Coronavirus Update

Last updated - Thursday 9th December 2021

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You can find Worship at Home resources  here

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on 8 December to move to Plan B measures to combat the spread of the Omicron variant, a number of restrictions will affect those worshipping, using or working within Methodist church property settings.  

All those using attending a church for worship or any other reason must face covering by law from Friday 10 December 2021 (normal exemptions apply)

For further guidance, please visit to Methodist Church website here

Thursday 16th September 2021

Dear Friends,


Thank you for all that you have been doing to enable as safe a place as possible for worship, I realise that we have all had to adapt to a different way of working. We are though still the people called Methodists and we seek to continue to be a Christian presence especially with our local communities. I thought it would be helpful to add some additional advisory notes as most restrictions were lifted on Monday 19th July.

Please note these notes are not mandatory but advisory. These complement the Connexional and Government guidelines (see here)

With every blessing,

 

John Palmer
 

Advice Notes

Risk Assessments
Risk Assessments will still be required to be undertaken and updated accordingly.

Test and Trace
Although not required by law, it is probably wise to retain the NHS Test and Trace system for the time being in case of an outbreak in the church community. We would want to be able to inform our neighbours to proceed with caution if someone they had come into contact with had tested positive.


Preachers & Leaders of Worship
Those who lead worship should bear in mind that the virus is still highly prevalent. Care should be taken to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, including reviewing the length of service and the number of hymns sung (when permitted), avoiding various people handling the same piece of equipment etc.


Face coverings in Worship
Whilst there are no restricted numbers for worship including weddings, funerals or baptisms it is still advised that face covering should be worn.

This would apply where there are a greater number of people present but especially to some of our smaller places of worship.

A conversation between the local minister and church stewards will need to have taken place and advised say numbers in a smaller place of worship (confined spaces) could be advised to wear face coverings for numbers over 12 people attending.
It is anticipated that some worshippers may wish to continue to wear face coverings, which is absolutely fine.

Social Distancing
Whilst there are no social distancing rules, the risks to those deemed vulnerable need to be considered.
We recognise that some people will still feel anxious about being too near people, so we all need to understand that and some may choose to sit further away from people.

Singing
Whilst the singing restrictions have been lifted this does not mean that we should all sing with loudness and gusto. Singing is at the heart of Methodism however we also need to consider the possible risks at the moment of spreading infection to others so singing with facemasks on is advisable.

Handshaking and Hugging
Whilst this may be a natural part of our fellowship together as our greeting each other, it is advised at the moment that we should refrain from this. If we do shake hands then before we leave the premises, we should sanitise our hands.

Cleaning & Hygiene
On entering and exiting the building we should encourage the use of hand sanitisers.
All our churches should be safe and clean place to be in with good ventilation.
Sanitising areas that have been used or where people have been sitting or touching light switches etc.
The toilets need to be cleaned thoroughly on a very regular basis.

Holy Communion
It is advised that those administering the elements (bread and wine) should get into a habi tof sanitising their hands before offering them. Asking people to take their own cup from the communion rack/tray may help to limit the hand-to-hand risks. It is also advisable that we all use a single cup of wine rather than a shared single chalice.

Tea/Coffee after Worship
This is allowed to be served after worship; however, we will need to think carefully how this can safely operate. It is advisable that plates of biscuits should not be put out for everyone through risk of people touching them. Rather we adopt new methods as cafes have been doing.

The emphasis will be on all of us to keep each other safe as much as possible the government keeps stressing that it is about ‘personal responsibility.'

“The best of all is, God is with us”
Attributed to John Wesley