We are looking to open the church on Sunday 5th July at 10:15.

 In order to do this, we must issue guidance on how the building will be used and on how we will take our services.  These are living and growing documents and are subject to change as the days and weeks go on.  You are asked to give constructive comments on how these guidelines may be improved - so if you see something that has been missed then let me know.

 

The guidelines can be seen below and attached.

 

I suspect that the main people to take responsibility for these documents are members of the PCC, but we are all asked to be involved.

 

With thanks

 

Fr Andrew

 

 

St George’s is reopening for Public Worship

Sunday 5th July 10:15am

 

Please read the following – don’t let the length of these notes put you off.  The notes are here to offer practical guidance and help us to remain safe and to remain within the regulations laid down by government.

 

The church building will be reopening for public worship on Sunday 5th July.

 

(The Zoom service will run alongside of this service, so those still at home will be able to take part).

 

The Building will be open to the public at 10:15am.

 

(Sacristan’s duties will be undertaken by the clergy).

 

The north west doors will be open.  This will allow people who are not steady on their feet, who need to use chairs or zimmer frames, or who need to bring buggies easy access to the church buildings.

 

The government says:

 

“Consideration should be given to how fair and equal access can safely be provided for all users to be able to undertake faith practices within a place of worship, in line with government guidelines and considering requirements under the Equality Act 2010 where these apply”.

 

Robin will be at the door to welcome you.  Please remember that you must keep a 2m distance between those who might be in front of you and those who might be coming after you.  Robin will give you a gentle reminder if you forget.

Please enter the building and follow the arrows which will guide you to your seat.  You will be guided down the north isle when people can take up seats on the north side of the church.  The arrows will continue around the front of the building, (please do not use the central isle), and to the South isle of the church where people can take up seats on the South side of the church. Please try not to touch chairs as you pass them and take your seat.

You are advised to leave the church in reverse of the way you came in.  People in the South isle moving out of their chairs and leaving by the North Isle.  People on the North side leaving by the North isle. 

 

Please try to remember the 2m rule and let people pass safely.

 

Each row will have two seats for couples and socially bubbling people, and one/two seat/s for those who have come by themselves.

 

The government says:

 

“If appropriate, you should reconfigure spaces to enable worshipers to be seated rather than standing which reduces the risk of contact”.

Remember that there is hand sanitizer at the entry to the church.

 

Test and Trace

We are asked to keep a record of those attending church for 21 days.  I shall therefore arrange for a copy of names on the database to be at the church and shall record your names on the list – we do not need addresses for this list.  I shall ask for names of visitors and their addresses.

The government says:

 

“The opening up of public places following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by the NHS Test and Trace service. In line with other government guidance for other venues including in the retail and hospitality sector, you should assist this service by keeping an accurate temporary record of visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your place of worship, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed for contact tracing and the investigation of local outbreaks”.

 

Face coverings

The government says:

 

 “Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.

Face coverings are not a replacement for the other ways of managing risk, including social distancing, minimising time spent in contact, and increasing hand and surface washing. These other measures remain the best ways of managing risk in a place of worship. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you and your household should isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this”

It may therefore be socially responsible for you to bring some form of lose face covering if possible.

 

The Government go on to say:

 

“Worshippers, volunteers and staff, may choose to wear face coverings to offer protection to others and if so it is important to use them properly:

  • Thoroughly wash hands before putting them on and taking them off.

  • The key thing is they should cover the mouth and nose and fit well around the face.

  • Face coverings should not be used by young children or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. For example, primary age children unassisted, or those with respiratory conditions.

  • A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment. These masks and respirators should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings, like those exposed to dust hazards who already use these in their daily work.

  • In England, members of the public are strongly urged to wear a face covering in hospital and it is mandatory to wear a face covering on public transport”.

 

Travelling

Please note that you may have to take into account travelling on public transport.  You must make your own mind up as to whether travelling is practical.

Books

A service sheet and a hymn book will be placed on your seat.  (please bring the readings if you would like to follow them as pew sheets will not be provided.  You must also take them away when you leave). Once you have used the books please simply place them on your seats when you leave.  This will allow the 48 hours between use which will mean the virus is no longer active on the pages.

 

The government says:

  • “Reusable and communal resources such as prayer mats, service sheets, religious texts or devotional material should be removed from use. Single use alternatives should be provided as long as they are removed and disposed of by the worshipper.

  • Items owned by the individual to aid worship such as a prayer mat or religious text, can be brought in but should be removed again by the worshipper.

  • In circumstances where worshippers cannot bring their own books, places of worship should keep a selection of clean books for individuals to use. Clean books should be quarantined for 48 hours since their previous use and should be quarantined for 48 hours again after use. Items which cannot be easily cleaned should also be subject to the 48 hour quarantine after use”.

 

Singing

Although you may have hymn books on your seat, we are not yet allowed to sing hymns – the books are there for the days when this restriction is lifted.  We will try and play some music during the service, but this may interfere with zoom connections and my therefor not be possible.

 

The government says:

 

“People should avoid singing, shouting, raising voices and/or playing music at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult or that may encourage shouting. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission from aerosol and droplets”.

 

They also say:

 

“Therefore, spoken responses during worship should also not be in a raised voice”.

 

Communion

You may not wish to receive communion (bread only) but do not feel that you are required to do so.

If you would like to receive communion then please come forward a row at a time in single file. 

Move down the central isle and return by the North or South isles.

The priest will drop a host into your hands, and then please make your way back to your seat. 

The host will be given silently.

(The priest will use hand sanitiser at the beginning of the consecration and will not touch any individual during the distribution of the host. We will not be able to place the host directly onto your tongue at this time).

Please try and maintain the 2m distance requirements when coming to, and leaving, the sanctuary.

There will be a table with hand sanitiser on the raised dais.

 

The government says:

  • “If it is necessary to handle consumables as a part of a faith practice, those giving and receiving food items should wash their hands thoroughly before and after consumption, or wear gloves.

  • The person distributing the consumable should release it, into the hand only, in such a way to avoid any contact between them and those receiving it, or wear gloves. If accidental contact does occur, both people should cleanse their hands immediately”.

Giving

 

St George’s Church will be going contactless!

That means you will need to give electronically.  Details will be sent out shortly.

The government says:

 

“Where possible faith leaders should discourage cash donations and continue to use online or contactless giving and resources”.

 

Coffee and teas after the service

The governments say that we can have teas and coffee but there are restrictions.  In the first few weeks therefore, we shall not be serving refreshments after the service – lets get the basics sorted out first.

 

The government says:

 

“Hospitality spaces within a place of worship, such as cafes, are permitted to open but should be limited to table-service, social distancing should be observed, and with minimal staff and customer contact in line with hospitality guidance”

After the service

Whilst you may wish to be social and say “hello” please feel free to do so but keeping in mind the social distancing guidelines.  It may be better to meet outside of the church in in the garden and in the fresh air if you want to chat – in groups of no more than seven.

 

The government says:

 

“Once completed, participants should be encouraged to move on promptly, to minimise the risk of contact and spread of infection”.

 

Children and young people

We continue to welcome families and children.

The government will allow outside play.

We are not allowed to use general play areas - we do have three corralled areas for the use of one family for each.

 

The government says:

  • “Young children should be supervised by the parent or guardian. They should wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use hand sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered. Places of worship can help remind children and young people, and their parents and guardians, of the important actions they should take during the COVID-19 outbreak to help prevent the spread of the virus. Posters on general hand hygiene can be found on the eBug website.

  • Any shared facilities for children, such as play corners, soft furnishings, soft toys and toys that are hard to clean, should be removed and/or put out of use”.

 

Protecting the vulnerable the government says:

There should be a particular focus on protecting people who are clinically vulnerable and more likely to develop severe illness. Actions should include:

  • Religious leaders, lay people, family, volunteers, staff and members of the public, including children, staying at home and self-isolating if they have a new, continuous cough or a high temperature or loss of or change to sense of smell or taste. This is to minimise risk of spread of COVID-19 to friends, the wider community, and particularly the vulnerable.

  • Individuals who are shielding should continue to follow the government’s advice on shielding.

  • If anyone becomes unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 in a place of worship they should go home immediately and be advised to follow the stay at home guidance which covers NHS Test and Trace. If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 (or call 111 if they don’t have internet access). In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. They should not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

Other people who may have been in contact with the person who has become unwell should wash their hands thoroughly after the interaction, but they do not need to take any other specific action unless they develop symptoms themselves or are advised to do so by NHS Test and Trace. If they do develop symptoms they should follow the stay at home guidance.

 

Individuals aged 70 years and over attending the place of worship

 

Everyone remains welcome at our church services. You must decide if this is practical for you. The government says:

 

  • “Certain groups of people may be at increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19, including people who are aged 70 or older, regardless of medical conditions.

  • Individuals who fall within this group are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if they do go out, to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of their household.

Individuals who are extremely clinically vulnerable/shielding

 

It is advised that people who are shielding should not attend public worship.

 

The government says:

 

“The NHS has written to around 2.2. million who are considered to be extremely clinically vulnerable to COVID-19, advising them to shield. Shielded patients are currently advised not to meet more than one person from outside of their own household, and therefore not currently advised to attend places of worship.

From Monday 6 July, those shielding individuals may choose to gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors and form a support bubble with another household, they will therefore still be advised not to attend places of worship indoors. Advice for both the clinically vulnerable and extremely clinically vulnerable is however advisory and they can choose how to manage their own risks”.

 

People who are symptomatic

 

Those displaying symptoms of COVID 19 should not attend public worship

 

The government says:

  • Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell) should not attend the place of worship due to the risk that they pose to others; they should self-isolate at home immediately with other members of their household. Remote participation should be considered, for example by live streaming. This applies equally to individuals who work at the place of worship.

Individuals who are self-isolating due to a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the household

The government says:

“Where individuals are self-isolating due to a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the household, or because they have been requested to so by NHS Test and Trace, they should participate remotely”.

 

 

Toilets

We are asked to keep toilets open.

It would of course be advisable for people to use their home facilities before venturing out, and only use the church building toilets when necessary.

We already have a toilet which will only cope with one person at a time.

Handwashing facilities are available, as are air drying units.

A spray sanitiser will also be placed in the toilet.

 

The government says:

 

“Toilets inside or linked to places of worship should be kept open and carefully managed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Steps that will usually be needed to make the use of toilets as safe as possible:

  • Using signs and posters (see Hygiene above).

  • Using social distancing marking in areas where queues normally form, and the adoption of a limited entry approach, with one in, one out (whilst avoiding the creation of additional bottlenecks).

  • To enable good hand hygiene make hand sanitiser available on entry to toilets where safe and practical, and ensure suitable handwashing facilities including running water and liquid soap and suitable options for drying (either paper towels or hand dryers) are available. Communal towels should be removed and replaced with single use paper towels.

  • Set clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, with increased frequency of cleaning in line with usage. Use normal cleaning products, paying attention to frequently hand touched surfaces, and consider the use of disposable cloths or paper roll to clean all hard surfaces.

  • Keep the facilities well ventilated, for example by fixing doors open where appropriate and safe to do so”

 

Cleaning

 

Fr Andrew and Sandro will be in church on Monday and will use spray sanitiser on surfaces.

 

Berry and Rachel undertake specific cleaning duties on Wednesdays.

 

There will be a 48 hour quarantine period for the buildings before a second service takes place.

 

Baptisms weddings and funerals

 

Theses can now take place by arrangement with Father Andrew.  There is a maximum attendance of 30 people until further notice.

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St George's Church, Kemp Town, Brighton

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