If you need help or support because of needs created by the pandemic, please see our COVID-19 support page.
We will be not having 5th Sunday joint services at this stage: partly because numbers in our churches are restricted due to Covid-19, and partly because we don’t want to have a joint service creating Covid-19 transmission routes across the Benefice. In their place will be jointly produced YouTube services for the 5thSunday in the month.
Covid-19 risk plans have been drawn up for all our churches, all of which have the following requirements in common:
Preparing and managing the Building
Every church will:
- be closed to the public for 72 hours before an act of worship
- open all doors to air the building for at least one hour before the act of worship
- wipe down all high-use services after the service if there is an intention to re-open the building for public prayer within 72 hours of the end of the time of worship
- toilets (if in place) will be closed and only be made available on direct request from the church warden present. They will then ensure appropriate cleaning if required.
Entering and using the Building during Worship
These rules will be used in all our churches:
- Bring your own mask and use it once inside the church. If you don’t have it with you we can’t let you in.
- Numbers will be limited and once all seats are full no further access will be possible
- Arrive in good time to avoid queues forming and bunching up. Wardens will manage entry and direct as required
- Family units and “bubbles” should sit together
- Service booklets will be placed on seats in advance.
- Advise the Wardens/ministers of your name at the door to assist contact tracing if required
- Use hand sanitisers on entry to the building. These will be available in the porch.
- Observe the 2m social distancing rules
- Fill up from the front of the church using the seating marked as available or as instructed by the Wardens
- Be careful to remain in place during the service except for communion, entry, and exit.
- There will not be any singing during the service. However, music and other ways of energizing the worship will be encouraged.
- On completion of the service, exit from the seats nearest the doors first
Collections and Giving
Handling cash and envelopes is a risk factor and means we will not be passing a plate around during the service. If you normally give via cash or envelope this can be given via the collection plate on entry or exit.
The collection plate will then be put away securely for 72 hours before being counted and banked.
Please note that all our treasurers would prefer you to do your financial giving through Parish Giving or Standing Order. Please ask your Treasurer or a Warden if you want to make that change.
Movement to Receive Communion
Each church will have slightly different movement patterns for receiving communion. The general principles involve maintaining social distancing and managing movement to avoid crossing paths. The minister in charge will instruct at the beginning and during the service as required.
The general principles for receiving are:
- Bread only will be served to the congregation.
- Most churches will use a temporary table brought forward. This avoids the need to cross paths coming to the altar-rail and back
- Wear your face-mask
- The priest will wash hands before and after serving
- The bread will be covered until serving except for the priest’s wafer which will be consumed by the priest.
- The priest will wear a mask and disposable gloves to serve the bread and will, as far as possible, serve at arms length.
- Congregation members will queue and come to the table as invited by either the priest or the warden. Social distancing will be observed as far as possible.
- The congregation will return to their seats in a circular route, which will be advised at the beginning of the service.
- Those unable to come and receive should notify the warden or priest in advance. If required the priest will serve you in your seat.