As mentioned last weekend, we are restarting church this coming weekend (Sunday 12th July, 10.30am) and to that end, Karen & I have been up to the library and conducted a risk assessment so that as a church fellowship we can comply with the government guidance and regulations to the best of our ability.
I did already share a link to the guidance for places of worship on our Celebration Social Whatsapp chat, but here is the link again for those who wish to read it in full.
Based on NHS statistics and a general reading of the situation, our own opinion is that the risk of infection at present is very low and receding. However, we still need to respect the government guidelines and ensure the best protection possible for all coming to the service. We outline below the steps we are taking to do this. The principle issues are social distancing and cleanliness. There will be hand-santisers available on entry and around the premises, face-masks available for purchase, free disposable gloves and all seating will be socially distanced.
Karen and Dawn have volunteered to serve as stewards in order to direct people on arrival to the seating arrangements. Further directions will be given during the service.
Social distancing and numbers
We will not have in place the usual worship team or sound equipment, so there is more space freed up at the front than would have been the case in normal circumstances. We calculate the library main hall will accommodate the maximum number of 30 people, seating people in household groups (individuals, couples or family groups) with the social distance 2m between each group, or individual if alone. So for example, a couple sitting together, then a 2m space, then the next family, then a 2m space to the next couple etc.
We are asking for everyone to please let us know if you are planning to attend. We do need to manage the numbers in attendance, so this is important. Please advise us by Friday evening (on mobile 07866 265155, email email@example.com or on the church Whatsapp group) if you are planning to attend. Thank you.
Congregational singing is not currently permitted, but one person can sing alone as part of our worship. So we won’t be having the usual time of worship but we will have background worship during the service.
We cannot pass around the offering bag as previously, but we will provide a receptacle into which we can put our gifts and offerings.
The sewing club, that also uses the library premises, have been making some excellent face masks. We have seen these and have purchased from them a number for our own use. These will be there on Sunday for us to buy and use should you wish to do so. They are of a superior design and come with a handmade laundry and storage bag.
As there is scope for the provision of teas and coffees in the regulations, in the weeks to come we will look to see how we can safely re-introduce these into our meetings together. However, certainly for this coming Sunday (12th July), we will not be having any refreshments after the service. If you wish to bring your own water bottle, flask or travel mug for your own use you are very welcome to do so.
Test and Trace
In the event of someone testing positive for Covid-19, we are required to be able to advise the NHS those who have attended our services. We will NOT be taking names on the door, as most if not all who attend will be known to us. However, if we do not know you we will need to ask for your names and contact details for this eventuality. We trust you will understand if there is a need to do this.
Individuals over 70 and those ‘shielding’
The Government guidance states ‘certain groups of people may be at increased 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 do go out, to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of their household.’ The guidance goes on to say this advice, for both the clinically vulnerable and extremely clinically vulnerable ‘is however advisory and they can choose how to manage their own risks.’
Should anyone feel at (health) risk by coming to church then please do not feel you should attend. We fully respect the fact that may be the case, and although we will miss you, we would not want anyone to feel uncomfortable. In no way should you put yourself at risk, if you feel you would be at risk by coming to the service.
We are seeking to mitigate the risks as much as possible by taking the precautions listed above. The service will be recorded (partly) and will be posted on this website later on Sunday, so that those who are not able or happy to attend can still listen to the recording.
It has been a long time since we have been able to meet together as a church fellowship, so this our first service will be open for everyone to share experiences, thoughts, blessings and victories in God. So please come prepared to share and encourage one another. And please don’t forget to let us know by Friday evening if you are planning to attend.
Many thanks and God bless,
Andy and Karen.