UNITED REFORMED CHURCH
Current arrangements for the service in the church
Updated 10 August 2020
The church will be open each Sunday for you to listen to the recorded service at 10:30am in the company of others. For this to happen, I am sorry that we need to abide by a large number of rules and regulations which apply to church services. This page will be updated as and when these restrictions change.
Who can attend?
Members, friends and visitors, including children, will be welcome, but:
- 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 37.2C 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 or have been in certain foreign countries, or if you have had a positive test for Covid-19 within the preceding 7 days, you will not be allowed in.
- If you are classed as vulnerable, meaning over 70 years old or having underlying health conditions, you are advised not to attend. If you are highly vulnerable, meaning you were on the Government’s ‘shielding’ list or you have a serious health issue, you are strongly advised not to attend.
We are very sorry that this will exclude many of our members and friends, but these are the guidance and regulations under which we are allowed to meet. Please remember that this is an early stage of our return, and 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.
Before you enter the church building you will be asked whether, as above, you have any Covid-19 symptoms or are in a self-isolating period. We may also take your temperature. If your answers indicate that you are in the first two groups indicated above, we will have to ask you to leave without entering the church building. We don’t want to have to do that, so if you are in these categories, please stay at home and listen to the recorded service.
If we believe you are in the highly vulnerable categories as above we will warn you of the NHS advice that entering is strongly advised against, but will not prevent you from entering.
Next we will ask you to give your name and contact details. This is so that NHS Track and Trace can trace your contacts in the event that you, or anyone else attending the service, contract Covid-19 in the next few weeks. These details will be held by the church and destroyed after 21 days unless Track and Trace requests them, in which case we will comply.
Please note that under data protection law you are not required to supply these 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.
You should then enter the church following the signs, which will take you via the side aisles.
The stewards will direct you to a seat. In order to preserve social distancing they will direct you to the furthest forward unoccupied seats, which are spaced appropriately.
Some of the seats will be 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 recording as is heard by those at home, except that the some segments may be video-recorded and shown on the screen, and some may be presented live. The song words and other words said together will also be shown on the screen.
Aelred will play the organ before and after the service, but it is unlikely, however, that we will be allowed to sing for some time to come. In the meantime, the recorded hymns will be played, but you may not sing along. We will remain seated throughout.
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, maintaining at least one metre spacing as you do so. Please do not congregate inside or immediately outside as you may cause an obstruction to those following. 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.
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