Information for returning to Church
Arrival – Please maintain social distancing in the car park and be conscious that you may have to queue on arrival.
Stewards will be on hand to welcome you to services and answer any questions you may have.
A one way system will be in place and you will be guided through the entrance and signage will be in place.
Please remember social distancing as you queue.
Hand sanitiser – You will be required to use hand sanitiser as you enter the church or hall – using either the one
provided or your own.
It would be helpful if you bring your own tissues as required. We ask that, as far as possible, you avoid unnecessary
contact with pew/seats, handrails, furnishings and other surfaces.
Contact tracing – To facilitate contact tracing in the event of confirmed cases of the virus, we are required to
record attendance at services. A steward will record your name number on arrival and the list of contact details will be stored
securely after each service. The list of contact details is only used for the purpose of contacting you after a confirmed case and will be disposed of after one calendar month if it has not been needed.
Physical contact – Please do not hug or shake hands and do not congregate with others outside your household before or after the service, social distancing must be observed at all times.
Congregation numbers – The number of people permitted to attend is not a rigidly fixed number, ie a household group is able to sit together as long as the next person or household is 2 metres away – so the stewards on hand will have to make a call on when the
service is full. Capacity will be considerably reduced overall but this is unavoidable as we want to reduce the possibility of infection.
Seating – In the interest of social distancing, you may not be able to sit in your familiar/favourite spot in the building. On arrival you will be directed to a seat – filling in from the front to the back and at the end of the service those in the rear seats will be
invited to leave first to avoid bottlenecks. Please note that if you wish to sit with members of your household you will need to arrive at the same time as them.
While we want everyone to be able to attend, we will also be providing online services for those who will continue to worship from home.
Toilets – The male and female toilets will be closed, only the disabled toilet will remain open for emergencies. Hand sanitiser, soap and paper towels will be available as well as cleaning materials so that people can wipe down hard surfaces after use.
Coffee and tea – No food or drink will be served or can be consumed during services.
Masks – Face masks must be worn at all times when you are inside the buildings, the churches will not be in a position to provide masks for worshippers so you must bring your own.
Worship leaders – Those leading worship will be the minimum 4 metres from the front row as they will not be wearing face masks.
Service format – Services will be shorter in duration and there will be no congregational singing. We as Methodists are particularly keen to get back to singing but at the moment this is not possible.
Order of Service – No printed order of service will be available and all hymn books and pew Bibles have been removed, please bring your own Bible should you wish to.
Furnishings – The virus lives for a shorter time on soft surfaces like cushions, however soft surfaces are more difficult to clean, therefore those churches with pew cushions have been asked to remove the cushions.
Offerings – No plates will be passed round during the service, they will be placed at the back of the church at the end. Many people have chosen to give by standing order during lockdown and if you would like to discuss this please speak to your treasurer or minister.
Thank you for your ongoing financial support over the past few months.
Vulnerable people – We appreciate some of you will want to be especially cautious in returning to public worship. In the even that you have been advised to ‘shield’ or ‘isolate’ then we ask you not to attend.
Feeling unwell – In order that we protect one another please do not attend church if you or member of your household are unwell in any way and especially if you are still experiencing or have not yet recovered from symptoms of Covid-19.
Children – Children are very welcome but will remain the responsibility of their parents throughout the service. If you are planning to attend with children, please contact your own minister for local arrangements being made.
Questions and concerns – If you have questions or concerns specific to your local society, please contact your minister to discuss.
Government and MCI guidelines – It could be that between you reading this letter and your arrival at church that circumstances or guidelines change in ways that are beyond our control.
Please be patient with adjusting to the changes outlined above as we are learning too and your safety and good health is our paramount concern.