re-opening of Churches – update: 1

posted in: News, Parish | 0

* Please read the earlier information contained in the news post of 8 June. This is important information and will help with your ongoing understanding of the situation*

Here in Holy Trinity, for our church to be able to open, we will need to have a number of volunteers from amongst the parish community, who are able and willing to help make this possible. You may be a member of a parish group; you may not be. Simply put, if you feel you are able to help, we would love to hear from you. What to do next is at the foot of this post.

What will the permission to re-open Churches mean for us here in Holy Trinity?

Our proposal is to open the church (initially) for a period of 2hrs each Sunday, hopefully beginning Sunday 21st June. Timings are still being finalised but at this stage it is likely to be something like 2.30-4.30pm or 3-5pm. (final details will be advertised beforehand).

As previously explained, the re-opening of the church will be for private prayer only. There will be no public form of Worship.

In the arrangements we are required to put in place, the underlying considerations are those of Public Health and the safety of those who choose to visit the church.

  • anyone who is classed as being in a ‘vulnerable’ category will be advised not to visit the church
  • anyone who feels unwell or fears they might have been in contact with an infected individual, must not visit the church
  • ‘social distancing’ will be asked of everyone and the church will be arranged to help this be a reality (e.g. only alternate benches in use; visitors asked to keep 2m apart from others unless part of a family group etc)
  • the use of alcohol-based hand gel will be requested as you enter the church and should be repeated as you leave (you may bring your own personal supply or use that available in church)
  • visitors will be asked to minimise the touching of surfaces
  • there will be no prayer books nor hymn books available for use; any items you bring with you, you will be asked to take away with you at the end of your visit
  • for the lighting of candles, you will be encouraged to bring & use your own matches or lighter; otherwise a steward will light the candle for you
  • the toilet facilities will not be available for use
  • if the church reaches the approved capacity for visitors, you will be asked to kindly wait to enter until others leave
  • stewards will be on hand to assist with and manage the period of opening. Visitors will be asked to adhere to any requests they make

The physical arrangement of the church for visits will be planned to further assist in managing Public Health concerns:

  • a ‘one-way’ flow to visits will operate – entry & exit by separate doors; a one-way direction within the church
  • doors may be kept open during the opening period to allow for the free flow of fresh air through the church
  • only one section of the church will be available for use; the remainder of the church will be closed off

To help make the opening of our church possible?

On each occasion before the doors are opened, we must ensure that the church is ready to receive visitors. There will be a number of requirements that will need to be checked.

At the end of each period of opening, the church will need to be cleaned in accordance with Public Health requirements.

To assist with and manage each period of opening, stewards will be required.

For anyone thinking of helping in this

  • you must not be in a ‘vulnerable’ category
  • you must be aged between 18-69 years (for obvious reasons)
  • if you are concerned at the requirements on the day being onerous; they are not overly so – much is common sense in the context of all that we have become used to in our daily lives over recent weeks. The preparation work will have been carried out in the course of gaining permission to re-open. Briefing will be given to all those wishing to volunteer. A friendly welcome and commonsense is very much as important as anything else!
  • once volunteers have come forward, the aim will be to ‘team’ up individuals; again, with public health considerations being predominant

To put yourself forward to help, or if you have any questions, please contact the Parish Office, either by email or phone. And…THANK YOU!