Re-opening a building for worship
We’re thrilled to announce that we are now in a position to open a building for worship. (NB the church (ie gathering of God’s people in this place) has never been shut, however our church building has.) Due to the ongoing plaster removal in the church, in the short term we will be using the Community Centre. Once we have removed the plaster and cleaned up the church then we hope to return into the church building.
Our plan is to begin on Sunday 23rd August 2020.
Initially, we shall be offering an 11.30am service of Morning Prayer in the Community Centre, alongside our current offering of a Zoom service at 9am on Sundays and continuing with the dial-a sermon (01772 963020).
Once we have trialed a few Morning Prayer services, and are satisfied that we can do it safely, then we will look to put in some Communion Services. Then our desire is to bring back a Wednesday morning service at 10am as well.
What will it look like?
We have produced this short video which shows what you can expect when you come to a service. It will not be like what we are used to, and currently we are still unable to sing at services, but it will be a joy to be able to gather together in person and worship God. There is also a short explanation about what you can expect when you come to church and what we ask you to do, to help keep all of us as safe as possible which can be found here.
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We have capacity for 18 - 25 households (depending on household sizes) at the Community Centre. Within church the capacity is 15 households maximum. Due to these restrictions, we will therefore need to have a booking system.
Bookings will be done via the website (wwweuxtonparishchurch.org). So, if you have registered for an account then you will be able to book yourself on. We will also be taking bookings via the phone and will have a certain number of spaces available to those who are unable to access the website. We are going operate on a first come first serve basis. Bookings will open each week on Wednesday at 12noon (prior to the Sunday). If possible, then please can you book directly on the website, this will keep the phone lines free for those who need to use the phone booking option.
Book via phone
For the first week only then phone bookings can be made by ringing me (Jo) on 01257 262102. After that then please contact Andy Grant on 01257 231877.
Book via the website
1.Go to Sunday Services / Booking a place
2.Click on book into a service
3.Click on sign up
4. It will show as signed up.
5. You will then receive an email confirming your booking.
You will need a separate booking for each person from your household who wishes to come. (If when you go back in to book the 2nd person in and there is no space then please get in touch with Jo or Andy and we will do our best to resolve it.)
We would like to ask that priority for bookings is for those who are currently unable to access Zoom. If by the Saturday morning there are still spaces available, then we would encourage others, who wish, to book on.
If we are over-subscribed then priority the following week (after those who cannot access Zoom) will go to those who were not able to attend the week before.
If you find that you are not able to come, having booked then please go online and cancel your booking. If you have booked via phone then please ring Jo or Andy who will cancel your booking. This will mean that we can then offer the space to another person.
Following Government guidelines, facemasks will be mandatory when we meet together. We appreciate that some people will have medical reasons for exemptions and that is fine. We will have some disposable facemasks available if people forget their own (for a small donation).
We are not able to pass around an offertory bag, but we will have a plate available for you to leave your offering when you arrive, as well as the contactless machine. The cash will then be kept in the safe for a minimum of 72 hours before it can be counted and banked. If possible, (and we appreciate that it is not possible for everyone), please can we encourage you to give online as this is most efficient, requires less people and carries significantly less risk too.
Track & trace
Following Government requirements, we must keep a list of everyone who comes to the service for 21 days. This information will be taking on booking and will be kept in accordance with GDPR.
We are really thankful to those who have helped us get to a stage where we can reopen a building for worship. However, to be able to do this regularly we are going to need a band of willing and happy volunteers. We will need people to:
- register people who come
- show people to their seats
- cleaning (wiping down key high touch surfaces) after the service
- setting up / packing away the hall.
If you could help in any of these areas or want to know more about the roles then please can you get in touch with Jo? Some of the roles are before and after the service so could be done by those not attending the service. Our prayer is that we have enough volunteers that we can have a rota of people.
Everything we have done might seem to be very prescriptive but we have a legal obligation to follow the Church of England and Government law and guidance, and most importantly, we want to be able to offer a space where people feel as safe as possible, given the circumstances. We will ask you to take certain actions (eg wearing a facemask and staying in your seats where possible) but this is for the benefit of the whole group.
If you are displaying any COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive in the past 14 days then we ask that you do not attend.
If, having been to a service at the Community Centre, you develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive then please contact Jo in the first instance, and if unavailable then Andy Grant (email@example.com 01257 231877)
If you have any questions or concerns about the reopening of a building for worship, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.