Church of England Diocese of Bath & Wells Winscombe and Sandford

Re-opening our Churches for Private Prayer

14 Jun 2020, 11:45 a.m.

You will probably have seen the recent announcement from the Government that Churches can open for Private Prayer from 15th June. We have also received advice from the Church of England and our Bishops and Archdeacon. They emphasise that 'just because you can, does not mean you must’. However, this important topic was considered by the PCC at the meeting last Monday and it was agreed that we are welcoming back people into our Churches for private prayer on Sunday mornings starting on 21st June under supervision: 

• St James's Church, Winscombe will be open from 09.00 - 10.30 

• All Saints Church, Sandford will be open from 11.00 - 12.00.

N.B. Access into the Churches outside these times is not permitted except by members of the PCC Standing Committee making the arrangements for these 'open for prayer' sessions. There is some specific guidance which we ask you to follow if you visit one of our churches during these times: • Respect the 2 metre Social Distancing advice with anyone else in the Church or Churchyard. • Follow the guidance within the Church with regard to COVID-19 hygiene and where you can go to pray. Places for single people, couples and family groups will be identified. • There will be no prayer books or bibles available in the Church for you to use. You may therefore wish to bring your own. • The toilets will not be open. • Use the sanitizers when you leave and on your return home, remember to wash your hands. • This is a trial for the next 4 Sundays and the PCC Standing Committee will keep it under review. For our part, we will ensure that it is as safe as possible for you to visit the Churches by carrying out a thorough Risk Assessment and implementing the necessary control measures. During the time that the Churches are open someone will be present to supervise those attending for Private Prayer. Those parts that visitors touch (e.g. door handles, pews, chairs etc.) will be properly cleaned on a regular basis and at the end of the session.