Church of England Diocese of Rochester Chiddingstone

We are back worshipping in our churches!

24 Jul 2020, 5:15 p.m.
Church_news Notices

Returning to St Mary’s and St Luke's

The PCCs of St Luke’s and St Mary’s met jointly on 14 July to discuss the possibility of returning to St Mary’s for Sunday morning worship.  It was agreed by the PCCs to return to our buildings for 10am Sunday worship on Sunday 2 August.  Lengthy Risk Assessments have been undertaken by Bill, the Churchwardens, the Safeguarding Officer and the Verger where they looked at the measures that need to be taken for worshipping together safely. 

Keeping everyone safe

Please note: if you or anyone in your household is unwell with any of the symptoms of Covid-19 please follow NHS guidelines by isolating as instructed.  Please do not come to any worship services or church activities if you have anything like a cold or flu bug or anything else that might be contagious.

Safety measures

1. Please note that, in line with Government and Church of England guidance, all worshippers will be required to wear a face covering whilst in church.

2. Please queue outside for church entry through the main door observing the 2-metre social distancing rule.  

3. On arriving and when leaving the church building, we request you clean your hands with the hand gel provided.

4. To assist with NHS Test and Trace, we have unique QR codes for each church and posters with the code are displayed in both churches, meaning if you have the NHS Test and Trace app downloaded on your mobile phone, you can scan the code as you come into church.  Alternatively, if you do not have access to the app, as you enter church for a service, someone will record your name and contact telephone number; if you are coming as a family group or social 'bubble', one person’s details will be sufficient.  These records will be retained for 21 days to comply with the government’s track and trace scheme, and then destroyed. 

5. Please wait to be escorted to a seat by a Churchwarden or steward.  People from the same household or 'bubble' can sit together.  Everyone else will need to observe appropriate social distancing at all times.

6. Sadly, at present there will be no congregational singing.

7. We will not be serving refreshments until further restrictions are lifted.

8. When we celebrate Holy Communion, this will be administered as bread (communion wafer) only.  Please wait to be directed by a Churchwarden, and circulate back to your seat, keeping 2 metres away from others at all times.  The communion wafer will be dropped onto your hands by the Priest in silence.

9. There will be no cash collection or passing the collection bags at any of our services.  Please use bank transfer/standing order to set up a regular direct debit, send a cheque to the PCC Treasurer or make an online donation by clicking here.

10. At the end of the service you will be given instructions on how to leave the church whilst maintaining safe social distancing requirements. 

11. Please do not shake hands or hug people before, during or after the service, and please do not congregate outside. 

12. The church will not be used for 72 hours after the service. 

Keeping in touch with those not able to return to church at the moment 

Everyone is moving through this crisis at their own pace and it is important to take only the steps with which you feel comfortable.  For some, returning to services in church will not be the right move at the moment and we want to support you in this as much as possible.  We are therefore recording our 10am Sunday services and publishing them on our YouTube channel as soon as possible after the service.  You can access these by visiting our Watch a Service page or by visiting our YouTube channel

We hope to see you soon.