COVID-19 safety for services

COVID-19: Protocol for Public Worship from Sunday 12 July 2020

We recognise we may need to change this protocol in the light of experience in order to keep everyone as safe as possible. While the government has deemed it safe to open churches we are also warned that the Coronavirus has not gone away.

Therefore we are adopting the following procedures:

  1. Please do not come to our services if you have a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
  2. If you are over 70, you should consider whether or not to attend in the light of the relevant published Government guidelines and advice. Attendance must be at your discretion. If you are shielding or extremely clinically vulnerable the Government advice is very clear: they will therefore still be advised not to attend places of worship indoors. Advice for both the clinically vulnerable and extremely clinically vulnerable is however advisory and they can choose how to manage their own risks.
  3. Parents will be responsible for their children observing these rules and no formal creche or Sunday School will operate for the present
  4. Cleaning will be carried out before meetings and will include necessary sanitising of surfaces, door handles, rails etc.
  5. Attendees should wait at the bottom of the steps upon arriving at the building to be ushered to their seats. Whilst waiting, please observe the 2m distance with other family groups. Your wait will be no longer than the time to allow the previous group to be seated.
  6. To avoid crowding, attendees should not stop for conversations in the entrance and particularly communal areas leading to the toilets. The kitchen and Sunday School room are out of bounds and closed for the present and therefore are out of use for all attendees.
  7. Please do not linger after using the toilet facilities but come as quickly as possible into the service.
  8. Departure to be socially distanced (2m) please be careful to avoid breaching guidelines, re: distancing when leaving the building.
  9. 2-meter social distancing to be employed in seating. Household members may sit closer to each other. Maximum fresh air made available by use of ventilation -the building may therefore seem cooler than normal so you may wish to bring warmer clothing than normal.
  10. Hand sanitisation administered on entry and departure.
  11. Wearing of face coverings is not required as we intend to observe the 2m separation, some may prefer to use it, but it is not mandatory.
  12. Attendees will be requested complete contact details slip for NHS Track & Trace records.
  13. No singing. Congregation to remain seated while hymns are played. Church Bibles and hymnbooks will be designated for personal use and should be kept by the individuals concerned, removed from the building upon departure and brought back when returning.
  14. Similarly, please do not touch the books on shelves, if you touch or pick up literature please take it with you from the building -do not return to its original setting.
  15. Capacity of the building is reduced considerably by social distancing measures. For the present we intend to use the 2m rule- if numbers attending increase we will revise our procedures and if necessary move to the 1m limit.
  16. Because of the reduction in seating capacity we ask that visitors advise us of their intention to attend at least 72 hours beforehand by email or txt message and only attend if we have confirmed we can accommodate them safely without infringing social distancing guidelines.
  17. Social distancing reminders will be on display throughout the building.
  18. Cash offerings may be made on exit into the usual receptacle. These will not be counted for at least 72 hours.
  19. Services will be limited to 60 minutes duration. The Lord’s Supper will not take place and no refreshments will be served for the foreseeable future

These arrangements will be kept under review. It may be that we will have to suspend services again in the event of a worsening of the Coronavirus situation.

Many thanks for your help.