with the food provided by themselves, due to current Covid -19 restrictions, following an appropriate risk assessment.
We are currently planning other services for Autumn and these will be shared on this website in due course.