Following the government announcements about relaxation of Covid restrictions from 19th July, the PCC has agreed that a cautious approach is appropriate until further notice. The following arrangements will be in place from Sunday 15th August:
- Booking for services is no longer required. Attenders asked to enter by the front entrance and exit, as before, through the garden.
- As before, attenders encouraged to use hand sanitiser in the entrance area on arrival and sign in using the NHS app or the written list.
- Worship area for both Wednesday and Sunday worship: Doors and windows open for maximum ventilation. Seating ‘bubbles’ will no longer provided and chairs will be set out with a seat-width size gap between. 2 seat length gaps between rows. It is likely that attenders will automatically tend to space themselves out leaving unoccupied chairs.
- But some in the congregation may feel particularly vulnerable and anxious at the possibility of being seated closer to other people. If someone would feel safer, chairs to their right and left may be reserved to maintain more distance. Cards will be provided to allow people to maintain social distance by placing cards on adjacent seats.
- Attenders are asked to use facemasks when entering and moving around the building. Attenders have a choice as to whether to use them when seated, being mindful of those close-by.
- No regulations now exist on social distancing. But attenders are asked to particularly avoid speaking face to face in close proximity to others, shaking hands or hugging.
- The worship band can continue to sing unmasked. Wind instruments are now allowed. Congregational singing is allowed but using facemasks is suggested for congregational singing.
- At Holy Communion services the President will wear a mask during administration. As before, the President will bring wafers to communicants who remain seated. The President to be the only person who receives Holy Communion in the form of wine.
- No refreshments to be provided, but the congregation is no longer required to leave the building / church grounds immediately after the service. We can become more sociable again!
John Clifton Martin Kerins
Churchwardens on behalf of St Stephens Parochial Church Council
26 July 2021