Having complied with all that has been required of us in respect to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are now in the place where we can meet again publicly as a church community. In view of this, it is our intention to meet this coming Sunday 12 July at the usual time of 4pm.
I trust you are excited to be getting back together!
Having studied the government advice and taken into account the size, volume and layout of our building, we have decided the following;
1. We will not restrict numbers attending. There is no legal requirement to do so for places of worship gathering for a public service. We have sufficient space and access if we include the balcony to accommodate all as safely as is practicably possible. Our current layout allows 1 metre spacing between people using all the pew rows with no direct face to face contact. Connected family groups can obviously sit together regardless. For any who are uncomfortable with this, there is adequate seating capacity across the full width downstairs to accommodate you. For any who wish to attend but are classified vulnerable, we will happily accommodate your entry and departure with minimal contact and situate you in a suitable space away from others, in the balcony if necessary where semi-isolation can be achieved.
2. We will not restrict contact between people with due regard to the minimum advised social distance guidelines.
3. We will not restrict the children from connecting together as we feel this would be an unhealthy imposition on their psychological wellbeing to bring them and then severely restrict them. We would recommend no close contact as in hugging but would not be imposing restrictions on play. Should you be uncomfortable with this, we fully understand if you feel you cannot join us at this time.
4. We understand that there will be those among us who would like to hug and those who would prefer to keep a distance with no physical or face to face contact. We would suggest current guidelines be upheld for the time being so all may feel safe.
5. We will have music and the team will be singing live as, contrary to what has been reported, not doing this is only a suggestion. Due to the volume and size of our building, also the proximity to the stage of the congregation, we feel it poses no excessive risk to do so. Should you be uncomfortable with this, there are plenty of locations to sit to minimise any perceived risk.
6. There will be no requirement for face coverings but please feel free to wear one should you so wish.
7. There will be no refreshments served at this time.
8. We will make hand sanitizer available in all appropriate places.
9. A risk assessment has been undertaken in compliance with government guidelines.
10. We will not be policing these recommendations but ask all to be sensitive to the concerns of others.
11. The appropriate measures for cleaning and sanitizing the building are already in place.
It is our desire as we return to full operation that all should feel considered and cared for. Among our congregation we have those who are not deeply worried about the situation and those who are, with every shade in between. We are conscious of this, hence the reason for specifying how we will structure our return. Should you feel the current provisions specified do not meet your minimum criteria for feeling safe, then we fully understand should you choose not to gather until such times as you feel the risk in your eyes has been sufficiently mitigated.
Love you all and hope to see you Sunday!