re-opening of Churches – update 5: I’m 70+ what should I do?

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The easing of restrictions as announced by Government last week doesn’t mean that the Public Health considerations have gone away. The re-opening of our churches is being permitted but with restrictions in place for this very reason.

Our previous ‘update 4’ addresses the permission to re-open churches. Please refer to this.

If you are in the ’70+’ category you will need to make yourself familiar with the latest guidance on what is/not advisable. Neither our Bishops nor the Parish are in a position to advise you on your own circumstances.

To have gained permission to re-open, our Parish has had to (& must) comply with Public Health restrictions including maintaining Social Distancing requirements and requiring those entering the church to use hand sanitiser. The church must also be thoroughly cleaned before and after each period in which it is open. By its nature when it is open it is an enclosed space.

The advice we are receiving places the onus on you, as the person concerned, to reach your own decision whether to visit the church; whether you are happy with the environment as it is/will be and the procedures that are in place. You must be conscious of the risk(s) as it may apply to your own situation. You must take your own precautions if you choose to visit.

Can I volunteer to help with any duties?

Certainly, the Parish will need to maintain an on-going rota of willing Parishioners for Stewarding and cleaning respectively to be able to remain open for public worship in the days and weeks ahead. Volunteers will be required from across the Parish.

Specifically relating to the ’70+’ category, the guidance we are receiving is that you can act as Volunteer Stewards or in any other capacity if you are in good health. You must be fully aware of the risks involved and must take the necessary precautions. Any offer to help must be yours alone with all these factors in mind. No one will think worse of you if, while wishing to help out, you felt anxious or uncomfortable in doing so and therefore felt you cannot in the present circumstances.