First Post-Lock Services within Church

After 14 weeks of lock-down it was a joyful time being together with those who were able to make it to our two socially distanced communion services yesterday (Saturday 4th July).

We look forward to a time when we can all regularly meet together physically as a church family, but for now we’re concentrating on drawing the family together digitally on Facebook at 10am every day.

Church open in response to Forbury Park incident

St Catherine's Church

St Catherine’s church will be open for private prayer from 12noon to 2pm this afternoon (Monday 22nd June).  This is in response to the incident in Forbury Park in Reading on Saturday evening.

Social distancing should be observed during your time in church.  The church has been re-arranged into a number of separate ‘stations’ to make this easier.  Please enter by the north car park door.

You will be aware that current government restrictions limit the use of the church, so we regret that no public service or multi-household gathering can take place .

Open for private prayer on request

St Catherine's ChurchFollowing government slight easing of lockdown, and the latest CofE guidance, churches have been told that they may, if they wish, now open for private prayer, as long as they follow strict guidelines.

After careful thought and consideration, and having completed a risk assessment, the clergy and churchwardens have decided that St Catherine’s can open for private prayer for those who would like it, on request, starting from Monday 15th June.

In order to be compliant with guidelines, the following parameters have been put in place, and we would ask your assistance in maintaining these:

  • Entrance to the church will be via the North Doors (car park) only. (Entrance to the Pre-school is be via the South Doors only.)
  • A table at the North Door will hold a signing in book as people enter the building (for track and trace purposes).
  • Everyone will be asked to clean their hands on entering and leaving the building (hand gel will be available) and maintain strict social distancing in compliance with the latest advice.
  • The church has been laid out into socially distanced “stations”, comprising chairs and table, and each station is to be used by members of one household only. Please be prepared for the church to look very different.
  • The Garden Room is not available for prayer (no access – and not easy to socially distance).
  • Please bring your own Bible, notebook and pens etc as all books have been stored away (as advised).
  • The internal doors are to be left open when the building is in use, and external doors left open as weather permits, so that touch on door handles is limited.
  • If you would like to pray in the church, please contact Gill (0118 942 7786) or email to arrange a time.
  • For safeguarding purposes, two people will need to be on duty when the church is open for prayer (we are calling these people “Gatekeepers”).
  • “Gatekeepers” will be responsible for opening and closing the building, cleaning all used areas and ensuring that social distancing is maintained.
  • When the church is open, appropriate signage on the gate posts and church doors will indicate this, so others may take the opportunity to pray too.
  • Anyone may use the church for prayer – this is not restricted to church members only.
  • If there is clear demand for the church to be open for private prayer, we can consider opening it regularly at particular times in the week – but initially we will see what the demand is.
  • Under no circumstances should anyone enter the church building for any other purpose than for private prayer, until further notice.

Thank you for your understanding in these difficult times.

Church Activities and Coronavirus

St Catherine's ChurchIn light of the latest guidance from the government and the Church of England, our usual pattern of Sunday services and other midweek gatherings must be put on hold with immediate effect.  This affects all areas of our church life. 

Instead we are exploring how to be a different kind of church, and how to both keep in contact and provide practical help.

Accordingly we encourage you to :-

  • Join our live-streamed video services via our Facebook page .  We have a live-streamed Sunday morning service as well as a weekday ‘At Home’ Morning Prayer  service.  All start at 10am.  Please download a Morning Prayer service booklet from here.
  • Watch our other daily videos on our Facebook page or on our website here.
  • Keep in contact via email, social media or telephone with each other.  If you are not already in one of our ‘Virtual Groups’ and wish to be included, please email us.

At this time the Church is only open upon request, for private prayer .  Click here for details.

Please refer to this page for Practical Help if you are ill or isolated.

Please refer to this page for Spiritual Help during this time.

Church Activities

While the announcement of the closure of our various activities has been made at different times, all our meetings must now be considered closed until further notice.  For the avoidance of doubt, this includes , but is not limited to, the following :-

  • Sunday and Mid-Week Services
  • Café Siena
  • Tuesday Get Together
  • Friday Friends
  • York House communion
  • Calcot Cuppa
  • Mothers Union
  • Youth Group
  • Tots Praise
  • Cornwell 0-5s Play Group

At this time it is not known which activities will re-start at what time.  Please check back on this web site or our Facebook page for further details.

Other Hall Users

In line with Government Guidance, St Catherine’s Pre-School are the only users of the church hall.  They are providing a reduced service in a restricted area of the building.

We have asked all other hall users to postpone their activities. They have contacted their users independently.

At this time we do not know when our church centre will re-open for use by other groups.  Please check back on this web site or our Facebook page for further details.

Clearly it will be dependant upon those who run the groups as to when they may re-start once the hall is re-opened.

Last updated 14th June  12:00 noon.
Originally published 16th March 9:00 am.