We are re-opening the church building in a limited capacity on Sunday afternoons in October between 3pm and 4pm for quiet reflection and prayer. You can read more about this, and how it will work, below — the information has been taken and adapted from Rory’s recent email to members of our church.
Here are our current plans are for re-opening in a limited capacity, beginning this Sunday: 4th October. I can confirm that we will be offering an opportunity to be in church, as agreed by the church council.
I previously explained the importance of letting Sarah or myself know if you were interested in attending as we began to explore possibilities. To date, we’ve had a small number of people confirm that they would like to attend. More may want to do so, but perhaps have held back: wanting to see how things unfold, or not wanting to take the place of someone who you thought might need to be there more than yourself. There are lots of reasons why some of you may have hesitated or not replied, and many of you may still feel it best to maintain necessary shielding.
The required work has gone into risk assessments, the purchase of materials, signage and cleaning. Here’s what you need to know about how it will work.
On your arrival:
The church will be open for an hour on Sunday afternoon between 3 and 4pm.
There are 25 seats available in the chapel for quiet reflection and prayer. If you would like to make use of one of those for as long as seems right to you. The seats will be available from 3pm on a first-come first-served basis, and you can arrive any time in the hour. You do not need to tell us that you are coming.
Masks are required to be worn at all times inside the building. If you are exempt for any reason please contact Rory before Sunday to discuss attending without a mask, or you will not be permitted to enter.
The ramp entrance to the front porch will be the only entrance in use. Should you need to wait for others to enter before you, please do so respecting social distancing regulations.
On entering, you will be greeted and asked a few simple but mandatory questions about COVID-19 symptoms. If the answer to any of these is “Yes” then, as per Government guidelines, please do not enter the building:
Do you have any symptoms of COVID-19 — fever, new repetitive cough, or change to sense of smell or taste?
Are you in a social bubble/household with anyone who is currently displaying COVID-19 or is self-isolating due to suspected COVID-19?
Have you been advised by NHS Track and Trace to self-isolate as a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
If you are using the NHS Track and Trace App, you will be able to scan a QR code unique to the church as you enter. Hand sanitiser will be available.
You may then go into the chapel, and sit on a seat that has not yet been used. The chairs are single spaced and cannot be moved, and no conversation can take place within the building beyond simple greetings at a safe distance.
There will be a contact tracing slip to complete by all attendees with a pen provided. Please fill this in and leave it on the seat when you go.
While you’re there:
There will be a written guide to help you in your praying and reflecting, if you’d like to use it. Quiet music playing during the hour, but no singing is allowed under the regulations we must abide by.
When you’re ready to leave, you must do so through the doors to the Hub doors and exit using the door and ramp down the side of the church.
Some toilets will be available. If you use one, you will need to then exit the building via the Hub and return through the front porch entrance.
When you leave:
When you vacate your seat it will be marked as unavailable for anyone else, and when all seats have been used we will unfortunately not be able to admit anyone else. We have no cleaning regime in place during the hour.
Remember to leave your completed contact tracing slip on your chair, and to leave via the Hub and its side door.
We will be opening the church each Sunday for the month of October in this way. It’s a start. It’s what we can do right now. I hope that is good news for those of you who would like very much to be back inside the chapel.
Liz Spain and I will be there on Sunday.
We look forward to seeing some of you!