Reopening for worship
We are reopening the buildings for in-person worship from Sunday May 23.
Members, friends and visitors, including children, will be welcome to join us, but the same Covid-secure arrangements will initially be in place as adopted last autumn. We are very sorry that this will exclude many of our members, but it is important that we keep each other and the Church safe.
- you will be asked before you enter whether you have a persistent cough, loss of the sense of smell or taste, or a high temperature. If you answer yes, you will not be allowed to enter the church. We hope to have a contactless thermometer available and anyone with a temperature of 37.2C or above will not be allowed in.
- if you are self-isolating because you have been in close contact with someone who has Covid-19 or have been abroad, or if you have had a positive test for Covid-19 within the preceding 14 days, you will not be allowed in;
- if you are classed as vulnerable, meaning over 70 years old or having underlying health conditions, you are advised not to attend;
- if you are highly vulnerable, meaning you are or were on the government's 'shielding' list or you have a serious health issue, you are strongly advised not to attend.
To help keep the space as Covid safe as we are able, our windows and transept door will be open during the service to increase ventilation. This does mean that we will not have the heating on and whilst we look forward to offering you a warm virtual welcome, we would advise that you dress warmly!
- The doors will be open from 10.10 am. Please remember that entering the church may take longer as you may need to queue whilst we check your temperature.
- We will also need to ask you to give your name and contact details for Public Health England's contact and trace service, or use the NHS Covid-19 App. Your details will be held by the church and destroyed after 21 days unless PHE
requests them, in which case we will comply. (We recognise that under GDPR, you are not required to supply these details, and you will not be refused entry if you decline to provide them.)
- We will also need to maintain social distancing and so we would ask that you limit your movement within the building and that you sanitise your hands using the sanitiser provided as you come into the Sanctuary.
- Face coverings must be worn whilst you are in the building (unless you are exempt).
- Please bring your own water.
- There will be a one-way route through the Sanctuary, and the stewards will be available to help / advise to ensure that social distancing is maintained during the service.
- The rows of seats are 2 metres apart, and we ask that you try to keep 2 empty seats between individuals or groups. Families / Bubbles will be able to sit next to each other.
- Children will need to stay seated with their families and will not be able (sadly) to move around during the service.
If you wish to, you may use the toilets, but there will be a strict one-in, one-out policy, so you may have to wait. Please sanitise your hands before entering, and after using the toilet, please wash your hands for 20 seconds using the
soap and water provided.
- On alternate Sundays, Craig will be leading the service at St Andrew's, and we will listen to the joint audio service.
- There will be no communal singing, and no offertory collection or notices. Offertory plates will be available as people come into the church and will be collected after the service in a Covid-secure manner. There may be those who have been putting aside their offerings over the last six months and the church will be pleased to receive them and any other contributions, after all there has been very little income in that time.
- The service will include the sacrament of Holy Communion. Pre-packaged elements will be available, but attendees are welcome to bring their own if they prefer.
- Junior Church will be organised in Holmwood Hall on selected Sundays (to be determined). The children/young people will leave during the second hymn and return for the communion.
The audio service (telephone and online) will continue to be available for those who are not able to join at the church.
After the service
We ask that you leave promptly though the main doors, maintaining social distancing at all times, both inside and outside the building.
Refreshments will not be provided after the service, but the 'Zoom coffee' will continue to meet online for a time of fellowship. This will start later than at present in order to allow time for people to return home.
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