We have done everything in our power to ensure that our three church buildings, including rooms we hire out, can be used safely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We’ve carried out risk assessments and installed hand sanitizers which we ask people to use on entering and leaving the buildings. We also ask people to clean after using the halls or churches for bookings and provide the equipment for doing so. The communal facilities at St Mark’s and St George’s are cleaned every weekend.
When entering the buildings, people with compatible smartphones are asked to scan the NHS Covid-19 app QR code (displayed on a poster) which will enable the NHS to contact them if there is later found to be a case of Covid in the building at the time. The app is available at www.nhs.uk/apps-library/nhs-covid-19/. We also ask people attending services to give us their details so that we can contact them in the event of a Covid outbreak. All those running groups are asked to keep their own record of attendees.
A confirmation of the Covid-secure status of our halls is here.
During services and group meeting , participants must sit two metres apart, unless they are members of the same household or bubble, and wear masks unless they have a health or similar reason for not doing so.
Singing is limited to small, socially distanced groups any microphones used, either for speaking or singing, are cleaned before and after use.
Communion is given in one kind only – the Bread – and the priest must use hand sanitizer before and after giving the Bread. The priest must wear a mask when placing a wafer in a receiver’s hand and must not speak.
No groups are allowed to gather before or after the services and no refreshments may be served.
Funerals may take place with, subject to space, a limit of 30 people attending, including the celebrant, but wakes of more than six people should not be held.
Weddings may also take place but there the limit is 15 people, including the couple and additional people such as the photographer. Those working at a venue – eg waiters – do not count towards the 15, but photographers and other outside agents do. A sit-down reception meal is allowed.
Baptisms: We are still waiting for guidance but at the moment these may take place in a general worship service but there may not be gatherings of more than six afterwards.
That’s all … for the moment….