Pilot – September 2020
From the Deacons (Wednesday 26th August):
At last night’s Deacons’ Meeting it was decided to go ahead with the first tentative steps towards reopening the church for gathered worship.
The plan is to run a pilot over two Sundays in September, with the church open for a short service of worship once in a morning and once in an evening. Gatherings will continue on Zoom as usual, though there will be a change to the timings of these, as detailed below.
In order to attend these church services, it must be safe and appropriate for you to do so. Please do not attend if you are clinically vulnerable or have underlying health conditions that would make you susceptible. The virus has not gone away, we are just trying to see how we can gather sensibly to worship God in his house.
Please also be aware that this is not a “make or break” situation for the church. If you do not attend either of these services, we will not be at risk of never reopening. We are in a time of change, with guidance being altered on an almost daily basis. Our ultimate aim is to reopen as “normally” as possible once the situation and government/Baptist Union guidance allows. Until then, this pilot is our first step on the road. We know that we may need to change direction, or start our journey again, but we remain faithful to God who has been faithful to us when we have had to keep our doors closed.
We will be running a strict booking process for these services in church as numbers will be limited. This is also to enable us to work out how to fit people into the church with appropriate social distancing. Places will be confirmed a couple of days before each service; full details of this are below. Bookings should be made through contacting Colin Barrable on (01787) 278373 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you probably know, there are restrictions on what we can do and provide during these services. There will be no tea and coffee after the service. There will be no Traidcraft stall, however stock is still available by contacting Viv or Vicky directly. There will be no children’s work provision or creche facilities due to hygiene and social distancing restrictions, though Lighthouse Gang may be meeting in the church hall. Parents, please come prepared to have your younger children with you through the service if you choose to attend.
As we will also be running our usual Zoom Gatherings on the same day, we will be (largely) replicating the service on each occasion. This will mean that in church there will be songs played over the PA to listen to, with words on screen to read along with (please do not be tempted to sing in church). There will be no “live” music in church for the time being, though we hope that we will be all able to sing together as soon as it is possible.
Here is a list of essential information for you to be aware of when attending:
- Please try to come as near to the start time of the service as possible and we will get you seated promptly. This will avoid any mingling in church before the service starts
- Only enter by the main front doors of the church
- You may be required to queue outside the church
- Face coverings whilst you are inside the church are mandatory
- You will be required to sanitise your hands as you enter
- All attendees will be listed (and held for 21 days) in case we need to follow Track and Trace requirements
- Please bring your own drinking water as there will be no access to the kitchen
- Toilets will be available under conditions explained on the door
- Stewards will be able to point you in the right direction and will politely remind you if you are not following the guidance that is in place to keep us all safe
- At the end of the service you need to leave as directed by the stewards as quickly as possible.
Sunday 6th September
10:30am – Zoom Gathering
6:30pm – Service in Church (book your place by Thursday 3rd September)
Sunday 20th September
10:30am – Service in Church (book your place by Thursday 17th September)
6:30pm – Zoom Gathering
To book in, contact Colin Barrable (01787) 278373 or email email@example.com
Please include the names of each person who will be attending to help with seating arrangements and working out our capacity.
All those who attend these services in church will be asked whether they would continue attending under these current conditions. We hope that we will not have to wait too long for things to change to enable us to worship together with more freedom.
We have a Zoom Church Meeting booked for 8:00pm on Tuesday 22nd September, at which point we will be discussing the feedback from these church services and discerning the next steps for us. Please make sure that your voice is heard by contacting Viv or Paul if you are unable to attend the meeting.