Churches opening for public worship from 18th April
After consultation with Church Wardens and with the support of PCCs I can advise that public worship will take place in our church buildings from Sunday 18th April. This is earlier than originally anticipated but is consistent with the Government roadmap as we begin to emerge from lockdown.
We are mindful that for some this will be good news whilst for others it will feel too soon. It is right that folk feel comfortable about when they return to services in the church building and so I must stress that there must be no sense of obligation. I therefore intend to continue to offer a Zoom service, although this will be at 6pm, which is open to everyone.
COVID restrictions in terms of hand sanitiser, face coverings and social distancing will apply and congregational singing will not be permitted.
Booking a place in advance will also be necessary. Contact email@example.com
Services for April are planned as follows:
Sunday 18th April at 10am at Christ Church, Derry Hill and a Zoom service at 6pm.
Sunday 25th April at 10am at St. Martin’s, Bremhill and a Zoom Service at 6pm.
Services will resume at St. John the Baptist, Foxham when the building work is completed.
The rota for May and beyond will be published shortly. It is likely that Zoom services will take place on a fortnightly basis.
There will be a short service of Morning Prayer this Sunday at 10am via Zoom. Please contact Rev Linda Carter for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Churches in the Marden Vale Team are opening for public worship from Sunday 18th April. (For the time being, we will also be offering a Zoom service at 6pm on some Sunday evenings.) Please check service details and information on our website www.mardenvale.org.uk Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/christchurchdh and Noticeboards.
Please note that where a Sunday service has taken place in church, that church building will be closed for 72 hours after the service to minimise the amount of cleaning required.
Our main priorities are the health and safety of our community, so things will not be quite the same as usual, but we recognise the importance, for many, of meeting together in worship so have put together this brief explanation of what to expect.
Q. How is the church managing social distancing?
A. We have assessed the seating capacity and space available and worked out the best way to seat everyone to maintain 2 metre distancing. There will be markings on the floor inside church. A Churchwarden will be on hand to welcome you and show you where to sit. At the end of the service, please remain in your seat until you are asked to make your way to the exit.
Q. Do I have to book in advance?
A. It would help us to know if you intend to come to a service so that we can maintain safe social distancing. We ask that you telephone 01249 817926 or
email email@example.com before 8pm on Saturday evening to check availability.
Q. Will services be at the normal time?
A. Morning services will be at 10am. Evensong (when available) will be at 6pm.
Q. Can I sit with my family or a friend?
A. People from the same household or “bubble” can sit together. Everyone else will need to observe appropriate social distancing at all times.
Q. Will there be communion?
A. Services will vary but where communion is offered this will be wafers only. Distribution will be carefully controlled to minimise transmission risks according to government and church guidelines.
Q. Will the hymn books be sanitised?
A. Sadly, hymn singing is not allowed at the moment, so all hymn books and bibles will be removed. There will, however, be music to listen to.
Q. I usually give cash in the plate when I come to church. I believe this is not advised. What can I do to support the work of the church?
A. We would prefer not to have to expose our volunteers to handling cash but we desperately do need your support. Please take a moment to look at the Giving page here. If you prefer to leave cash please do use the collection plate by the main entrance.
Q. Do I need to provide contact details?
A. In order to support the NHS Test and Trace programme, we are taking contact details (name and telephone number) for all visitors, or you may use the QR Codes on display.
In line with guidance issued by the Department for Health and Social Care, we will keep your details safely and in compliance with GDPR legislation for 21 days before securely disposing of or deleting them. We will only share your details with NHS Test and Trace, if asked, in the event that it is needed to help stop the spread of coronavirus. We will not use your details for any other purposes or pass them on to anyone else.
Q. Will I be able to talk to my friends after the service?
A. To minimise risk, services will be shorter than normal, and the church will be closed promptly. Catching up with friends is better done outdoors. We ask that you do not obstruct the aisles or exits to allow everyone to leave safely.
It is obviously vital to obey social distancing guidelines at all times.
Q. Will it be safe to come?
A. We have carefully assessed the risks of bringing us together and have put in place measures to control and minimise the risk of transmission of the virus. However, it is not possible to eliminate risks completely – everyone attending must evaluate their own circumstances and act accordingly. We all have a responsibility to act responsibly to ensure the safety of everyone else.
- use the hand sanitizer provided when you arrive and when you leave
- comply with social distancing rules – keep 2 metres apart whenever possible
- cover your nose and mouth if you sneeze or cough – take your tissues home and disposeof them thereQ. Should I wear a face covering in a church building?
A. Face coverings must be worn by all those attending a place of worship unless you have an exemption.
If you do not feel it is safe or if you feel unwell – please do stay at home and enjoy the online services from the Marden Vale Team or join the Zoom services.
Sunday Worship – FAQS
Update 31st October 2020
Sunday 1st Nov Parish Eucharist at St John the Baptist, Foxham at 10am
Sunday 1st Nov Evening Prayer at St Martin’s, Bremhill at 6pm
We plan to re-open St Martin’s, Bremhill on 1st November with a service of Evening Prayer. It is hoped that a sustainable pattern of services including Morning Worship, Parish Eucharist and Evensong will evolve around the parishes to take us through the next few months.
Where a Sunday service has taken place in church, that building will be closed for 72 hours after the service to minimise the amount of cleaning required. We plan to review safety procedures after each service in response to attendee numbers and behaviours, so please check service details and information on our website, Facebook page and Noticeboard.
There is a lot information to take in and this will continue to be the case as we work our way cautiously through this time of easing lockdown measures. I realise that for many none of this feels like ‘church’ or ‘worship’. My intention always, is to enable each one of us to worship and to meet with God in ways which are prayerful, meaningful, nourishing, joyful and safe, whether we are at home, in church, out walking, by the sea or on top of a mountain…and to know that we are connected to each other, and that despite our current circumstances we are the body of Christ. Much of what we are experiencing may not feel like corporate worship just now, but my prayer when putting services together online or adapting services for socially distanced church, is that God knows we are together in worship and that God honours our offering of that worship.
Wherever and however you worship, I pray that you know you are held in God’s loving embrace, together with all God’s beloved children.
Church open for prayer
Church Open for Prayer and Worship – Risk Assessment
Choir – Risk Assessment