Church services are now permitted, and we are holding a regular 10.00 am service in Christ Church. We review our safety procedures each week in response to attendee numbers and behaviours, so it is important to regularly check service details and information on our website and social media. Plans to re-open St Mary’s for services as soon as possible are also being reviewed.
Our main priorities are the health and safety of our community, so things will not be quite the same as usual, but we recognise the importance, for many, of meeting together in worship so have put together this brief explanation of what to expect.
Q. How is the church managing social distancing?
A. We have assessed the seating capacity and space available and worked out the best way to seat everyone to maintain 2 metre distancing. Familiar faces will be on hand to welcome you and show you where to sit. Where possible, worship should be from the central pews – these have been marked to show where you can sit. The church will be carefully sanitised before and after service.
Q. Must I wear a mask?
A.It is now mandatory for visitors to churches to wear face coverings. The advice is that they should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors, where there may be other people present; remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus Covid-19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing or sanitising.
If you forget your face covering, there will initially be a supply available in the entrance to the church so that you can join us safely. Please take your used mask home with you and remember to bring your own next time.
Q. Can I sit with my family?
A. Families from the same household can all sit together in a pew. The ushers will help to maintain safe distancing and advise you where to sit.
Q. Will there be communion?
A. As normal, services will vary but where communion is offered this will be bread only and will be carefully controlled to minimised transmission risks according to government and church guidelines.
Q. Will the hymn books be sanitised?
A. Sadly, hymn singing is not allowed at the moment, so all hymn books and bibles and other written materials have been removed. Service details are displayed on our screen. Visibility in some parts of the church is limited so we provide an online version of the week’s order of service that you can access using our church wifi. You can find the service on our webpage.
Wifi Access – Look for SSID: christchurch – password fiveloaves
Q. I usually give cash in the plate when I come to church. I believe this is not advised. What can I do to support the work of the church?
A. We would prefer not to have to expose our volunteers to handling cash but we desperately do need your support. Please take a moment to look at the various ways that you can support us financially here. If none of these apply then do use the pillar donation box at the rear of the church next to the SW door.
Q. Will I be able to talk to my friends after the service?
A. To minimise risk, our service will be shorter than normal, and time will be allowed at the end to catch up. If it is fine, then this is better done outdoors, if not then please make sure that you do not obstruct the aisles or exits to allow everyone to leave safely. It is, obviously, vital to obey social distancing guidelines at all times.
Q. Will it be safe to come?
A. We have carefully assessed the risks of bringing us together and have put in place measures to control and minimise the risk of transmission of the virus. It is not, of course, possible however to mitigate risks completely – everyone attending must evaluate their own circumstances and act accordingly. We all have a responsibility to act responsibly to ensure the safety of everyone else.
- Do not come to church if you feel unwell.
- Face coverings are mandatory and must be worn at all times ( see exemptions)
- Use the hand sanitizer provided when you arrive and when you leave.
- Be aware of social distancing rules – keep 2 metres apart whenever possible.
- Cover your nose and mouth if you sneeze or cough – take your tissues home and dispose of them there.
If you do not feel it is safe – stay at home and listen to our service on-line. If you know anyone who does not have internet, please encourage them to contact Simon (01793 529166) or the staff team (01793 522832) for details on how to listen to our services via telephone.