COVID-19 Information - Update 20th July.

Yesterday Rev'd Jo met with the other members of PCC's Standing Committee to discuss how we would worship together at St Anne's over the next few weeks. As we spoke together, we were considering both the legal position, the advice received from the national Church and from the diocese, and our consciousness that as Christians we are called both to worship God and to care for our neighbour. This is a tricky time for all of us to negotiate - we probably all have slightly different levels of comfort as to how we are willing to act in the current state of affairs, and some of us have more reason to be concerned for our health than others. However, as Christians, we know that we are called to show forbearance and love, and not to put other people into situations they might find difficult. Please remember that many of us are moving at different speeds - and that we don't necessarily know where someone else is.


So here is how things will change - or not.

Layout

The layout of chairs now looks a bit different - we have created seating capacity for 60 people, while making it possible both for slightly larger groups to sit together, and for those who wish to maintain more distance to do so. If you wish to, it will be possible for you to sit so that you are 1m apart from other people. 

Singing

From Sunday, we will be singing again during the Sunday morning service, although the hymn during the distribution of communion will continue to be either an instrumental piece or a solo, so that people are not having to move past those who are singing, in order to mitigate any increased risk. I know this will really please a lot of people, but if it makes you nervous, one thing that could make you feel safer is sitting towards the back of the building. There will be no singing during the Wednesday service.

Facemasks

We ask that, if you are able to wear a facemask, you continue to bring it to church and wear it while moving about the building (e.g. when coming in, or when going up for communion). If you would prefer to keep your mask on throughout, please feel encouraged to do so. I will continue to mask during the Eucharistic prayer and distribution of communion, as those are situations of higher risk of transmission.

The Peace

If you wish to exchange the Peace using a sign that involves physical contact with those you are sitting with, you are welcome to do so. Please do not move from your seat to do so - however much you might want to exchange the peace with someone on the other side of church, please keep it to a wave or similar! Be mindful that different people have different levels of comfort with physical contact - when greeting people at church more generally, please don't touch them unless you know for a fact that they are fine with it, here and now. Now is not a good time to make assumptions!

Communion

For the present, we will continue to offer the congregation communion in one kind only, i.e. bread - we did not feel it was a safe moment to reintroduce the common cup. Like all the other decisions here, we will keep this under review. We are also going to keep the current arrangements of having two spots to receive communion in front of the altar - this is largely in order to aid the flow of people given the new seating arrangements. For the present, we will continue to ask people to leave their collection at the old font as they come in or go out, and it will not be brought up. The elements will also not be processed to the altar

Ventilation

The front door and the vestry door will be open throughout the service, in order to promote a through draft and clear out any infectious particles that may be lingering in the air. Obviously at the moment this won't make church any colder (it might, alas, make it hotter), but please bear this in mind when you are choosing what to wear to church!

Track and Trace

We will continue to ask people attending to scan in via the NHS Covid app, or alternatively to leave their name so that it can be passed to Public Health if they ask us for it. This is no longer legally mandatory, but we encourage you to do so.

Hand sanitiser remains available at the front door and by the altar, please use it.

Our streamed services continue.


Ways_to_Pray_if_you_cant_get_to_Church_3, PDF

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