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In Church Services - FAQ's

Why do we need the church open for prayer when we have access to God wherever we are?
  True, we can pray to God anytime, anywhere - so we don't need to be in church. But for some people the peace and quiet offered by the building and the simple fact that people have met with God together there for hundreds of years make it a very special place.
What is the benefit of returning to the church building rather than just continuing with ZOOM which seems to be working very well?
 fff Even with the difficulty of social distancing, there is a greater potential for encouraging each other if we make the commitment to show up to the church building. The online services have surpassed expectations for most of us - but our longing is still to be with each other regularly, listening to God's word and singing his praises together.
Are we allowed to sing?

  Government guidelines allow for one person to sing or chant where required by the liturgy, but the Church of England advises against all singing. The propagation of Covid-19 by aerosol transmission is one of the current unknown factors, so both singing and playing of wind instruments which increase the aerosol content are considered inadvisable.

Are musicians allowed to play for services?
  Musicians, other than wind instruments can play for services, providing they maintain social distancing.
Why is the church only open for prayer one day a week?

  We are reopening the church building in stages. In the first instance we opened for one day a week for private prayer, followed by our first socially distanced live service in the church building. We will consider how each of these has gone and continue to adapt what is possible, what appears to be required and look to meet the needs of the parish and our congregation.

One day per week, on a Wednesday allows us to schedule weekly cleaning. 

The hours from ten to seven allow for those who work during the day to visit in the early evening.
What patterns of church service are we working towards, more than one service per Sunday?

  We have considered many options, including the use of the North Building as an extension of the live service, live streaming and multiple services, each with their different requirements. We have the equipment and expertise to do each of these things, but are taking one step at a time.

Uptake for our first live service was appropriate for the main building, with no requirement for extra space. This may in part be due to the high quality of our on-line services and the ZOOM  configuration allowing social interaction.
Are we considering live- streaming the church service?
  We have considered live-streaming, but the live service has limitations compared to the on-line service. If limitations on live worship are reduced, then live-streaming may be a more attractive option.
What is the situation regarding wearing masks?

  Guidance on face masks is constantly changing and we have amended our approach a number of times before we got to our first live service. Along with many of the scientists and with the direction of government guidelines, currently placing the requirement on wearing face-masks in shops, we are requesting that those attending Sunday services wear face-masks, and have spare face masks available.
What is the situation regarding those who are elderly or vulnerable attending church in person?
  Anyone who is unwell or has symptoms of Covid-19 should not attend church. 

Those who are elderly or vulnerable should be advised of the risks, but the Church of England guidance is that the decision to attend or not, in these circumstances, rests with the individual.
Should the toilet be open?

  Guidance is that, where possible, toilets should be open. For our church this also has the positive benefit of providing hand-washing facilities.

For live church services we are operating a one way system to avoid creating a “pinch point” or contra flow.
Could we ask people to clean after themselves to reduce our workload?
  Many attendees and visitors will clean after themselves, however the responsibility for the maintenance of the church building and reasonable precautions, including cleaning or quarantine of the building, rests ultimately with the church.

Could local residents be asked to join the cleaning rota?
  We have issued a request for additional cleaning volunteers. Local residents would be welcome to contact the church office if they were willing to volunteer.
What is the current situation for youth and childrens’ work?

  Children’s activities organised by churches can restart following government guidance on Education in Out of School Settings. This is more recent guidance and is currently being studied before announcing any changes to our on-line provision.
Offers of help?

  Offers of help will be greatly appreciated by the church office. As we look to move forward there will be additional opportunities for help.