I am really pleased that we will be able to to take another step forwards in meeting together in person. This Sunday, we will be restarting our 10:30am service at St Andrew, Cuffley. I am sorry that this is a lengthy post, but there is a lot of information to cover, and I hope to have answered most of the questions that might arise; it is really important that you please do read all of it.
Please note that we are not requiring booking in advance; however to avoid the possibility of having to turn people away, it would be hugely helpful if you would use this form or contact me directly (email@example.com, 07446 516945) to let us know you are planning to attend.
What is our vision?
We don't know how long social distancing, and similar restrictions, will go on for. As I write this, we already know that social gatherings will be limited to no more than six people from Monday 14th September, although for the moment church services can continue. As things change, our vision is to continue to provide a single Sunday service at 10:30 am that is open to everyone, whether at home or in the building, and that we all share together.
To achieve this, the PCC have agreed to livestream services from St Andrew. Over the coming weeks, the equipment will be installed in the building, and I hope that we will be making use of it in October. In the interim period, we will be meeting to share the time and fellowship together, but initially we will be watching the usual Sunday morning streamed service both at church and on-line. As the equipment is put into use, there will be a mix of recorded and live material, as we move toward the goal of a fully streamed live service
The next few interim weeks will therefore be somewhat fluid, as we see what works for us, and how we can provide a service of worship each week both for everyone who is present in the building and everyone who is not. There may well be things that we see as less than ideal, but we do ask for your patience and forebearance as we make all the changes. You are always very welcome to be in touch with me with suggestions, comments, and feedback.
We want to welcome all of our church family back into our buildings, including those with children. If there are particular things that we can do to help you and your children as you return to Sunday worship together, please do let me know.
What will it be like?
There will be a number of things that are going to be different to usual as we meet. We will still need to maintain the distancing requirements and wear face coverings (unless exempt). We are also not able to sing in church at the moment.
The colours in the church are still in the Lent colours of purple. This is deliberate choice, acting as a reminder that we're not yet as we were, and that there are events and services and activities that we have missed. However, this will change in due course.
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?
The PCC have agreed that, at St Andrew, we can have a number of seats that are slightly under the 2m distance requirements. These seats will only be available to those wearing face covering. With this in place, and under current distancing guidelines, St Andrew is able to hold a maximum of 32 individuals or households. We are not able to have any more in the building. Please use this form or contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org, 07446 516945) to let us know if you are planning to come in person.
Following the government's guidelines face coverings are 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 in place, which we would encourage you 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). The toilet will be available for use, however the chapel and kitchen area are unavailable for use.
Seating is in the main body of the church; 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.
For those attending the physical service, there will be a short, optional, service of Holy Communion shortly after the service concludes. If you would like to stay for that, please remain in your seat.
We are sorry, but we are not currently able to offer any refreshments after the service; we also cannot encourage anyone to stay after either service for social fellowship inside the building.
I am sorry for all these limitations, but I am still very pleased that, in this small way, we can begin to meet together at 10.30, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone who is able to attend.