Father Stephens post lockdown guidelines
Coming back to church for morning service
- rules we are all requested to follow.
- The aim of these rules is to keep a minimum social distancing of 2 metres at all times, before, during and after the service as far as is practicable, and prevent as much touching of objects as we can. It is easy to forget to do these things so we all need to take responsibility and politely remind others when they are getting too close to ourselves or others, or touching things unnecessarily.
- Often people all arrive closely together just before the service starts. It would be helpful if arrivals could be staggered over 15 minutes to prevent queues at the door or groups gathering just inside and so the service can start on time. There will be a one way system in operation with entry by the usual west door, and exit by the Lady Chapel Door
- For contact tracing purposes we are keeping a register of attendance. There will be a register of one name per household. Please come armed with your own pen and tick your name on the register when you enter as the first thing you do after entering. Then use the hand sanitizer provided and slide the documents you need for the service off the tops of the piles. Please take these home with you afterwards and bring back the service booklet if relevant for use next week.
- If you have cash or envelopes for the collection, please leave your gift on the plate near the service sheets as you come in.
- The back two rows of seats are reserved for those who don’t want to sing and don’t want to be near those who are singing. All seats are in pairs. If your household is bigger than two, please feel free to push chairs together. Turn over the notice on your chair as you use it. Please do not put anything in the back of the seats in front of you.
- The service will be as usual, except there will be no processions in, out or for the Gospel. There will be no collection or bringing up of the elements. I am sorry that for the time being, it will only be possible to have one Server who will normally be Dave.
- The lectern has been moved to the South side of the Nave Altar. If readers and intercessors could please approach it via the gap in the altar rail near the Chantry book and bring their own copies of readings/intercessions. Please avoid touching the lectern by holding copies away while you read.
- When it comes to the Peace, please do not move from your seats.
- Communion will be in form of bread only. I will administer it from in front of the Nave altar. Please come forward starting with those nearest the front. I will administer at arm’s length into your open hand. After you have received please return to your seat by going up the left or right aisles as appropriate, waiting if necessary until others are clear. There will inevitably be some momentary reduction of social distancing in this process.
- I will take the strictest hygiene measures with the host, but please do not feel you have to receive communion if you have any concerns.
- At the end of the service there will be no coffee for the first week, or maybe two, until we get the feel of things. However we can still gather and chat using the full space of the nave providing social distancing is maintained. At the end of the service I will invite those who want to leave immediately to do so first via the Lady Chapel. After that the remainder of us can loosely congregate. Please take all paper with you when you leave.
- If you want to light a candle at any point of the service, please feel free to do so, just being mindful of the proximity of others.
- If you use the toilet please wipe down any surfaces you have touched including the door handles with the wipes provided, and having opened the door first to prevent the possibility of re-contamination.
- The Sanctuary, choir vestry and sacristy will effectively be sealed off to all but Dave, Steve and myself. If you feel you need to access these areas please discuss with Fr. Stephen.
- Procedures for our evening services will be similar except for some details which I will advise further.