Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on 31st October, it will not be possible to meet for worship.
Information for the SRMC services at St Barnabas Church
We appreciate that many of you are keen to start meeting for fellowship and worship but as stewards we are required to do all that we can to ensure your safety at Church during this pandemic. We have been planning as to how to make services happen safely and a service was held on 11 October at St Barnabas which we restricted to members of the evening congregation and those unable to access the services online. We will be holding another service at St Barnabas on 25 October at 6pm. We hope to run services fortnightly after that.
Capacity is limited and priority will still be given to members of the evening congregation. However, we believe there is capacity for more people to attend. If you wish to attend the service can you please make contact to book your place by the Friday before the Sunday in question.
Services will not be as we would usually expect and may not be for some time. Outlined below are details of how services will look, how we plan to keep you safe and what safety measures the stewards are putting in place. If we all adhere to these rules (strange as they may seem) we should be able to meet for worship safely.
Services – will start at 6pm (please do not arrive before 5.45pm) but will last only for about 30 or 40 minutes. Singing is not permitted, so the service will be made up of Bible readings, prayers and probably a reflection. Some music may be played but this is not an invitation to sing.
Attending the Church Premises – Please Note that in order to be allowed to meet we have to agree to follow certain rules as set out below - this is a strict requirement of the Methodist Church:-
You must not attend Church if you are experiencing any symptoms consistent with Covid 19. E.g. high temperature, a new continuous cough or recent loss of your sense of taste or smell.
You are advised not to attend Church if you are in a clinically vulnerable group as advised by the Government or your own medical adviser/ GP.
You should wear a face mask or covering (preferably reusable). Should you not have one, disposable ones will be available at Church.
Entry to the building will only be via the main doors to the Hall and there will be a `one way` system in operation. The exit will be via the Church doors. Signs will be in place.
The entrance doors and inner doors to the Church will be fastened open so you will not need to touch any doors to enter the building.
You will be asked to use hand sanitiser on entering the main Hall.
Please enter the main Hall one at a time ( or in your `bubble`). Whilst waiting to enter you will need to stand at least 2 metres apart. Do not enter the Hall until the person in front has finished using the hand sanitiser and has moved on.
There will be a one way system through the building, as indicated by signage and the stewards on duty, so please move directly to an available seat.
Pews that can be used, will be already marked out with tape. Some pews will be taped off to ensure social distancing. You can only sit with someone if they are part of your household or bubble
Once you have a seat – do not move around the Church to greet other worshippers, you must remain in your seat throughout the service.
There will be no Bibles or hymn books available in pews in order to reduce the amount of cleaning. Should you wish to use a bible during the service please bring your own.
After the services the steward will open the door to the corridor and exit at the front right of the building and you must exit using these doors.
Please maintain social distancing whilst leaving the Church. There should again be no need to touch any doors on exiting the building. Hand sanitiser will again be available at the exit to the building.
Please keep any conversations with other members of the congregation for outside the building, after the service, when you must keep 2m apart. Please don’t be offended if stewards remind you of this.
Offerings – the offering plate will not be passed around during the service. Offerings will be able to be left on a plate, which will be located on a table at the entrance and as you exit the building. Those people who are making monthly payments via direct debit or cheque are asked to continue to do so and all are encouraged to set up a Standing Order if possible to avoid the handling of cash.
Cleaning the building – after the service the Church building will be closed by the duty stewards and touchpoint cleaning will take place. Any virus should be dead after 72 hours on any surface and, in any event, the building will not have been used by anyone within the previous 72 hours.
Refreshments after the service – there will be no refreshments until further notice.
Toilets – please try to avoid use of the toilets at the Church unless in an emergency.
In the event of a fire – you should exit the building by the nearest available exit and do not have to follow the one way system.
Track and Trace – we are required to keep a list of who attends services each Sunday should the information be required for track and trace. This information will of course be kept securely to meet GDPR requirements for 21 days.
We appreciate that there is a lot to take in here and there are a lot of rules but this is the only way that we can meet safely and fulfil government and Methodist Church guidance. As restrictions are eased we will issue updated information.
Your safety and well-being is of paramount importance to us which is why we will have all these procedures. Should you have any questions – please do not hesitate to contact one of the stewards on duty.
Many Thanks for your co-operation.
SRMC/ Stewards and Church Council