As more people come back to our church services, and government restrictions are lifted, we want to ensure that we are still safe and that people feel confident about worshipping together.
We are taking into account the various thoughts and feelings everybody has about this, whilst also appreciating being able to worship in ways that we have missed for so long. Here is what you can expect in the coming Sundays:
Entry/Test and Trace
We will encourage people to sign in using the QR code where possible or by signing themselves in as previously on paper but we will no longer oblige people to sign in nor have anyone signing them in. Your NHS app will inform you of any close contact with anyone who may test positive within 72 hours.
Access to sanitising hand gel will remain by points of entry
It is no longer obligatory to wear masks in church. However, we will encourage people to wear masks when moving around the church space.
We are very happy for anyone to continue wearing masks if that is their preference and they have any concerns.
If someone is using a mask, please use this as an indicator to how they feel and respect that as well as honouring good distancing.
We will continue to ventilate our buildings well, opening doors and windows as much as possible. The areas towards open doors will, we believe, be the best ventilated areas and you may prefer to use those areas. Distanced seating will especially be focused in those areas.
As mentioned, chairs nearer to open doors will be more distanced but we will also have distanced seating throughout the church alongside grouped seating for those in groups or wishing to sit with others. If you prefer a seat with distance from others please use individual seats rather than one from within a group.
At last we are allowed to sing as a congregation but we also understand that this will give rise to concern for some. As such we will introduce singing gradually, so sometimes we will sing and other songs we will listen to music and ‘sing with our bodies’.
Aware that singing is air projected forwards if you do not want to be ‘sung over’, so to speak, please use seating behind others, i.e. towards the back of church / nearer to open doors.
People are welcome to sing or not sing, with or without a mask.
Children’s and Young People’s Groups
There are no restrictions for meeting together, simply to undertake normal risk assessments. So have fun!
When we celebrate and share communion this will still be bread only (sharing a cup to drink from is still deemed too risky).
We will either be led by the church wardens to receive at the front or receive in our places where we are seated – determined by our usual church practice.
The Vicar/Administrant will wear a mask as communion is given
Sharing the Peace
For now, we will refrain from mixing to share ‘the Peace’ and will remain in our places and share ‘the Peace’ visually and spoken. As we move forward we expect to relax this further. Clearly greeting one another outside can take place without distancing but please be aware of people still preferring to maintain spacing.
To avoid a ‘rush’ or concentration of people in a small space we will aim to serve people simple refreshments after the service as much as we can. And as we have been doing let’s make the most of our amazing outside spaces while the weather is good to connect, chat, fellowship and pray for one another; continuing to rebuild the sense of community that is very special indeed.
Worship spaces and facilities will continue to be cleaned and sanitised with special attention given to shared spaces and furniture.
We want everyone to feel safe, at ease and confident in being able to be church – the people of God gathered (ecclesia) for fellowship and worship. Please keep your Church Wardens (Sue and Luke) and Vicar (Jimmy) informed of how you are feeling and how moving towards normal Christian worship is going for you.