UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
Arrangements for services in the church
Updated on 12 May 2021
The church has been open for services each Sunday since 4 April. The services are presented mostly by live speakers, with some recorded items when the scheduled speakers are unable to attend or are from the Wallington congregation. As we are still forbidden to sing together all the hymns are recordings. Aelred, our organist, plays before and after the service.
From 30 May Wallington URC will resume in-church services, so from that date all the items in the service will be provided by St Andrew's members, except that we are still forbidden to sing. The restrictions noted below continue to apply. Craig will lead services at Wallington on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month and at St Andrew's on the 2nd and 4th, and in May the 5th. Both churches will celebrate Holy Communion on 6 June, with an elder presiding at St Andrew's.
From 27 June the Government plans to remove all restrictions. If that does happen, we will return to the pre-pandemic arrangements, so Holy Communion will return to the second Sunday of the month from July. All-age services on the 3rd Sunday will resume in September as several members of the team will be away in July and the Holiday Club service will be on Sunday 29 August.
It is likely that the removal of restrictions will not be finally confirmed until around 20 June, but as of now, it seems that we will be allowed to resume singing and to share refreshments after the service.
Services are now being live-streamed to YouTube and are available for a month thereafter. The last date on which the service will be prerecorded will be 20 June. We are contacing those who use the telephone service to see if we can make alternative arrangements for them if they are still unable to attend church in person.
Restrictions which will apply until 27 June
Members, friends and visitors, including children, will be welcome.
You will be asked before you enter whether you have a persistent cough, loss of the sense of smell or taste, or a high temperature. If you answer yes, you will not be allowed to enter the church. We will use a contactless thermometer to take your temperature and anyone reading 38C or above will not be allowed in.
If you are self-isolating because you
- have been in close contact with someone who has Covid-19,
- have been in certain foreign countries,
- have had a positive test for Covid-19 within the preceding 7 days, or
- have been asked by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate,
please do not come, as if you do we are not allowed to let you enter.
We hope and pray that these restrictions will be relaxed in future weeks or months.
Before you enter
Please plan to arrive in good time. You are currently required by law to wear a face covering for the whole time you are in the church. This applies to everyone except children aged under 11 or those with a disability making it difficult to comply.
We will ask you to give your name and contact details. This is so that NHS Test and Trace can trace your contacts in the event that you, or anyone else attending the service, contract Covid-19 in the next few days. These details will be held by the church and destroyed after 21 days unless NHS Test and Trace requests them, in which case we will comply. We are also displaying an NHS Test and Trace QR code, and you may if you wish scan that with your smartphone rather than giving us your contact details.
Please note that under the current rules, and unlike those applying to some other venues, you are not required to supply contact details and you will not be refused entry if you decline to supply them.
Entering the church
Entry to the church will be by the centre main door. Once you enter the building you will be required immediately to sanitise your hands using hand sanitiser which the church will provide. If you wish to, you may use the toilets, but there will be a one-in, one-out policy. After using the toilet, please wash your hands for 20 seconds using the soap and water provided. You may use paper towels or the hand drier to dry your hands.
While on the premises please maintain a social distance of 2 metres from anyone not in your household.
Enter the church via the side aisles. The stewards will direct you to a seat which is spaced appropriately.
Some of the seats are placed singly and others in pairs. If you are in a household of two people you will be directed to a pair of seats. If you in a larger household, the stewards will move additional chairs to allow you to sit together. If you are in a pre-established bubble with another household according to the regulations, the same applies. Otherwise you must sit on one of the single chairs.
If you have children with you, please remind them that they must remain seated while in the church. During the sermon, activities will be arranged for them in the Miles Hall. At the appropriate time they should move to the west (Miles Hall side) aisle and leave by the ramp keeping, if possible, at least 1 metre spacing. If you feel they need it, you may accompany your child, keeping to the same rules.
About the service
The service you will hear will be the same as is heard by those at home, but many parts of it will be presented live by Craig or others. The song words and any words said together will be shown on the screen.
The recorded hymns will be played, but you may not sing along. You are encouraged to stand during the hymns if you are able.
No offering will be taken, but we encourage you to make your normal contribution for the work of the church by bank transfer or by using the ‘Donate’ button on the church website. We also now have a contactless credit/debit card machine which will be available at the sound desk after the service.
If you have need of using the toilets during the service, please move to the nearer side aisle and then leave as you arrived. Remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds, and return by the same route.
After the service
At the end of the service please keep your face covering on as you leave via the side aisles, through the side doors and maintain 2 metre spacing as you do so.
Please do not congregate inside or immediately outside. if you wish to speak to others, do so well away from the church doors and continue to observe social distancing.
The Zoom virtual coffee session will happen at noon from your own home. Joining details are in Craig's weekly letter.
Thank you for your help in maintaining a safe experience. If you have a question, or if after the service you have any feedback on what works or could be improved, I would be happy to receive it by phone or email.
Peter Campbell Smith
Convenor, Management Committee
01372 728593 – 07599 992350 – pj,campbell,smith^gmail,com