Returning to Worship Services in Our Church Buildings – Our Plan: March 2021
The PCC and clergy have been cautious in our plan to return to worship services in our buildings. In making plans to return to worship services in our church buildings, we have taken account of the feedback from the survey many filled out last autumn. We have noted that the spread of the virus is still at a high level but is thankfully coming down. We do not wish to create more opportunities that risk spreading the virus. We also have taken cognisance of the Road Map for Lifting Lockdown from the government and the slow lifting of restrictions for group interactions.
All three churches will maintain safe Covid protocols: hand sanitiser, wearing of masks in church, safe distancing, ventilation, and communion in one kind. There will be no singing for a while longer; we do not know when we will be able to sing as a congregation. We do not know exactly when a choir is able to sing in church (there can be a solo singer).
This proposed plan is conditional on the government’s four tests for easing restrictions being fulfilled to enable easing of restrictions.
All three churches will continue to have an online service on Sundays for the foreseeable future. There may be occasional outdoor services/events as restrictions allow.
ALL SAINTS will return to having a limited congregation in church at 10am for a hybrid service that is also accessed online by Zoom on Sunday 18th April.
ST MARY’S will commence live streaming of the 9.30am service from church with no congregation from 28th March. They will return to having a limited congregation in church at 9.30am from 18th April with the service also live streamed for online access. It is hoped the 11am service on 1st Sunday of the month will resume on 4th July. The Simply Worship service continues online. We will be resuming this service in church, with live streaming, but the date for this is still to be confirmed. The Tuesday morning Holy Communion service in church will resume on 20th April (no live stream) and subsequently on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month.
ST NICHOLAS will resume having a limited congregation at 8am on Sunday, 28th March. The 11am Zoom service will continue from now until 16th May. We hope to have a limited congregation at second later service at 10am (not 9.30am) starting on 23rd May which we hope to live stream and replace the 11am Zoom service. We are NOT resuming our 9.30 service earlier because so many people come to that service and we need to be careful to maintain social distancing. Also, when we do start a second service with a congregation, we will have it at 10am to give time to clean the pews after the 8am service and to give space for the 8am congregation to leave completely before the choir arrives. We know many people prefer a later time than 8am, but it simply is very difficult to safely manage large numbers of people. To manage the risks, we will wait to have a service at a later time. We are not sure yet when we might resume Choral Evensong at 6.30pm. Also note, we will resume the 10.30am service on Wednesday morning, 14th April. In addition, the church will be open for private prayer on Saturdays, 10am to 12noon from 17th April. We hope on July 4th, if conditions and restrictions allow, to return to our normal schedule of 8am, 9.30am and 11.30am services with congregations in church (but this is a big if).