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On-going Covid precautions in our churches

Following the lifting of the COVID-19 regulations by the Prime Minister I have met with our Church Wardens to consider how we should precede. We decided that the wisdom that St.Paul wrote to the church in Corinth has application in our current circumstances: "Everything is permissible - but not everything is beneficial...Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others". (1 Cor. 10: 23-24)

We are very aware that, given the record levels of infection in South Gloucestershire at present, abandoning constraint at this point would unnerve many and would mean that some of those who have begun to come back to church would feel that they had to stay away. This does not seem right to us and as a community we should have regard for those who would find this difficult. Accordingly, we have agreed that we will continue with many of the current COVID-19 precautions for the time being. This means:

  • we will continue to ask for masks to be worn at all services unless people have a medical exemption

  • people will need to sanitise their hands on entering church

  • we will continue to keep a record of those attending each service for track and trace purposes

  • we will continue to encourage a one metre distance between family groups sitting in church and church capacity limits will remain in place

  • Communion will continue to be administered in one kind

  • The Peace will continue to be shared in a COVID secure way

  • there will be no congregational singing for the time-being

Having said that we do want to set a clear trajectory towards greater normalisation of services and, in particular, reintroduce singing as soon as it is sensible to do so. For this reason I shall be meeting with the Wardens through August to review the situation and as soon as we see this current spike in infections fall significantly we will be looking to relax these precautions. Details of those relaxations will be given via our website.

We intend to keep the live-streamed Sunday morning service going for the foreseeable future for those who still feel that it is too early for them to return to our churches and we are introducing an additional mid-week service for those who would prefer to start with a smaller and shorter service. Our two mid-week services are:

Wednesday morning (approx. 11am following coffee) - St. James - FROM 8TH SEPTEMBER

Thursday morning - 10am - St. Mary's

Ian Wallace

22nd July 2021


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