Returning to normal worship on Sundays

 

Since the start of the pandemic, our number one priority, as a church, has been the safety of everyone. So, as we gradually return to normal, we want to make sure you continue to feel safe when you are in the church building. The good news is, in line with Government guidance, we can begin to relax some of the measures. On 12 July, the UK Government confirmed the move to step 4 of their Covid-19 recovery roadmap for England from 19 July. This removed outstanding legal restrictions including:
• All remaining limits on social contact are removed. People may meet with whomever and with as many as they wish, both indoors and outdoors.
• Social distancing is no longer demanded in any setting.
• All restrictions on the numbers at and activities within weddings, funerals and other life events are removed.
• Face coverings are no longer mandatory in any setting.
• There are no restrictions on singing.

Nevertheless, the Government recommends continuing caution. Good ventilation, diligence in hygiene, wearing a face covering in enclosed and crowded spaces, and limiting contact with those we do not live with. In the light of this, we feel that it is both sensible and appropriate to continue to take some measures to limit the spread of Covid-19.

So, we have written the following guidelines that, whilst not mandatory, we believe would be wise to put in place and good practice to carry out and we encourage you to follow them while here for a Sunday service. Our aim is to keep a slow and steady course as we transition out of lockdown. Guidelines are as follows:

• We will hold one Sunday service at 10am for the time being, through the summer. Our plan is then to resume the two morning worship services 9am and 11am from mid-September. Then after that, we will look to restart the evening service. We will keep this under constant review based on numbers attending, teams’ availability etc.

• Face masks are no longer mandatory, and we leave it up to personal choice if you want to wear one or not. The government recommendation is that you wear a face mask in enclosed and crowded locations. So, if you feel more comfortable wearing one at any point in the service, feel free to do so. For example, you may want to wear a mask as you enter the building and then remove it as the service starts, or during the sermon.

• Booking of allocated seats is no longer required, you can just turn up on the day. But it would massively help us if you could let us know that you are planning to come to church in advance. That helps us in our planning and stewarding.

• Social distancing has been abolished; however, we appreciate that some people may still wish to be distanced from other households. We will therefore have limited seating in the welcome area for individuals or couples, with 1 metre distancing between them. These seats must be booked in advance. We encourage the wearing of a face mask in this seating area.


• It is no longer necessary to scan the QR code or for us to keep hold of your contact details for 21 days after you have been at CEC. However, the QR code will remain by the door for the time being if you wish to use it.

• Please continue to use hand sanitiser when entering the building.

• Please seek consent from other people not in your household to shake hands or hug.

• Congregational singing is permitted and so we will be singing during the service.

• We will not be serving refreshments after the service for the time being.

• Although mingling inside is permitted, when the weather is dry, we encourage you to chat to people outside the front of the church where possible.

• We will continue to live stream the service for the foreseeable future.

• The building will be kept ventilated during services.

• The toilets will now be fully open.

• Sunday Club will be running. If you are intending your child to come to Sunday Club, could you please let the church office know during the week as it helps with the planning preparations for the Sunday Club team. Creche: A room will be set up as a crèche, unmanned for the time being with a view of having it manned asap.

• We will still be using Green Fox cleaning company to treat the building every 28 days with electrostatic spray. This will continue for the foreseeable future.

• If you are showing signs of Covid, or have been pinged by the NHS app, please do not come to church until you are able to do so, in line with the government guidelines

• We have a number of Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) which are free to anyone who would like to have them. You may want to test weekly so that you know that you are negative of Covid. A box of LFTs containing 7 tests is available at the Information Desk.

While we are really looking forward to the church returning to some sort of normality, we are seeking to be wise in the way we transition out of lockdown, and to be slow and steady in our return to what previously happened on Sundays. Tweaks and changes to these guidelines will happen along the way, and we will update the website of any changes that are made.

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday

Blessings

Pastor Phill
along with the elders and deacons