We are very pleased, this Sunday, to be able to begin meeting together again in person. We are beginning this process very carefully and gradually, and still have to operate under constraints, so we hope that you will bear with us as we work out how best to meet together as the church family in Northaw and Cuffley.
Initially, we will be restarting our 8:30am Sunday services of Holy Communion; these will be in St Thomas, Northaw. We are moving towards opening at 10.30 and in St Andrew, Cuffley soon.
We need to follow many processes to keep everyone as safe as possible and to comply with current guidelines; we know that some of them are not ideal and may not match with what we would really like. If you are considering coming to a physical church service, please could you read the following guidelines before making your decision.
Should I attend?
Everyone is of course welcome in Jesus's family and in his church. However, in the current circumstances, attending physically is a decision you will need to make for yourself, based on your own circumstances and situations. You may find this personal risk assessment helpful as you make that decision (assessment originally produced by the URC).
Is attendance restricted by number?
Under current distancing guidelines, St Thomas is able to hold 26 individuals or households. We are not able to have any more in the building. At the moment, I see no need to 'ticket' the service, or to require notification in advance. However, If you were able to let me know in advance (firstname.lastname@example.org, 07446 516945), I'd very much appreciate it, so that I can make sure we don't need to turn anyone away.
Following the government's guidelines which come into effect rom 8th August, face coverings will be mandatory for those attending church services, unless the person falls into one of the exempt groups.
Inside the building
Please use the hand sanitisers on the way in, and out, of the building. There will be a 'track and trace' register, which would helpful to complete. Where possible, please follow the marked one-way system: entry is through the usual door, exit through the door opposite (please note that these doors will remain open throughout the service). We are sorry but the toilets, kitchen area, choir pews, and chapel are unavailable at the moment.
Seating is in the main body of the church, and the table will be set up in front of the screen; please sit in one of the spaces marked by a sheet with a green tick. When leaving the building, please turn the sheet over to the side with the red cross.
What will the service be like?
This Sunday will be a BCP service of Holy Communion. The service order will be on a printed booklet on the seats, please either take the service sheets away with you, or leave them behind on your seat.
Only the bread will be distributed; the precise details of the distribution of Holy Communion will also depend on how many people are present.
Should I receive?
You should feel under no compulsion to receive the bread. Our spiritual feeding on Christ is based on whether we "do truly repent [of our] sins, and stedfastly believe that Jesus Christ hath suffered death upon the Cross for him, and shed his Blood for [our] redemption, earnestly remembering the benefits [we] hath thereby, and giving him hearty thanks therefore" (BCP), not on our physical consumption of bread or wine.
This is very much the early steps of restarting meeting together. As restrictions ease, we will continue to look at our Sunday provision.