We never really left, but we are now starting to meet together again in our building, albeit with restrictions and changes to the way our meetings run.
Guidelines change regularly; advice about church gatherings is updated frequently. We are keeping in step with this and feel it is now the right time to begin to meet again in our church building by inviting small groups of our congregation at a time. This has been fully risk assessed and we believe that with social distancing guidelines in place, we will we ready to worship from our church building from Sunday 25th October 2020. See below for more information.
We’re also beginning to open some of our midweek activities, especially our work amongst children and young people. If you are connected to one or more of these groups, you’ll be hearing from the leaders of that group in due course.
The past 7 months have been difficult for some and challenging for us all. Covid19 has brought significant restrictions to our church activities. We have been able to fill some of the gaps - Sunday worship and home groups are two examples – but I’m sure that you, like us, miss being part of a worshipping community where we are gathering together in one place rather than on our PC Screens or phones. Having carefully considered the guidelines and the layout of the building, the key features of the return to Sunday Worship are as follows:
Attending a Service
The service will continue to be broadcast by Zoom and Facebook. We plan to do this for the foreseeable future even when we are able to use the building without restrictions.
We will be following social distancing guidelines which means that we cannot accommodate the whole congregation every week. We considered a number of possible approaches to welcoming you all back to the building, but to ensure that everyone is able to experience Sunday worship, we will run a booking system over a four week rolling basis. We will be sending an invites to one quarter of the congregation each week to invite you to book for the following Sunday. Exact details of how to book using the web based system of EventBrite will be sent with the invitation but you should expect to be able to book in between Sunday and Wednesday. Any spaces not taken up will be re-offered through the church’s email system on a first come first served basis.
If you have not given us your contact details or subscribed to our news email list and would like to receive an invitation then please request a copy of our contact form.
We cannot offer a crèche but younger children are welcome to remain with their parents for the service. You will need to book a seat for them. The services (format and timing) will continue to follow a similar format to that adopted in recent months.
Children and Young people
We will be running a full programme of childrens’ activities on a fortnightly basis under Jacob and Tina’s leadership, for children aged 5 to 16. Families will be invited to book in on the relevant weeks.
Children and young people will remain separate for their own time of worship. They will not join the adults at any time but will enter and leave via the Bright Room door. Their activities will be led by the Kidzone team and have been Risk Assessed in line with our Policy and National Guidelines.
You will be asked to observe the following rules:
- You should enter church by the front door and social distancing protocols must be observed. This means that we will ask you to wear a mask and to follow the directions of the Stewards on duty. Your arrival time and seats will be allocated: you will be guided to them on arrival and asked to leave in rotation.
- Please do not enter the building by the rear door in any circumstances
- We’ll let you know what we’re doing, as well as what we’re asking of you, at the beginning of each service
- We will be asking you to remain seated at all times and not to join in with the singing (except for those at home). The worship group will continue to record our music for the first few weeks as we settle into a new pattern of church life. We’ll then consider how we might integrate live music with the Sunday Services.
- If you have planned to join us for worship but are either unwell or believe that you have been in contact with someone who may be Covid19 positive, then you should let us know ASAP and not visit as planned, this allows us to re-offer your place to others.
- Your contact details will be recorded as part of the booking process – we won’t be taking a separate record as you join us.
- We will not be offering refreshments.
There’s a lot for us all to take on board. It’s possible that we have overlooked some things or that, in practice, it doesn’t turn out as planned. Please let us know where we can change or do it better, then bear with us as we’ll resolve matters as soon as we can. Everything is subject to review and the latest guidance. If there are any changes, we’ll let you know as soon as possible. We are planning to hold a Members’ Meeting in November. As this is likely to take place after the initial 4 week cycle, it will allow us to review this whole process. If you have any questions in the meantime, then please feel free to get in touch with our pastor.