Following recent government announcements, we are now able to open our churches for individual private prayer, subject to carrying out the required risk assessment and making certain provisions to minimise any risk of spreading the Coronavirus.
Those visiting any of our churches should clean their hands both on entry and exit with the hand gel provided, and need to continue to observe the current social distancing rules while in church. Visitors should not share a pew with anyone else, other than members of their household or bubble, and should not enter those areas of each church that have been marked with barrier tape as ‘no entry”.
Because we are in a comparatively sparsely populated area, the risk of cross infection is deemed to be low, provided visitors comply with the hand-cleaning and distancing guidelines. However, to further minimise risk, at the end of any set period when a church is open, it will then be secured and left effectively in quarantine for 72hours before re-opening, at which time the medical advice is that the risk of onward infection has become negligible.
Accordingly, we have developed a timetable for when each church will be open, which meets these government and Church of England criteria above, but without imposing any additional cleaning and sanitising burden on our limited church staff.
The agreed timetable will take effect from next weekend, ie starting with the opening of Ashmanhaugh and Irstead churches on Saturday, 27th Jun.
Importantly, Neatishead Church will be open on Sundays (10am to 1pm) and Wednesdays (1pm to 5pm), starting on Sunday the 28th June 2020.
We are delighted to be able to announce this positive step forward, and I am grateful to the teams who have been preparing the churches for re-opening. That said, we very much hope that this will be an interim phase and that we shall once again be able to worship together in church, in the not too distant future.
To view the full announcement, including the timetable of opening times for other churches in our benefice, please download the pdf (see the "download" button below).