Church services are now permitted, and we have made careful plans to enable us to hold a 9.30 am service Sunday (from 6th December) in St Stephen & All Martyrs Parish church and a 11am service in Holy Trinity Parish Church (Coldhurst ). We plan to review safety procedures each week in response to attendee numbers and behaviours, so it is important to regularly check service details and information our Facebook page.
Our main priorities are the health and safety of our community, so things will not be quite the same as usual, but we recognise the importance, for many, of meeting together in worship so have put together this brief explanation of what to expect.
Q. How will the church manage social distancing?
A. We have assessed the seating and space available and worked out the best way to seat everyone to maintain 2 metre distancing. Familiar faces will be on hand to welcome you and show you where to sit. Where possible, worship should be from the pews – these have been marked to show where you can sit. The church will be carefully sanitised before and after service.
Q. Can I sit with my family?
A. Families from the same household can all sit together in a pew. There is a maximum capacity of 30 households/individuals per service at each venue.
Q. Will there be communion?
A. As normal but where communion is offered this will be bread only and will be carefully controlled to minimised transmission risks according to government and church guidelines.
Q. Will the hymn books be sanitised?
A. Sadly, hymn singing is not allowed at the moment, so all hymn books and bibles will be removed.
Q. I usually give cash in the plate/bags when I come to church. I believe this is not advised. What can I do to support the work of the church?
A. We would prefer not to have to expose our volunteers to handling cash but we desperately do need your financial support.
Q. Will I be able to talk to my friends after the service?
A. To minimise risk, our service will be shorter than normal, and time will be allowed at the end to catch up. If it is fine then this is better done outdoors, if not then please make sure that you do not obstruct the aisles or exits to allow everyone to leave safely. It is obviously vital to obey social distancing guidelines at all times.
Q. Will I be able to use the toilets? Will there be refreshments after the service ?
A. There will be no refreshments after the service at present - the kitchen is closed. The toilets will be open and regularly cleaned.
Q. Will it be safe to come?
A. We have carefully assessed the risks of bringing us together and have put in place measures to control and minimise the risk of transmission of the virus. It is not, of course, possible however to mitigate risks completely – everyone attending must evaluate their own circumstances and act accordingly. We ask all those attending to give their name / phone number to the person keeping a register as part of the Government ‘Track & Trace’ procedures.
We all have a responsibility to act responsibly to ensure the safety of everyone else.
* Do not come to church if you feel unwell.
* Use the hand sanitizer provided when you arrive and when you leave.
* Be aware of social distancing rules – keep 2 metres apart whenever possible.
* Cover your nose and mouth if you sneeze or cough – take your tissues home and dispose of them there.
* Face coverings are not mandatory but are advised.