Open for Worship and Individual Prayer
Updated: Friday 25th September 2020 (Changes in bold blue text)
The church is open for Sunday services at 11am. This is in addition to opening on Saturday mornings for private prayer and reflection at 9.30am. Your safety when visiting the church during the current pandemic is our top priority.
We look forward to welcoming you!
- Weekly Sunday services are now taking place in church and we will continue to stream these services on our Facebook page. Our Sunday services will now alternate between Family Service and Family Communion.
- 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.
- The church will be cleaned after Saturday opening ready for Sunday services.
- While there is no limit to the number of people allowed in to the building attending services, for the time being, we will limit numbers to 40 in the nave plus the minister and organist to enable social distancing to be maintained.
- People are not allowed to congregate in groups of more than six in the church grounds or the building. Please be aware of the number of people around you and ensure there are no more than six people per group. This does not affect the number of people worshipping.
- From 28th September the maximum number of people allowed at a wedding is 15.
- Baptisms can take place providing appropriate steps are taken to minimise risk. If the baptism is taking place as part of a regular act of worship the usual requirements for public worship apply. From the 28th September, standalone life events will be subject to the ‘rule of six’ limits. We are seeking Government clarification on this and will update our guidance once detailed documentation is published.
- 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.