Church opening arrangements.

Following the decision of the church council to reopen the

leadership team are working towards the church being able to

welcome people back for worship.

However as things are going to be very different from “normal” we

have produced this information to help people to know what to

expect.

It will need everybody’s patience and cooperation to help keep

everyone as safe as possible and to try and ensure services run

smoothly.

Before Sunday.

You will need to book to attend worship. Obviously, this is

completely different from normal times when we are happy to

welcome all who want to come, but it is necessary for several

reasons.

Firstly, we will need to know who is attending worship for purposes

of Track and Trace; booking people in advance avoids the needs to

record details as people arrive which would slow the process of

getting people into the building and possibly lead to congestion

making social distancing difficult.

The other reasons are all related to the fact that due to the need

to maintain social distancing the number of people we can

accommodate in the building is much less than normal. We can

optimize use of the available capacity by seating household groups

together; planning in advance will allow us to do this as effectively

as possible. Also attempting to organise seating arrangements as

people arrive would again slow the process of getting people into

the building and possibly lead to congestion making social

distancing difficult. Finally because there may just not be room on

a given Sunday for everyone who wants to come pre-booking will

avoid wasted journeys and allow us to ensure “everyone gets a

turn”; if we can't fit people in one week we will give them priority

for the next Sunday they can come.

Booking requests will be made online via the church website. The

booking request window will be from 9am on the Tuesday before

the service through to 8pm on the Wednesday and we will notify

you of availability of seats by 8pm on the Friday before the

service.

On Sunday.

The only service will be at 10.30am; there will not be an evening

service.

You will be given a time slot to arrive and we ask you try not to

arrive much before this as we want to try to deal with people in

small groups. You may have to queue outside the church for a few

minutes; if you do please observe social distancing while you wait.

We will have volunteer marshals who will invite you in, remind you

to sanitise your hands on entry and show you to your designated

seat.

There will be no church bibles or hymn book in use but you can of

course bring your own (but see below re singing) and there will be

no notice sheets or other hand outs.

The kitchen will be out of use and there won’t be any water

available so please bring your own if you think you will need it.

You will need keep your coats etc. with you as the coat rail will not

be in use.

You should wear a face covering if you are able to; we know that

some people are exempt from wearing a face covering for various

reasons and they will not be required to do so while attending

worship.

During the service there will be prayers, readings, a

sermon/reflection and possibly pre-recorded music but singing is

not allowed due to government coronavirus rules. The service will

be shorter than usual.

We have fitted a screen on the preaching lectern so the preacher

won't be wearing a face covering.

If you are doing a reading you will need to bring your own bible

and you will be seated at the front so you can reach the readers

lectern with the minimum amount of moving around. The lectern

will be at a sufficient distance from the front rows to allow you to

remove your face covering while reading.

Following the service a marshal will direct you out of the church.

There will be no collection plate passed round during the service

but a receptacle placed for any offering you wish to be make to be

received on your way out. There will be no coffee after the service,

and we would ask you leave as quickly as possible. You should

sanitise your hands on the way out.

Should you require the use of a toilet at any time a marshal will

direct you there. Only one person will be using the toilets at one

time and the outer toilet doors will be wedged open. People

waiting for a toilet to be free will do so in the atrium by the stairs.

You will need to sanitise their hands on entering the toilet and

wash their hands before leaving. Antibacterial wipes will would be

provided to allow each user to clean the door lock handle, flush

handle and toilet seat (in that order) after use. A receptacle will be

provided for used wipes. Please do not flush them away!

Should I come to church?

We want to welcome as many people who want to come back to

worship in church as we can as safely as we can but…

Meeting for worship won’t be the same as “normal” and it may not

be what some people want.

A relatively large group of people meeting in an enclosed space

means there is a risk of coronavirus transmission that we can (and

will as far as we are able) mitigate but NOT eliminate; coming to a

service will involve an element of risk. Anyone thinking about

whether to attend must decide whether this is a risk they want to

take and the decision will be different for different people.

If you don’t want to physically come to a church service that is

fine, we are all still one Church. The circuit have undertaken that

the Zoom services and material for worship at home will continue

and we aim to make audio (and possibly, in time, video) recordings

of our services available via the church website.

If you do want to come please be patient and bear with us as we

try to navigate the new landscape. We ask for your cooperation in

the arrangements outlined above and your understanding if we

have to change things as we go along.

Best wishes.

The leadership team.