Coronavirus Update

In the Bible God says:

“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1.9

During Coronavirus this is a A Different Sort of Church!

The usual Public Worship Services on a Sunday Morning are now merged into a Joint Service at St Philip’s Church – Girlington at 4pm

We have sadly suspended all community events where people gather together.  We can still “Be the Church” at this difficult time in the following ways:

  • Pray at home for good health and for Medical Staff
  • Check our Neighbours and friends are OK
  • Continue to be Hopeful, Prayerful and Serving Others
  • Read the Bible and Pray together on video chat

What Now?

Each Sunday we plan to have a Church Service on Youtube.  Links will be sent by email and WhatsApp and check Social Media too. We are also praying together in many other ways – please contact us for more information.

How to meet together safely

Communion Service at 4pm at St Philip’s Church – Girlington.

I know many of you have questions about this so hopefully most are answered below:

We are following Government and Church of England guidance and advice. To keep all visitors, worshippers, staff and volunteers safe we have introduced many changes.

Possible Questions you may have

How can I be sure I can visit or worship safely?

  • All clergy, visitors and worshippers are required to wear a face covering inside the Church.
  • The number of visitors and worshippers allowed in the building at any one time is limited and managed.
  • Everyone is asked to use the hand sanitizer provided on entry/exit points and other key areas around the Church
  • One-way systems are in place and clearly signposted during your visit or service to help everyone maintain social distancing
  • One toilet is open, frequently cleaned by our team and a system is in place for managing queues if necessary.
  • There is guidance on hygiene, social distancing and safety around the Church as friendly reminders
  • People are asked not to visit if they have symptoms of Covid-19 or are feeling unwell.
  • People are asked to avoid touching surfaces during their visit

Please:

  • Keep two metres away from other people
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds after using facilities
  • Observe and respect the one-way systems in place
  • Wear a face covering inside the Church
  • Use the hand sanitiser dispensers.

How many people are we allowed in the Church?

There is a limit on the number of people accessing the Church at any one time – we are not taking bookings this week but may need to in future. We have 35 single chairs set out – but clearly households can and should sit together so we will need to be flexible. Please be prepared to queue outside if necessary.

Is there anything for children during this visit?

We will not be providing for children this week – but the service will be extremely short!

What about my collection envelopes?

We will take a collection – feel free to bring the ones you have at home. A collection for those who cannot come will take place shortly!

How will Communion take place?

The priest will celebrate in the usual way but the bread will be brought to you in your place to avoid movement.

Should I wear a face mask?

From 8th August 2020, in line with government guidance, face coverings must be worn in places of worship.

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to): young children under the age of 11; not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability; if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress. For detailed guidance, please see see here.

NHS Test and Trace

In line with government guidance we are required to keep an accurate temporary record of our visitors and worshippers for 21 days to assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for data if needed for contact tracing and the investigation of local outbreaks. We will not collect your personal data unless you are a visitor unknown to us. Then we will expect a name and contact number. Instead of taking a register we will be taking a photo as a record of where people sat.

Will we be singing my favourite Hymns?

No – sorry, congregational singing is still not permitted

Will there be tea and coffee after the service?

No sorry

Will I be able to sit in my usual seat?

No sorry

Can I move my chair to get a better angle?

Please do not move the chairs at all unless one of the volunteers permits you to.

Will the toilets be open?

We will open one toilet only for safety reasons – please be prepared to queue.

What about those worshippers who are over 70 or clinically vulnerable and those self-isolating?

We will not be checking Birth Certificates nor taking temperatures. But we do suggest that you err on the side of caution.

If you do fall into this vulnerable category, our Wednesday phone-in service might be a more helpful way of worshiping for you. Contact us for details about this.

Or you may want to use the Church of England Daily Hope Phone line

See below for C of E and Govt Guidelines on this:

Certain groups of people may be at increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19, including people who are aged 70 or older, regardless of medical conditions. Individuals who fall within this group are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if they do go out, to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of their household.

Much more information is available here:

https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches