10 July 2020
We have been working hard on plans to meet again as the body of Christ in the church building. The first “trial service” will take place on Sunday 12 July using our current format on ZOOM at 10:30 a.m., with some of the service leaders joining me in church.
I have also invited those who have not been able to connect visually into our on-line services with ZOOM, to participate as part of the trial and to feed back to me on their experience to update our procedures before the next service. We must be satisfied with our health and safety practices before we open fully the church.
I hope this will be only a matter of a two or three more weeks and I will write again when it is appropriate to open up the church to everyone who wishes to attend. Our survey revealed an even balance between those who want to return as soon as possible and others who will stay at home on ZOOM for health or family reasons.
We shall continue to stream services on ZOOM for as long as anyone wishes.
Please see on the back of this sheet a copy of the “Protocol for attending church during restrictions”. This sets out the procedures we are asking every one to put into practice to protect each other by taking appropriate precautions and recognising each other’s space.
With my prayers for your safe-keeping as we begin to pick up some relative normality back into our personal and communal lives!
Rev’d Paul Boddam-Whetham
St. Bartholomew’s Church, Ducklington
Protocol for attending church during restrictions
For the initial weeks in July, please come by invitation only as we test out our procedures, with about a dozen people present in the congregation.
|Entry||· Take care to queue along the pathway to allow others to enter church.
· Both South and North doors will be open. Inner and outer doors are left open to aid ventilation.
· South door, as usual, to be used for disabled access
· Sanitise hands on entry
· A Welcomer will record attendance of regular members using the Electoral Roll list. Visitors will be asked for their phone number.
|Seating||· Greeters will give directions to go to the front for a seat indicated by a seat cushion. Households (couple or family) may sit closer.
· Go to a seat on the side of the church from which you entered, first using the middle section. Do not cross over in front of the Font.
· Cushions are placed at staggered centres to maintain social distance
|Hymns||· One individual is permitted to sing and will face away from the congregation. They will use a face visor.
· Congregational singing is to be specifically avoided
· All liturgy and hymn words will be on screen, to be spoken quietly
· If you wish to follow the words in a Hymn book, these are available from Greeters, taken out of quarantine store if required.
|Lectern||· This will be used by reader and intercessor, wearing face visor
· The lectern should not be held at any time
|Communion||· The bread and wine will be covered during consecration
· The President will use a face visor when distributing the elements
· Individuals will be invited to come forward by rows.
· Please sanitise hands as you prepare to receive bread from the President, in the centre
· Consecrated wine will be offered from tables on each side in individual beakers prepared from a common cup.
· Please place empty cups on the adjacent tray
|Exit||· Please wait to be ushered from your pew and leave any books on the seats
· Leave by the door through which you entered.
· Do not linger to chat in church but feel free to keep social distance for conversation outside the building.
· Collection plates will be by each door for cash or cheques. Card reader is available for cash-less donations
· Please Sanitise your hands as you leave
|After service||· 3 front pews to be cleaned for private prayer during the week
· Church will be placed in quarantine until the following Sunday
We hope these measures will help you be safe in your time of worship with us. If you have any concerns or ideas about how to improve our practice, please speak to me or the Wardens.
Paul Boddam-Whetham, Rector. V1 9 July 2020