RESUMING PUBLIC WORSHIP: IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION
We were very pleased to be able to reopen our church building for public worship on Sunday 12th July. Many of us long to be together physically in our church building, although we realise that for some of us this will not yet be possible. In planning to resume public worship, we have been guided by the following principles:
Spirit-led: prayerfully discerning what God is asking of us at this time, taking into account all we have discovered during the past few months of worshipping together as a dispersed community.
Sustainable: sensitive to the demands being placed on those who are leading and assisting with worship.
Safe: putting all possible measures in place to ensure physical distancing, hand hygiene, and cleaning, to ensure that people can worship with us safely.
This document has been put together to enable you to make a decision about whether to attend worship, and to explain how the services will be conducted.
Should I attend public worship?
If you feel unwell or have a fever or new continuous cough or new loss of or change in sense of taste or smell or have been advised to self-isolate please stay at home.
If you are currently in the clinically extremely vulnerable high risk group (being shielded) you are advised not to attend at present. See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
If you are in the clinically vulnerable moderate risk group (age 70 years or over or those under 70yrs with some underlying health conditions ) government advice is to stay home as much as possible and if you do go out follow social distancing taking particular care to minimise contact with others outside of your household or support bubble . If you are unsure whether it is safe for you to attend we suggest you contact your GP for advice or ring 111. See https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/
How should I travel to and from church?
If you use public transport then by law you must wear a face covering unless you are legally exempt: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#exemptions-face-coverings). If you travel by private car, please travel with members of your own household or support bubble only. Government advice is if you previously normally shared a vehicle with people from other households or support bubbles for essential journeys, the recommendation is that you find a different way to travel so that you can maintain social distancing. For example, consider walking, cycling or using your own vehicle if you can. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers
We are sorry that our church volunteers cannot offer lifts to and from church at the moment.
Do I need to sign up to attend worship?
Due to the size of our building and the need for you to keep a 2 metre distance from those outside your household our support bubble, we ask you please to sign up in advance of coming to church. We have an online sign up system and a phone system for those who are not online. We are committed to ensuring that everyone who wishes to attend can attend worship. To begin with, we will offer two identical Sunday services at 9.30am and 10.45am, beginning on July 12th, and our usual Wednesday service at 10am, beginning on July 15th.
The weekly sign up details will be on our website (www.hthq.uk) and to begin with we will also email these out to those on our contact list. Please do use the online form if you possibly can, but if you struggle with this or are not online, please call the parish office (01865 762931) before 12 noon on the Thursday before attending worship. When Helen is away from the office, we will provide another contact number for those on our contact list.
To begin with we will not resume our 8am or 6pm Sunday services, or the pram service. We hope to resume these services in September.
What will happen when I come to church?
Please arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before the service begins – so for the 9.30am service, please arrive at 9.15am or later. This is to ensure that the building can be cleaned between services.
Please check the chalk markings on the church path, which will be used to mark a queuing system. Please use the hand sanitiser provided on entry and exit from the church. The government now states that face coverings are mandatory and must be worn in church from 8/8/20 unless you are legally exempt.
Please walk to your allocated seat following the one way system. The seats will be allocated to enable you to sit 2 metres apart from others outside your household or support bubble. Please stay seated throughout the service. The duty warden will be available to help you if you are unsure where to sit.
To keep the building well ventilated we plan to keep the doors of the building open in the summer months. So please do bring extra layers of clothing if you need to.
Always follow social distancing keeping at least 2 metres apart from others outside your household or support bubble. It is important that you have no physical contact with others outside your household or support bubble e.g there will be no hand shaking greeting during the Peace
Please do not enter roped off areas
Unfortunately due to the risk of increased coronavirus transmission singing or loud talking is not permitted, although we will include organ music as part of the service.
Service booklets will be in your pew – please take these away with you when you leave.
Communion will be of one kind only (bread) and will be administered by the priest using tongs. We will bring communion to you – please remain seated.
Please exit the building carefully following the marked arrows and ensuring 2m social distancing, following the instructions of the priest or duty warden.
Can my children attend worship?
Yes! For older children, please follow the above rules about social distancing and sitting together as a household. We will provide activity sheets and colouring pencils for your children. We do understand that younger children find social distancing difficult, and we are working on finding the best solution to this. Please do talk to Laura or Rob if you have specific concerns about bringing younger children to church and we will do our best to make sure you feel comfortable about coming along.
Where can I find further information?
Please keep an eye on our parish website or twitter account for updates: www.hthq.uk and do get in touch with the clergy, wardens or parish office if you have any questions.
We also recommend you keep updated with government COVID-19 guidelines which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Please rest assured we have performed a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment and with your help particularly with social distancing of 2m and avoidance of physical contact the risk of COVID-19 transmission will be reduced.
We appreciate this will take some getting used to, but we greatly look forward to worshipping together in our building once again after such a long absence. We will also continue to provide online worship for those who are not yet able to return.
Thank you for your understanding of the above. However you choose to attend divine worship in the coming months, we pray that you will know the love and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Trinity PCC