An open-air service was held at Courtmacsherry Beach on Sunday 4th July at 11am. Around 80 parishioners, visitors, and passers-by joined Rev. Kingsley Sutton from St John the Evangelist Church, Kilgariffe Union.
A service on the beach seemed to be the obvious response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The church holds approximately 16 people with social distancing in place which prevents it from holding services with larger numbers attending.
After the service Rev. Kingsley Sutton said:
The feedback has been very good and I think people have been very positive … the wind was a bit of a challenge, but thankfully it didn’t rain and everyone left with big smiles on their faces. There are some children making sandcastles over here … and it’s great to see a mixture of generations gathering again for worship.
I hear people saying that they go for a walk on a Sunday morning and that’s where they spend their time with God and not necessarily in the church building. Part of me is sad because it is important for us to meet together as Christians … but of course people can meet with God outdoors in the beauty of creation. To bring the two together and to have a congregation outside here on the beach is hopefully a way of linking in to people’s spirituality so that they can make the connections themselves … Maybe even next week, someone might walk past and remember that we had a prayer meeting here, and maybe their thoughts will be taken to their faith and God.
With people turning up from as far away as Northern Ireland, Rev. Sutton said that seeing so many people worshipping again really affected him.
That says to me that our Christian faith is alive and well even in the midst of this pandemic and that people are still keeping their faith in God going. That’s a great encouragement to everybody.
There will be another open-air beach service on Sunday 25th July and again at the end of August.