What Will Church Look Like?
The pandemic is still with us but with the easing of restrictions and guidance issued by the government and diocese, PCC have decided to reopen the church building for worship on Sundays from 2nd August but with measures in place to keep people safe.
The questions and answers below have been written to help you to understand what will be different. Please read below or watch our video to help you decide if and when you wish to come to a service and what to expect when you do.
Will the Sunday morning service be at the same time?
The service will begin at 10:30am and last, in the first instance, a maximum of 45 minutes.
What should I do before entering the building?
Please wash your hands thoroughly before leaving home.
The Church of England strongly advise that face coverings should be worn by all those attending a place of worship, including ministers, worshippers, staff, volunteers, contractors and visitors. Please bring your own face covering with you.
No books or papers will be given out at church. You can bring a Bible from home, if you wish.
What will happen when I arrive at church?
Please enter the building using the doors on Beaufort Grove. The doors will be propped open.
Please sanitise your hands. Sanitiser will be available.
On entering the church, you will be asked to tick your name on a register or, if you are new to St James, fill in a contact card. This is to ensure we are compliant with the governments track and trace requirements.
Please follow the arrows on the floor which guide you down the North aisle at a distance of 2 metres and find a seat.
If you are not sure about what's going on or why we are doing something, please do ask someone. There are no silly questions.
Where will I be able to sit?
There are alternate pews available in both centre aisles.
Individuals should sit at either end of the pew by the orange markers maintaining social distance of 2 metres. Household groups/Bubbles can sit together.
Pews not in use have been cordoned off with string.
The side aisles may be made available if the centre aisles are full to capacity.
Can I bring my children?
Yes, children can attend BUT they will need to stay seated with their parents throughout the service, who are responsible for them. (Our creche area/toys are cordoned off & NOT in use).
How many people can attend a service?
We can accommodate up to 27 individual people but this could potentially be more as people from the same household can sit together.
What will the content of the service be?
At this time, we will not be having holy communion.
There will be Bible readings, a sermon, prayers and some other elements of liturgy.
We will not be singing as this is not currently allowed however there is likely to be use of recorded music, live music and/or video clips played on the big screens.
What will happen at the end of the service?
Please leave the church building immediately after the service ends. Leave through the Bolton Road exit if you are physically able.
Maintain social distancing as you leave the building.
There will be no refreshments after the service.
Will online worship still be available?
Yes, but in a reduced form. A Sunday service will be on our website from 10.30am. Morning Prayer on facebook will continue but just on Mondays & Fridays. Night Prayer will continue on Zoom on Wednesdays.
Can I still have a paper copy of the sermon delivered?
Yes, we will try to continue this (but bear in mind during August normal deliverers may be away.)
What about people in the vulnerable category?
The current advice, if you’re over 70’s, is stay home & stay safe, and those shielding should only meet outdoors with up to 6 people. However, this is due to be relaxed and no longer apply from 1st August BUT you should still take particular care around social distancing.
We understand that there will be an array of feelings about the return to gathered worship in the church building. These will include worry, excitement and apprehension, amongst others.
Please return only if you feel safe and confident to do so.
We are all God’s children ‘loving God, loving community’ whether we are physically gathered or scattered. God bless you whatever you decide.
If you have any further questions, please contact your pastoral carer or Rev Steve.