RE-OPENING THE CHURCH FOR WORSHIP
Monday October 5th
WE DID IT!
Our first service under Covid restrictions went very well yesterday
with 30 people able to attend.
The weather was kind to us too as it stopped raining just before folk began to arrive - so no dripping umbrellas!
It was good to be able to worship together
and to be able to listen to the beautiful organ music (courtesy of Chris Hadley)
before worship began.
Thanks to all who have worked so hard to make this possible.
Please understand that this has been a VERY complicated procedure but our aim is to minimise risk to everyone so please read this carefully.
(PLEASE NOTE that there are TWO documents to read)
Arrangements for Resumption of Worship at Hasbury Methodist Church (Version 3 – 26.9.20)
Preparations for Re-Opening
From the time when all activities ceased, throughout lock-down and in the period during which restrictions have been eased, care has been taken to ensure only limited access into Hasbury Methodist Church. Essential maintenance has continued, and the building has been kept clean and strict hygiene controls introduced in accordance with guidelines issued by the government so as to keep it free from any risk of coronavirus Covid-19.
The final part of our preparations for re-opening is a ‘deep clean’ sanitisation to be carried out by an outside contractor. This is scheduled for Thursday 1 October 2020. Before and after every activity all hard contact surfaces (e.g. door handles, hand rails, light switches, chairs) will be cleaned using anti-bacterial disinfectant wipes
One last thing, while we’ve all been away, work on the floor in the main hall was completed and the hall is ready to be brought back into use.
Before Leaving Home DO NOT come to church if: -
- You, anyone else in your household or support bubble is suffering from or has tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 14 days You have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace, your doctor, hospital or any other health professional and told to self-isolate You are waiting to be told the result of a test for Covid-19, or are waiting to be tested
- Or if you have: -
a high temperature
a new and persistent / continuous cough
a loss, or change to your sense of smell or taste
- Avoid using public transport if possible
If taking or giving a lift, ensure adequate social distancing and wear face covering
Arrival Parking The car park and both gates will be open as normal
- DO NOT use the horseshoe drive across the front of the church for drop offs – it needs to be kept clear to allow social distancing
- After parking, please walk to the front of the building and approach the front doors
- DO NOT use the side doors from the car park Be alert for other vehicles moving on the car park and approaching along the drive
- Maintain 2 metre social distancing
Entering the Building
The only point of entry to the building will be via the front double doors, these will be kept fully open
- Wait for your temperature to be checked before entering building N.B. if the infra-red (no contact) thermometer indicates a raised temperature (usually 37.8°c or above) the person will be informed that they cannot be admitted Wait to be invited or directed to enter the building
- A face covering must be worn at all times while in the building (Guidance and exceptions have been well publicised and include children under 11, or if an individual cannot wear a face mask because of a physical or mental condition or the wearing of a face covering will cause mental distress)
- Use hand sanitiser gel from dispensers in front vestibule / lobby
- There will be a steward in the front lobby to record your name and contact telephone number in a register
- A ‘One-Way’ system will be in operation. Please follow the signs and directions from the stewards
- On entering the main foyer area, walk straight ahead towards the double doors
leading into the main hall
Remember to maintain 2 metre social distancing while in the foyer area
Take the opportunity to further sanitise hands if required NHS Test and Trace
As part of the national effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, all places of worship (that are open) have to register with NHS Test and Trace We are also required to display a QR Code so that anyone using the NHS Covid-19 Smartphone App can scan the QR code keep a record of their visit Posters with the unique QR code for Hasbury Methodist Church are displayed in the foyer and at the entrance and exit points Foyer
It will be really strange not to be able to linger in the foyer and very difficult not to pause and perhaps chat with friends who we may not have seen for some time
Please Maintain social distancing and move through the foyer as directed by the stewards Vestry
Access to the vestry is restricted to the minister / preacher and church steward ‘on duty’.
Please do not enter on Sundays Worship Area (Main Hall)
Wait by the double doors to be invited in and follow the steward’s directions to the seat they allocate
There will a maximum of 30 seats set out either singularly or in pairs
Do not move the seats or change from the one you were allocated
Stewards will be available to rearrange the seats to best accommodate the number of people in each group
The minister / preacher will lead worship from the raised dais and be at least 3 metres from the nearest member of the congregation
The person leading worship, anyone reading a lesson or leading prayer from the dais may remove their face covering while they do so
All others present must keep their face coverings on at all times At the present time, the congregation are not allowed to sing during worship
We are advised that windows and doors should be open allowing fresh air to circulate through the building so you may need to keep your coat on and / or wear warm clothing
After worship Remain in your seat until directed to leave by a steward
Exit the main hall via the single door nearest the stage
Turn right and walk along the corridor to leave the building via the emergency exit behind the stage
Remember to socially distance as you return to your vehicle or walk from the car park
Toilets The ‘disabled’ WC in the foyer area will be available if required urgently or in an emergency
Please use the anti-bacterial disinfectant sanitising wipes provided to clean the toilet area before and after use
Other Areas When we first re-open, there will be no access (on Sunday) to the following: - The male and female WCs off the long corridor Craft Room Committee Room Prayer Room Stage Kitchen Front Hall Updates and
Feedback National and local restrictions, guidance, as well as advice received from the Methodist Church at national, district & circuit levels are changed, sometimes at very short notice In addition, it is very unlikely that we have covered every eventuality and you may have concerns or identify something that is missing, or you think could be improved. Please pass on your thoughts to one of the church stewards
Re-Opening Hasbury Methodist Church
Many aspects of our lives and ways of doing things changed following the arrival of
the new coronavirus, Covid-19 in early 2020. Particularly hard for some has been not
being able to go to church and worship in ways we had become accustomed to.
Following a request from Church Council, the church stewards and resources group
have prayerfully been planning to re-open Hasbury Methodist Church on Sunday 4
October 2020 with a short (30-40 minutes) act of ‘worship’ led by Rev Peter Brown
starting at 10.30am.
If all goes well and we are still allowed to meet, the church intend to continue with ‘led worship’ each Sunday
We have to comply with both government and local regulations & guidelines as well as follow advice issued by the Methodist Church nationally and at district & circuit level. It will come as no surprise that keeping abreast of all this ‘advice’, which is constantly being updated or amended, is quite a challenge. A comprehensive risk assessment and checks of the building prior to re-opening have been undertaken. These will of course have to be kept under review to ensure that Hasbury Methodist Church remains a safe and Covid free environment.
The final phase in preparations to re-open will be a thorough deep clean and sterilisation, which is scheduled for Thursday 1st October. After which the building will hopefully be certified as being ‘Covid-19 Secure’. Without it, the church will not open. Once the church has re-opened, it is essential that everyone visiting the building play their part in keeping Hasbury Methodist Church a safe and Covid- free environment; as well as ensuring that everyone else who visits remains safe too. Most importantly, we must stop the spread of Covid-19.
An outline of what to expect and guidelines on what we can and cannot do has been prepared and will be circulated. The reasoning for most of the measures will be self-evident however some may appear less obvious.
If you are unsure, please ask, we will be happy to explain the rationale.
These are unforeseen and unprecedented circumstances; we may not get it exactly right, and things may not go smoothly first or even second time, but we will keep trying. Therefore, the information provided, and requirements may need amending or be updated to reflect our experiences plus any more recent advice and guidance.
Maureen Stanley (Church Steward) David Raxster (Property Steward) John Smith (Resources Group) 19 September 2020