COVID UPDATE - August 2021
As we mentioned a few weeks back the deacons met on 3 August to review the Covid risk assessment for the church and to decide on any changes to how we worship on a Sunday.
After much discussion we recognise that we have moved into a different phase of the pandemic with many restrictions lifted and more planned soon. The emphasis has shifted so that it is now up to individuals to assess how comfortable they feel in different settings and therefore how much risk they perceive there to be in all aspects of their lives. This of course includes church worship.
As a result and bearing in mind the generally improving data nationally we have decided that with effect from this Sunday - tomorrow- we are going to make the following changes:
Masks to be worn upon entering and whilst moving around the building, but may be removed once seated.
Singing is permitted, with or without a mask.
Use of hand sanitiser upon arrival, and where prompted.
Social distancing between seating is encouraged.
The building will be aired, with windows/doors open for circulation.
In addition to the above practices, the upper seating areas in the gallery are remaining mask only areas.
We recognise that people are at different stages of their journey with Covid. We expect all of our church family to respect these differences and to apply common sense and sensitivity at church.
If you are in any way uncomfortable with these changes or do not yet feel it safe to return then people will understand. If people are wearing masks then think before approaching them - they may not be ready for close contact. If people are not wearing masks then do not assume that they are ready for a hug and kiss - they may not be. We are going to have to relearn how to interact with each other all over again so please be patient and sensitive at all times.
The more comfortable chairs will be making comeback but only if we have enough volunteers this Sunday to help to put them out ready for the subsequent Sunday.
At no time should anyone who has Covid symptoms or is in self isolation or quarantine attend church - or anywhere else.
This change in Sunday worship has been carefully considered by the leadership against the background of better pandemic data, the effects of the vaccination programme and the desire of those many who attend on a Sunday for an improved worship experience. At no time have we compromised on safety but accept many may disagree and will choose not to attend just yet.
We will monitor the situation nationally and locally and if anything changes will not hesitate to impose restrictions as necessary. If you know people who are not on email and do attend on Sundays then please do phone them and make them aware of the changes.
To remind us all of the Baptist Union advice:
We appeal to everyone involved to be kind to each other, to listen well, to appreciate the pressure leaders are under, and to compromise accordingly. This is a very vulnerable time for churches and we ask you to recall the exhortation in Ephesians 4 to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”