Services at St. Peter and St. Mary’s Fishbourne, and St. Mary’s Apuldram.

Important News – 6th January 2021

A new National Lockdown was announced this week and as a consequence all church services have been suspended until further notice. The church will also be closed at all times.

When services resume an Online Booking System has been set up and there are Guidance Notes for you to read.

In the meantime an Online version of all services will be sent out in a  newsletter and this will continue to be published on this website.


Guidance and How to Book

We warmly welcome you and are delighted to be able to hold Sunday services again, but please do remember the necessary restrictions in place for the safety of everyone in Church.

Please use the Online Booking System to reserve your place as numbers are limited.

Below are some helpful notes and guidance. 

The layout of the building.
The pews allocated for use can seat two people, if you are coming as a family, you only need to book 2 places as you will all be able to sit in the same pew. A couple may sit together, others will be 1m apart, and face coverings must be worn by everyone. All other pews are taped off.

Who needs to book a place.
The priest, the server, those on the door and the organist do not need to book a seat, they are not counted within the number available for others. Everyone else will need to, including choir members who will sit in the body of the church. (there will not be any singing).

What about those who do not have online access.
A maximum of 24 places can be booked online, leaving a few spaces for those who do not have access to the internet. So please do come along, your contact details will be taken at the door.

Contact and Trace.
Everyone will be asked to leave their name and contact number so as to assist with track and trace, either online or at the door. You will also be asked to sign a form agreeing to the church holding your details for 21 days.

Other matters

  • We kindly ask that you wear a face mask when entering the church.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the door.
  • You will be welcomed on arrival and directed to a seat where you will find the service book. Contact details will be taken for those unable to book online.
  • Please do leave your offering in the collection plate.
  • You will be directed when and how to come forward for communion, which will be in one kind only. No words will be spoken by the priest.
  • Sorry, there will be no singing or the sharing of the peace. And the service will be kept as short as possible.
  • The church will remain closed during the week so that it self cleans.
  • Please don’t let these restrictions stop you from coming to church, they are only in place because the safety of our congregations and volunteers is of the utmost importance.
  • Thank you all for your co-operation.

May God Bless us all.


Please read the detailed guidance notes below. (Posted 14th August 2020)

The time of the service. Only one will take place in each church on a Sunday for now, we will alternate the weeks.

Before the service.
Church to be cleaned.
We will make sure pews to be used are all clearly marked out, service books will be on pews, you will be asked to leave them there until the following week so as to self-clean. Two people will be on duty at the door, one to sanitize hands, the other to direct folk to places and to take names and contact details of those who do not have access to the web-site. Those who do are asked to book on line as numbers will be restricted, we will reserve a few seats for those unable to book. You will be required to wear a Face mask.
All books, kneelers, toys, and payment envelopes to be removed. A supply of envelopes to be by the door for people to give their offering.
ACTION: Church Wardens

Opening the church. Only the person unlocking the church to enter by north door, plus the server and clergy. Everyone else to enter by main door. Hand sanitizer to be available at both doors. With signs so as to remind people to use it. A sign outside directing people to main door.
ACTION: Wardens/server

Main Double Main doors to be fixed opened and left open for the duration of the service.
Notes for servers.
Preparing the elements required. Server to ensure that social distance and hand sanitizer rules are adhered to, diligently. Once vessels are ready, wash hands before touching the hosts. People’s host’s to be kept separate from the priest’s host, covered until distribution. Everything to be on the credence table. Make sure hand sanitizer is placed on the table as well.
ACTION: Server/priest

As people arrive. Please do not gather outside chatting, nor stand inside the door chatting to those on duty as otherwise there could be a bottle neck. Warden/sides person to ensure hand sanitizer is used by everyone. Contact details to be taken. Masks to be worn by them during this time.
People to be directed to the allocated pews. They must remain in that place for the whole of the service.
ACTION: Wardens

During the service. No collection will be taken, please do leave your offering in the plate by the door, or use the card payment machine that will be available. All communion elements to be up by the Altar. People to be encouraged to speak gently and quietly. The peace will not be shared. Service to be as short as possible.
Those doing the reading. To begin with both readings and the prayers will be led by the clergy, this is to reduce movement and use of microphone.
Leading the prayers. Same advice as to those reading. Prayers must be short.
ACTION: Clergy

Sound system / lectern. To be switched on, people should refrain from touching the mike. Clergy to wear lapel mike so to lower the risk.
ACTION: Wardens and clergy

Communion. Priest to sanitize hands before Eucharistic prayer, and again before the giving of communion which will be taken at chancel steps. Priest to wear face shield before giving out the host to others. Consider People will be directed as to when to come forward, it may need to be one at a time, if keeping their distance is difficult. In one kind only, no words will be spoken by the priest during this. There can be no physical touching of hands, host will be gently dropped into people’s hands. There will be a One-way system where possible.

Where are the risk points?
At this moment we recognize the following as risk points. People arriving, leaving, door handles, receiving communion. This will be monitored.

Use of toilets. If you do need to use the toilet area, you are asked to wipe the toilet, all surfaces and door handles afterwards. Please see notice on the door.

Children. Sadly, will not be able to move around as before, no toys or books in the church, we encourage parents to bring their own special church bag for their child to use.

Going home. People to leave carefully, not all at once, each house bubble to maintain a distance from others, then not to congregate outside in anything bigger than a small group, keeping to the social distance guidelines.
ACTION: Everyone

When will we begin?
We will resume services in September. On the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month the service will be at Fishbourne, 9.30 a.m. And at Apuldram on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month at 8.00 a.m.
Please do note that there will be two trial services on the 23rd and 30th August at Fishbourne Church, 9.30 a.m. This is to help us check that the system is working and iron out any small issues, please do book on line if you would like to join us.
Sorry, but to begin with there will not be any coffee afterwards, again we will review this as time goes by.
At the moment, the Sunday service will be the only one taking place, this is to allow the building to self-clean, and also for Baptisms, weddings and funerals to take place as well. If all goes well a mid-week service will be started.
When you book online, you will be reminded about the main points to remember, I know it all seems a bit complicated, but together we can make it work, look after each other, and begin to come together once more. The on-line services will continue for those unable to get to church. I hope to see you soon.