We will be using our church building again for Sunday worship from Sunday 14th March (Mothering Sunday). This is really positive news. We will continue to maintain the levels of hygiene and social distancing that we were following prior to this latest lockdown. Congregational singing, or indeed choir singing, is not allowed at present, so Norman will continue to lead us with our music from home. The services will continue to be streamed on line, so that those of you preferring to stay at home at this time can still continue to participate in the worship.
Not everyone is ready to come back, though, so this service is also streamed live online for all those who would prefer to worship from home. Indeed, many of the contributors to the service do so from home, and appear live on the big screens in church as well as on our Youtube channel.
If you decide to join us in church, the service will feel different from normal in a number of ways to ensure that social distancing measures are kept to and everyone’s health is considered.
If you would like to join us for worship in our building, please read the following guidelines:
- If you are intending joining us for public worship please let the vicar, Rev Tulo Raistrick know by phone (02475017889) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) This will help ensure that we do not exceed the maximum numbers of people that the building can hold whilst keeping to social distancing requirements.
- If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss, or a change in, your normal sense of taste or smell), you should not come to the service, nor should you do so if you are shielding. The government has also stated that: “certain groups of people may be at risk of severe disease from COVID-19, including people who are aged 70 or older, regardless of medical conditions. Individuals who fall within this group are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if they go out, to take particular care to minimize contact with others outside of their household…this advice is advisory, and people can choose how to manage their own risks”.
- It will be very helpful if you can bring with you the service sheet that we have been using for our online services and that can be found on this website. There will be spare copies for those who do not have access to a printer. Also, if you like to have a Bible in church, you will need to bring your own. These steps are to minimize the risk of infection by multiple people touching the same service book.
- When you arrive at the church, you will be asked to wait outside and then be escorted, as in a high-class restaurant(!), to your seat. This is so that we can ensure the building is used to its full capacity whilst maintaining safe social distancing. It also enables us to regulate the flow of people into the building. We may only need to do this for the first couple of weeks until people are familiar with where they can sit. You may find it helpful to come a few minutes earlier than normal to the service.
- Please use the sanitiser gel when you arrive and leave the church. We will also give you the opportunity to sanitise your hands again before receiving communion. Government guidelines say that the most effective way to reduce the spread of the virus is by regular handwashing, especially before eating, and recommend this for places of worship.
- Sadly, singing is not allowed in public gatherings at present. We will have hymns played that those online can sing along to. This is because of the increased risk of transmission by droplets that singing can cause.
- The offertory plate will not be passed round during the service. Instead, if you want to make a gift and cannot do this online or via direct debit, there will be an offering plate at the back of church where you can put gifts at the end of the service. Again, this is to reduce the risk of infection by multiple people touching the same object (ie the offertory plate).
- I will explain the instructions for communion in the service. However, it is likely that only bread will be distributed, and to minimise movement in the church, I will bring communion to you in your seat. You are welcome to receive communion either standing, sitting or kneeling where you are. There is increased risk of transmission by using a shared cup. Coming forward to an altar rail which may be touched by multiple people also increases the risk of transmission.
- At the end of the service, I will ask you to leave from the back, a row at a time. This is to enable people to maintain social distancing.
- There will be no refreshments after the service, but please do feel free to chat with one another outside on the grass, continuing to retain good social distancing between households, and respecting those who do not wish to do this.