Congregational Letter

Dear Friends,
As we move into Spring we are reminded of the new life that God brings into our lives in the midst of the darkness. We continue to celebrate that God is always at work and that God brings newness and refreshing wherever it is needed.
As we prepare for in-person worship we are committed to ensure that this is done in a way that keeps everyone as safe as possible, especially the most vulnerable among us. All the Society Stewards have undergone (or will undergo) training to ensure the safety of all those in our congregation. Those that have completed the training are now designated COVID Compliance Officers and we are accountable to the Circuit and Synod COVID Compliance Task Teams.
Please note that, as mentioned previously, we are limited as to the number of people we can accommodate in the church building as we have to ensure physical distancing of at least 1.5m between all those attending. Only those that live together in the same household may sit together. In order to facilitate this we will be asking that all those wishing to attend a service book their space by contacting the church office during the week. This will allow us to plan the seating to accommodate the most people at a time. You will be allocated specific seats.
At this stage it has been decided that we will only have one service a week at 09h00 on Sundays. Those who book first will be given first preference and, if there is not sufficient space for all, a reserve list will be kept and those on reserve will be given first preference the following week. This may mean that you will not be able to worship together every week but the services will be recorded and posted on YouTube and Facebook as soon as possible after the service. This will also accommodate those not yet ready for in-person worship.
As space is limited, we will not be able to accommodate anyone who has not pre-booked.
A risk assessment is attached with this letter and you are encouraged to continue with online services if you are in one of the at-risk categories.
If you show any of the following symptoms you will not be allowed to enter the building so please continue with online services at home:
• cough,
• sore throat,
• shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
• body aches
• loss of smell or loss of taste
• nausea
• vomiting
• diarrhoea
• fatigue, weakness or tiredness
Everyone attending will need to be screened on entry, including a temperature check. This could be rather time consuming and proper physical distancing will need to be practised as you wait to be screened. We therefore encourage you to come early to avoid delays.
All those attending will be expected to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth at all times.
Hand sanitiser will be made available at the entrance and exit.
There will be no singing at the services but we will include a few music videos. This will mean that the services will be a little shorter than usual.
Communion will be served on the first two Sundays in the month. Servers will follow strict hygiene protocols and communion will be served in the pews.
For now there will be no separate Youth Church groups but activities for youth and children will be sent out to parents/care-givers during the week to bring along to the service with their own pencils, etc. It is essential that each child bring their own pencils, etc. as no sharing will be allowed. The services will all have an all-age focus so families are welcome to attend together.
We are required to ensure proper ventilation and so doors and windows will be open. Please dress warmly if you are concerned about the draft.
We have had to remove all cushions from the pews so please bring your own cushion with you should you require it.
A retiring offertory will be taken at the exits as you leave and we regret that socialising before/after the service is not allowed and physical distancing must be adhered to at all times, even in the parking lot.
Those not able to attend are encouraged to continue their giving through online banking and those who continue to make use of the planned giving envelopes are welcome to contact the church office to arrange collection if not able to bring them in.
We are planning our first in-person service for Sunday 1 November at 09h00. Please contact the church office to book your space. If we cannot accommodate you at the first service you will be given first priority at the second service on 8 November.
We will be evaluating the service times constantly in order to prepare for the next phase which could mean more services but we have been advised to start slowly and build our way up.
Thank you for your ongoing support and patience. I look forward to seeing those that are able to attend again.
Grace & Peace

StevenRisk Assessment
(on behalf of the Exec)