Friday, 3 July 2020

Covid 19 Guidelines for Returning to Church


This is a boiled-down version of the Government’s guidelines for re-opening places of worship, as they apply to the Dove Church.

From the 4th of July, we will be able to gather in church to worship, subject to certain restrictions and guidelines. 

General Points


There is no 30-person-limit in place, but everybody must be able to ‘socially distance’ at all times. The rule is 2 metres or ‘1 metre plus’.

The guidelines suggest arranging an ‘informal community behaviour agreement’. If you have any particular suggestions, please share them.

The underlying principle behind the Government’s guidelines is to ensure the safety of the public—including ourselves.

Services should be as short as reasonably possible. Afterwards, participants are encouraged to ‘move on promptly’ (we won’t be serving coffee for the first few weeks).

The service in church will necessarily be truncated, though there will be opportunities to share in prayer, testimony, etc., and to hear a message. Sung worship will not be included in the service. As usual, we will include it in the online version, which will be available on YouTube from Sunday evening.

(The songs will be recorded following the service.) 

Hygiene

  • All ‘shared surfaces’—tabletops, counters, light switches, door handles etc. will be disinfected before and after the service.
  • The hand-towels will be removed from the toilets; these have been replaced by electric hand-dryers, and paper towels will also be available.
  • Hand-gel is available throughout the building, and a ‘touch-less’ gel-dispenser is (or shortly will be) located outside the toilets.
  • We won’t be using hymn books—we also recommend that people bring their own Bibles, rather than using the red ones in church.
  • Tablecloths will be removed from the round tables to allow easier cleaning.
  • Soft toys for children that are hard to clean will also be removed.

It isn’t feasible to provide ‘one way’ access to the building, so we request that everyone is very polite and ‘gives honourable preference to one another’ to avoid blocking the lobby.
Test and Trace

We will be taking the names of everyone who attends church in order to provide contact details in case anyone does contract the virus.
If you are symptomatic

If you develop symptoms of Covid-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell) you should not attend, but self-isolate at home with other members of your household. 

Face coverings


Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with.

Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing, and hand washing, etc.

Masks are available if you wish to wear them:
  • Thoroughly wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off.
  • They should cover the mouth and nose and fit well around the face.
  • Face coverings should not be used by young children or those with respiratory conditions.

Other vulnerabilities

  • Those of us over 70 years of age are advised not to attend, regardless of any other medical conditions.
  • If you have a health condition such as diabetes or hypertension that would make you particularly vulnerable to this virus, we strongly advise you to stay at home, even if you have not been ‘shielding’.

And, of course, if you or a member of your household becomes symptomatic, you must self-isolate for two weeks.

In spite of all this, we are absolutely delighted to be able to worship in church again. Please join us if you possibly can. 

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