COVID-19 Guidance from 19th July 2021.
From July 19th the government will have removed most coronavirus restrictions. National policy will shift to guidance that emphasises the personal and corporate responsibility of individuals and organisations to protect others and themselves.
Within the Church we believe that everyone is known and loved individually by God and that, as many members within one body, we are called to be responsible to and for one another, respecting the more vulnerable whose suffering is our suffering (1 Cor 12:12-27)
To that end we will remain cautious and take a step-wise approach to lifting some of the restrictions we have in place. To that end we would encourage you to take note of the following:
- Although no pews will be closed off, please us a common sense approach and allow a space between you and anyone not in your household / group.
- Continue to use the hand sanitiser on entering the building.
- Please wear a face covering, particularly when entering and leaving the building, or when moving forward to receive Communion. Face coverings should also be worn when we are singing or reciting parts of the service together (eg, the Creed or Gloria). Feel free to remove them when sitting still, but replace them if you start to cough.
- Hymns are now being sung again but please wear face coverings when singing, especially while infection levels remain high.
- We will continue to say the grace rather than exchange the peace, again while infection levels remain high an in view of the anxiety many people will have about physical contact.
- Communion will continue to be distributed in one kind from the step, until we have clearer guidance from the national church around mitigating the risk of a shared chalice.
- The clergy will continue to sanitise hands before celebrating communion, and at the distribution, and will wear a face covering during the administration.
- Any return to offering refreshments will depend upon further risk assessment and the readiness of people to take on the role of preparing, serving and clearing up.
You are likely to see gradual changes as we move back to more familiar ways of worshipping, but these will be in line with national and diocesan guidance, and dependent on further risk assessment.
If you have any ideas, concerns or expectations please contact me. I want people to feel safe as well as free to worship.
Rev. Neil Salt