King’s Lynn vicar doubles services to fit returnees
James Nash from The Woottons “thought people would be more nervous than they actually were,” and has had to adapt his plans to deal with unexpected demand.
“It’s good to be back at church,” said James. “The number of people who wanted to come back was higher than I expected, and by the second Sunday back we were uncomfortably full.”
That was when he decided to have services each Sunday at both of the buildings in his parish. “At the moment we’re getting about 45 people across two services,” he said. “We ask people to respond to the invitation to come to church by emailing me, or leaving a phone message, or sending a text message, and I make a list of who’s coming.” There is enough room with two services to fit in some unexpected arrivals at the last minute.
At the moment he is not expecting young families to come because of the challenge of social distancing in a culture where children are expected to be free to relax. “But we are thinking of ways of making space for them and enabling them to come back to church in the future,” he said.
Filmed messages will continue so as the retain the ability to reach out to the wider community. But the main commitment now is to rebuild the physical church. “People are very pleased to be out of their homes seeing friends. Sunday felt very good – people were relaxed, there was laughter. It feels like we’re regaining energy in lots of ways.”
Pictured above is Rev James Nash. Picture and original interview from Imagine Norfolk Together