A message from Francis regarding the Code of Conduct we will now be using during worship:
I have now spent many hours reading guidelines, listening to colleagues and thinking about our context both in terms of the building and our age profile. I have also listened to people in the media whose scientific opinion I respect. In particular Sir Jeremy Farrar of the Welcome Foundation in the recent Andrew Marr interview. As he made clear and the recent situation in Leicester demonstrates the virus is not beaten yet. Whilst many in society seem to be throwing caution to the wind I believe as part of the Body of Christ we need to respect the wishes of the most cautious who come to worship. I have therefore draw up a simple code of behaviour which I attach for you to read ahead of Sunday. There will also be a copy in the place where you sit. It is as short as I can make it. (The government paper was 16 pages). I hope that this will reassure those of you who are concerned, that we are going to do this safely. The guidelines do however suggest that we do not encourage attendance especially if people are vulnerable. The Sunday podcast will still be made for those at home. The guidelines do not insist on the wearing of masks but you wish to wear one please do so.
If you are still attending on Sunday please aim to arrive in good time (but not more than 20 minutes early), use the provided sanitiser at the door and go immediately to a seating position. Do not mill* about at the back. (*Definition : To move or circulate in a confused or disorderly manner within a limited area.)
I know all this may take the edge of our return to worship ‘in person’ but I do hope that after such long period of abstinence for the sacrament that it will be a very special and holy occasion for you.
Code of Conduct during worship
- Please maintain social distance: two (2) metres where possible and when less than this only for the shortest possible time. There are some seating stations for couples in the red chairs you may sit together in a pew providing no one else comes and sits in that pew with you. Up to five people in one ‘household’ may occupy a pew. You are unlikely to be able to sit where you used to sit! Only every other pew is used – note the ticks and crosses.
- Please do not use a raised voice to speak to each other or during the liturgy. Sadly there is no singing for the time being. We will sit for most of the time, standing only for the Gospel and to receive the sacrament.
- The celebrant will administer the sacrament to the people in the red chairs first and will do this by going to them. Next the people in the nave starting at the front will come forward one side at a time and returning via the South Aisle. Do make a mental note of where you were sitting before embarking on this journey around the church.
- If you would find this journey difficult please do try to sit in a red chair and leave the pews to the more nimble of foot.
- To receive the bread (wafer) please hold you hands horizontally and flat, one hand over the other with your arms extended. Administration will be done in silence without the usual wording. Wine will not be distributed.
- Contactless giving is now preferred to cash and you will find the contactless machine on the wooden shelf near the door on the LHS as you go out. It is pre-set to a minimum amount of £5 and you can alter the figure very easily if wished and it will automatically default to £5 afterwards. If you usually bring purple envelopes please place them in the collection plate in the same place. If you prefer to donate cash this should also be placed in the plate. We are not using yellow gift aid envelopes at present. Cash donations and contactless ones can be gift aided by the church under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. I would also like to remind you of the possibility of setting up a regular standing order for your giving which avoids the need for donating physically each week. Please contact me if you need a form.
- The service will be much shorter than usual as it is recommended that we stay within enclosed spaces together only for short periods. If you wish to speak to friends you have not seen for some time after worship, please arrange to do this outside in the fresh air.
- To prevent a bottleneck on leaving please leave in the same order as for receiving the sacrament ie red chairs then pews row by row from the front using the South Aisle.
I am sorry if all this seems rather ‘sterile’ and not the usual fellowship we enjoy but I believe we need to take the situation very seriously and reduce the risks as far as possible.
Francis Mason. Rector. July 2020