Churches Reopening for Public Worship

There are many of us who don’t feel that we should yet return to the church building, for reasons of our health. We fully support those people, and therefore there will continue to be a Sunday service on ZOOM as usual, but at the new time of 11am – PLEASE NOTE THE NEW TIME FOR ZOOM – ELEVEN AM! (email the rector for Zoom joining details) Services in all three church buildings will recommence this coming SUNDAY 12th JULY at 9am – ie NINE AM! Whether on ZOOM or in church, we shall alternate Morning Prayer with Holy Communion, week by week. We have a Ministry Team of nine people licensed to lead services, whose willingness and enthusiasm enables our new plan for the services we can offer. In the church building, there will be social distancing needed (sidespersons will guide), and we cannot mingle, have coffee yet, or handle books that are returned. We cannot have congregational singing, but there may be solos. There will be a printed order of service for each person to use and then to TAKE AWAY, again for hygiene reasons (this service will also be emailed to everyone each week). In church, when it is a service of Holy Communion, the celebrant will use hand-sanitiser and wear new gloves, and will drop the wafer into each communicant’s hands (for those who wish to receive)*; there will be no shared chalice (yet). (In Cheddar, if you wish to light a memorial candle in the Trinity chapel, please do so after the service is over, keeping distant from anyone not of your own household.) Collection can be placed in a plate near the entrance – no plate will be passed around. There will be a hand-sanitiser for all to use on entering and leaving the church. Names will be recorded for possible track-and-trace. The wearing of face-coverings is voluntary. The PCCs will review our arrangements regularly. * St Leonard’s PCC decided that Communion wafer and wine should, for now, be consumed by the celebrant only; in St Andrew’s and St Peter’s the wafer will be offered to all who wish to receive it. Please note the government guidance for those who are self-isolating, unwell, or especially vulnerable; the following statements are taken directly from the official advice: 1. Where individuals are self-isolating due to a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the household, or because they have been requested to so by NHS Test & Trace, they should participate remotely. 2. Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell) should not attend the place of worship due to the risk that they pose to others; they should self-isolate at home immediately with other members of their household. 3. Certain groups of people may be at increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19, including people who are aged 70 or older, regardless of medical conditions. Individuals who fall within this group are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if they do go out, to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of their household. 4. The NHS has written to around 2.2. million who are considered to be extremely clinically vulnerable to COVID-19, advising them to shield. Shielded patients are currently advised not to meet more than one person from outside of their own household, and therefore not currently advised to attend places of worship. We will do all we can to protect people’s health, and we need to give the official advice, just listed above. We shall respect every individual’s decision whether to return to the church building now or not to. Each of us will decide for ourselves, and we all support each other in those decisions.