Church Services During Covid-19

Below is a copy of the most recent Benefice Pastoral letter

Our United Benefice of Hathersage, Grindleford and Bamford

Dear Fellow Christians

In the days before Coronavirus a small group of retired clergy, readers and wardens met together regularly to plan service rotas in our 3 churches.  Now that restrictions are slowly being lifted we have met again to discuss what can be done in the interim period we are now experiencing.  Our conclusions are set out on the next page.

We haven’t gone far into November because there is Remembrance Sunday (8 Nov) to consider and our new minister, Paul, is being licensed on 9 Nov at which point he becomes team leader.

There are considerable constraints on what can be done, with guidance advice from the national church and from our own diocese.  You can study the full documentations on and  Guidance is regularly updated and it’s a bit hard to keep up!  We are also constrained by the number of people who can lead worship and their availability.

Here’s a reminder of what we are doing at the moment

  • Sunday Worship is happening through Zoom by Hathersage at 10:30 am – and it’s put on youtube so it can be accessed later.  The Zoom link is
  • We have a ‘do it at your own pace’ service outline emailed (and hand delivered to those without internet in Bamford)
  • There’s a Tuesday Zoom half hour evening prayer session from Bamford at 7:30 pm.  The Zoom link is
  • Churches are open for private prayer sessions:
  • Bamford: Monday 10 to 12:30 and Thursday 4 to 6
  • Grindleford: Sunday 2 to 4
  • Hathersage: Monday 10 to 12 and Thursday 2 to 4

If you’d like more details of current zoom and email services please ask.

Let’s keep praying for our church life in all its aspects: individual, together and how we make a difference enabling God’s kingdom here on earth.

Roger Mather – for the planning group

Worship in Church Buildings

We are limited by the guidance rules and also by the number of licensed minsters we have available.  This is what we have arrived at after a lot of prayerful discussion.

Hathersage is the largest building and has the ability to broadcast services as they take place; these can be seen via a link – similar to the way the Zoom worship operates.  Thus the Sunday morning services will be at Hathersage.  These services can be recorded and viewed later.  Grindleford and Bamford will have smaller worship services.

Sunday Sept 27 10:30 Holy Communion (streamed) from Hathersage 

3:30Holy Communion at Grindleford

Monday Sept 28 12 noon Holy Communion at Bamford

Sunday Oct 4 10:30 Harvest Hathersage (streamed) and Bamford (may be 11)

3:30Harvest at Grindleford

Sundays Oct 11, 18, 25 10:30 Hathersage Morning Prayer (streamed)

3:30Evening Prayer Grindleford

Thursdays Oct 8, 15, 22, 29 5:30 Evening Prayer Bamford

Sunday Nov 1 10:30 Holy Communion (streamed) from Hathersage

3:30Holy Communion at Grindleford

Monday Nov 2 12 noon Holy Communion at Bamford

Because of limited numbers in the buildings, you will have to book a place – details of how to do this will follow.  Only specific seats can be used.  Social distancing before and after worship needs to be in place.  Masks are to be worn and hands sanitised on entry.

Bamford and Grindleford’s current opening times for private prayer will not be affected (except for Harvest week at Bamford).  Hathersage will be affected – only Wednesday will be available which has implications for possible funeral arrangements.

Reflecting on experiences 

(and especially worshipping through email, radio, TV and ‘on-line’)

These last few months have been ‘interesting’.  We’ve put together these questions to help us reflect on our experiences.  Spending time with a framework to consider can be helpful and we hope you will find it useful.  Although it’s designed as a personal activity, it would help us in further planning if you were prepared to send us your thoughts (anonymously):

Bamford to Roger:  Blackberry Cottage, Main Rd., Bamford, Hope Valley
S33 0AY

Grindleford to Lynne:  Ivy House, 11 Avenue Close, Stoney Middleton, Hope Valley  S32 4TA.

Hathersage to Janice:  14 Saxon Avenue, Sheffield  S17 3SB

You can do this as a word document in which case the spaces should expand to enable you to write as much as you wish – or print it out and do on paper using extra sheets if you need more space.

There has been, and is, so much available through different media, to listen to, watch, join in with, or use personally, from a wide variety of Christian traditions.  Try using these questions to reflect, being as honest and specific as you can, to help you understand what you have experienced.

  1. What have I used?  Looking and listening with services via TV, Radio, Internet?  Interacting via Zoom or similar?  An emailed written service order?  Used on my own or with others?
  1. What was most helpful?
  1. What did I miss or was lacking for me?
  1. What have I discovered and am learning?
  1. Some things have been around for a long time (e.g. Songs of Praise, Radio 4 Daily Service).  Which of the new ways of participating would I like to continue when Sunday Worship in our building re-commences?