Several big news items this week, firstly, the reopening of St Mary’s church – don’t get too excited yet! The ministry team has decided to sanction St Mary’s being open for private prayer on 2 days a week – Wednesdays (the first being 17th June) and Sundays between 10 -12am.

“Private prayer” means one is allowed to sit and contemplate in church IN THE SEATS SPECIALLY PROVIDED AT THE FRONT. The logic behind this is the length of time Covid 19 can survive on hard surfaces (like chairs), which is 72 hours. Therefore if a carrier did enter the church and leave the virus on a chair, then with the church being closed until the next Sunday or Wednesday, the danger of infection will have passed. This policy, which does not meet with everyone’s approval since a significant number feel the church should be open daily and then disinfected, will be reviewed in 2 weeks or so.

When you go in to church please observe these protocol: use the handgel and paper wipes at the door, maintain 2m distancing between you and others and then clean your hands again as you leave.

Small scale funerals and weddings are now permitted but it will be a few weeks before services (again on a small scale) resume.

Other big news is the closing of Thornbury High Street to motorised traffic for the next 18 months. The idea here is that with no cars on the road, shops – and in truth this really means cafes, coffee bars and pubs – will be able to expand out on to the pavements and passers-by can walk safely in the road. Quite a few problems of course, like the weather for one! People who are less mobile might find it harder to reach shops they need, like Boots the chemists for example. It is a trial and the principal is commendable, so let’s give it a try.

St Mary’s Green Force met in the graveyard yesterday. They updated 2 new members on what had been achieved so far. Also on the agenda was how to make people more aware of recycling and many other “green” issues. There are some items we all use which cannot currently go out with the weekly recycling boxes, but they can still be recycled. A number of local schools are prepared to collect things like toothpaste tubes, biros and crisp packets which they can actually sell! Soon there will be special boxes outside the church to help us recycle items like these.

Brenda Jones is 90 years old today – happy birthday to you.

The July edition of MEETING POINT will be in hard PRINT. Whilst the online version kept us all in the “loop”, there really is no substitute for the printed edition. Everyone is so grateful for the wonderful work done by the Meeting Point team.

If you are one of those people who religiously (sorry) donate to St Mary’s by means of the envelope scheme, do please keep up with the weekly regime of putting in money. When the church opens up more fully, the Treasurer will be thrilled to receive ALL your envelopes and over the moon at counting it.