As lockdown eases, we look at which churches in Bethnal Green are opening up for Easter either in person or online.
As Easter Week begins, churches across Bethnal Green are planning their second year running of Easter services under lockdown rules. This year though, the easing of lockdown has allowed for churches in our area to plan some in-person activities as well as online ones.
Unlike previous lockdowns, communal worship like church services are allowed under Government rules; however, some individual churches have opted to run online-only services for the moment.
St John’s on Bethnal Green have been one of those churches who have opted to remain closed for in-person worship. They have been holding services over Zoom since the latest lockdown came into force. The church is, however, bringing back in-person services in time for Easter Week.
The first in-person service will take place on Palm Sunday, which is Sunday 28th March. The church, which is located just outside Bethnal Green tube station, is intending to re-open for in-person services on Sundays from Palm Sunday onwards, but will continue to allow parishioners to attend church via Zoom.
St Matthew’s Church lies just off Bethnal Green Road. St Matthew’s has been holding church services in-person since last month but has kept the Zoom link going in case their parishioners prefer to attend that way. The church has planned a series of Covid-safe events to celebrate Easter. On Easter Sunday, after Mass is held they will be holding an Easter egg hunt for all ages in the adjoining St Matthew’s Church Gardens. The church also plans to host a string quarter to treat parishioners to some Bach on this important day in the Christian calendar.
For those holding in-person services, amendments will have to be made to the usual running of things. St Matthew’s notes that on Maundy Thursday (which is a Christian commemoration of the Last Supper) the deacon or priest would usually wash parishioners’ feet; however, coronavirus regulations prevent this traditional act from taking place. St John’s have said that on Palm Sunday the normal procession that takes place will not be happening. While church authorities are keen to let parishioners celebrate this significant date in the Christian calendar, they are also aware their events must be covid-secure.
For other churches in the area, such as St Peter’s and the Good Shepherd Mission, worship will remain online only during the Easter Week. St Peter’s have left palm crosses on the doorstep of their church so that members of the congregation can collect them to pray with on Palm Sunday.
Christans worldwide will be celebrating Easter under coronavirus restrictions this week. Here in Bethnal Green, although Government rules allow for worship, churches have taken different approaches to in-person Easter services. In whatever form, those celebrating Easter in Bethnal Green will able to enjoy worship whether online or in-person.