COVID-19 Information Page
Updated: Thursday 7th January 2021 (Changes in bold blue text)
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister last Monday and the national lockdown, we have been praying and talking about our response to the situation.
In order to keep people safe, and play our part in fighting COVID-19, we have taken the decision to suspend services in-person at St Augustine’s for the time being. We will also not be opening the church on Saturday mornings for individual prayer and reflection until further notice.
We will still be streaming services at 11am on Sundays which you can access on our Facebook page. Similarly our Wednesday Morning prayer will continue, please get in touch if you’d like to join us.
If you have any other concerns or would like to talk or pray, please get in touch.
We’re praying for you all, that you will know God’s peace and presence in this difficult time.
- Sunday services will continue to be live streamed on our Facebook page.
- Please be aware of localised restrictions. The Church garden remains open to visitors and social distancing and all rules should be followed.
- Whilst engaging in an activity garden, all parties should adhere to social distancing guidelines at all times. This means people should be 2 metres apart or more than 1 metre apart as well as taking extra steps to stay safe (such as wearing face coverings) to reduce the risk of transmission. (full guidance at Government Guidelines)
- Wednesday services in the building will restart at a later date, but will continue fortnightly online for the time being (please contact us with details how to join this service)
- Other services (e.g. Taizé Services) will also restart at a later date, and further announcements will be made in due course.
- Our monthly discussion group, Breakfast with the Bible, will continue online only on the first Sunday of the month (please contact us with how to join in this).
- We are not in a position to restart Messy Church for the time being, but will continue to provide monthly Messy Church online for the foreseeable future. Please visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/swinstaug)
What to expect when you come into the church?
- We have hygiene and social distancing measures in place which should be observed at all times. There are notices and signs to guide you in and out of the buildings, and we will maintain a 2 metre social distancing rule in place.
- You can check into the church using the NHS COVID-19 Test and Trace app on your smartphone. If you are not able to do this, we will ask for your contact details, following a request from the government for names of attendees to be recorded and kept for 21 days to assist ‘test and trace’ if required.
- Due to being an enclosed, public space, in line with Government guidance, face coverings will be mandatory to all visitors and worshippers. We will have them available should you forget to bring one. Worship leaders, readers and those reading the prayers are not required to wear a face covering for their role in the service.
- Full guidance from the Church of England can be found at https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches
What will happen during the service?
- During our service, we will have readings from the bible, a time of prayer, reflections on the bible readings, and be a space to connect with God. While we are currently not able to sing hymns, we will use some recorded music and organ music during our services to enhance the worship.
- The words to all services will be on the screen, and no hymn books, service books or news sheets will be used.
- Those reading the prayers and intercessions will be asked to sit at the front of the church so that they do not need to pass anyone when walking to the lectern.
- We will not be accepting cash collections for the time being. We do have contactless payment available at the back of church, so that you can give your weekly offertory or a donation to support our work in the community.
- For the time being, children and young people should be supervised by the parent or guardian only. There are two pews at the back of church for families to use.
- We will not be serving after service coffee or any refreshments, and part of the Parish Room has been screened off to avoid congestion in that area of the building.