Coming back to church safely
‘All things are lawful but not all things are helpful’ writes St. Paul.
With the removal of legal restrictions there are now no legal constraints on how we make church services safe for worship. The Church of England and Diocese of London has also delegated all decisions to incumbents rather than issue specific guidance. In planning for how we can return safely to church we need to bear in mind in particular those who are most vulnerable and those who have anxieties about safety. This stems from our identity as ‘one body’. During the period when people are returning to church in greater numbers we will continue to run the service on zoom to enable the fullest participation. We will continue to keep the zoom element under review.
Here are the steps we will take to keep everyone safe. All the provisions will be kept under review.
- Wearing of Masks: Aerosol and airborne transmission remains the greatest risk of spreading covid and we will therefore continue to ask that all who attend public worship wear masks. This will help all of us stay safe.
- Communion; The use of the common cup feels at present too much of a risk and instead we will provide the opportunity to receive communion in ‘both kinds’ through ‘intinction’ , that is dipping the wafer into the cup. Because of this we will continue for the present with wafers as a bit safer and less messy than bread when intincted. We will also maintain good spacing at the communion rail.
- Sanitising. While surfaces seem to be a relatively low risk aspect of the transmission process we want to maintain clean procedures and so will continue to encourage hand sanitizing and provide sanitisers.
- Refreshments. We have missed the social aspect of church greatly and we can now serve refreshments while doing so safely. We will make use of the garden when possible and encourage those not actually consuming refreshments to wear masks as well as maintaining informal social distancing. Those serving refreshments will do so in as safe a way as possible.