Pattern of Worship

We have historically held a Sunday morning service in a fairly traditional format, led by one of the three ministers in our Circuit, or by a visiting or lay preacher.  However, we like to introduce variety and interest in themes, speakers, music and prayer.  We are starting to develop different approaches to worship and considering the option of a service at another time in the week. Obviously, the Covid lockdowns have been a strong driver of technical innovation!

Special services such as Easter, Harvest Festival or the church’s anniversary offer the opportunity to be adventurous.  Any services involving the uniformed organisations (Guides, Scouts, Brownies, etc.) are joyous occasions.  We are lucky to have a fine church organ and enjoy singing, a rich tradition of Methodism, holding a lovely candle-lit Nine Lessons & Carols at Christmas.

As part of our premises redevelopment over the past three years, now almost complete, we took out most of the static pews in the sanctuary.  This enabled us to create a beautiful, large and versatile space for different forms of worship and other activities, while at the same time greatly improving the heating, lighting, decoration and audio-visual equipment.  We look forward to experimenting with all the possibilities offered by this renewed space, as Covid restrictions are relaxed during 2021.  

Covid guidance w.e.f. July 2021:

The Methodist Church, whilst always adhering to government advice, is urging some caution for the sake of others in the church, community and for self-care.  Risks to consider: Although government restrictions were removed from 19 July 2021, the Delta variant of the virus is still highly contagious. Particularly vulnerable to the effects are those with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly and our BAME members.  Spread of the virus is increased by large groups of people in close proximity and activities such as singing. 

Church services have been held regularly at Bromley Road since 18 April and have begun monthly at Clock House Road. The Autumn Plan covers regular services at both sites, including Holy Communion.  No-one is expected to attend before they feel ready to do so.  Electronic giving is still encouraged, either by standing order or card machine (soon to be introduced). Offertory brought as cash will be placed in a plate on entry or departure, collected by a steward and locked away for 3 days before counting and banking. 

Proposals for Beckenham Methodist Church following Methodist Church guidelines

  1. Continue good hygiene procedures, including provision of hand sanitisation
  2. Ensure good ventilation
  3. Continue to use the Test and Trace recording
  4. Lessen social distancing gradually
  5. No restrictions on group sizes for communal worship; weddings; funerals; baptisms
  6. Face coverings are ‘advised’ for enclosed spaces, but subject to each person’s free decision.
  7. Communal singing can resume, but it is recommended face coverings be worn to limit potential virus spread
  8. After service refreshments be resumed, in the well-ventilated atrium.

There may be temporary local restrictions or advice offered by health officials in areas of high infection rates, so this will need monitoring locally.

Junior Church

Depending on the number of children present, we hold Junior Church.  The children participate for a short time with the main congregation, and then leave for dedicated activities guided by qualified, experienced congregation members  They re-join the rest of us at the close of the service.  In all-age, family services they can play a larger role!

Through our building renovation we have created a new crèche space where we foresee Junior Church will be able to take place separately, but still connected and within sight through glazing of the service going on in the sanctuary.  This crèche area will also be used by families with infants who are too young for Junior Church.

All ages are very welcome at our church!

Editor, 21Jul21



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