Effective from Sunday 12th December
Following the Prime Ministers announcement earlier in the week, the Church of England has now published its latest guidance for churches following the declaration of England’s move to Plan B. Therefore, from this Sunday, 12th December, you will notice some changes which I would like to make you aware of.
- Face coverings are now mandatory in places of worship. Whilst there are some exemptions, as outlined in the guidance that has been published, this is a legal requirement and masks will stay on for congregational singing.
- We will continue to have a dedicated area in Church where social distancing can be observed for those who would welcome this.
- Communion will continue in ‘one kind’.
- We are continuing with refreshments after services, but these will be restricted to seated areas to ensure that anyone moving around the Church building will still have a mask on.
Please note that NHS COVID passes will not be required as places of worship are exempt.
Coffee Mornings remain under review and will continue until such time as the guidance changes; however, we will now be applying the same controls for these as we are for refreshments after services, in that masks must be worn unless seated and in the act of eating or drinking. It is important to remember that mask wearing primarily is caring for your neighbour rather than yourself.
The Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally, who leads the Church of England’s Covid Recovery Group, has urged people to take steps to protect each other as we prepare to celebrate Christmas amid a rise in cases. She says:
“As Christians we have a duty to care for one another, especially those who are most vulnerable, and the latest measures announced by the Government should offer some extra protection and reassurance for people.
“Caring for one another, sharing, hope, faith and most of all the knowledge that God is with us are at the heart of Christmas.
“This Christmas we will be coming together – whether in person or online – to worship God and celebrate his coming into the world as a human being like us.”
The staff team appreciate that this remains a difficult and challenging time. We have re-adopted the ‘bubbles’ for service leaders to ensure that the enhanced load of services at this time of year does not fall upon just one member of the team. Pleased be assured that we are doing all that we can to deliver the best Christmas experience of Church that we can.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if there is anything we can do to support you. These are unique days that we are living through but thankfully our God remains the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
With prayers and good wishes,
Community Behaviour Agreement
Track and Trace
How we are reducing the risk
Church of England Guidance
The Church of England has produced a range of guidance which can be found here.
The Government have produced guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic which can be found here.