Holy Communion in a time of Covid-19 - Working to keep you safe!

 

As St. John’s reopens for public worship there will be a mixture of excitement and apprehension for all of us. It has been a long four and a half months without the comfort of receiving the Sacrament. What follows is an outline of what the Team and I are doing to make worship as safe as we can. We fully understand that many people will not be ready to return to Church at this time, so encourage you all to catch us as we live stream the service or on “catch up” on our Youtube channel!

Following Government guidelines and advice form the Church of England, Communion services will resume with several alterations designed to minimise any possible exposure to Covid-19.

In order to make this as safe as possible:

1. Please follow the Churchwardens'/ Duty Wardens' directions when in Church. They know the plan and will stick to the guidance worked out to allow the service to flow safely.

2. Pre-booking a place is necessary for social distancing and Track and Trace in the event of anyone becoming positive for the virus. Booking is done by household via the link sent each week on the Parish Mailing. We are limited to 18 “Bubbles” per service.

3. Any positive test result for Covid-19 must be reported to the Vicar, Ministry Team, or Churchwardens so that we may inform others that they need to be tested. Your name will not be disclosed under any circumstances. This is in accordance with the Government’s Track and Trace initiative and under the supervision of Debra Barrett, our Covid Prevention Co-ordinator.

4. HM Government has required face coverings to be worn while inside the Church building and during any contact outdoors before and after the service.

5. Hand sanitiser is freely available upon entry and exit of the Church, as well as inside the Coffee Lounge door should you need to use the loo during the service. Please strictly adhere to hand washing and sanitising in order to limit exposure to any virus.

6. A pre-printed leaflet is available near the font to guide you through the service. Please drop this in the container provided by the exit for recycling or take it home with you.

7. We are not allowed to sing, but Barry Eaton will be on hand to play the organ before and after the service.

8. Readers, Intercessors, and the Celebrant are allowed to remove their face masks for their roles leading/ facilitating worship. These people along with our videographer will be allocated seats in the Lady Chapel chancel in order to free up “Bubbles” in the body of the Church for others.

9. The Collection and Offertory will NOT take place as usual. The collection plates are available for donations by the main entrance and the Tower doors.

10. The bread to be consecrated is covered at all times up until the distribution. The Celebrant will consume the consecrated bread and wine AFTER everyone else has received.

11. At the distribution of Communion please follow the wardens’ directions as we queue single-file to come up to the High Altar. Communion is offered in the Host alone. After receiving please return to your seat by exiting through the vestry door to the left and walk through the Coffee Lounge back into Church. This one way system helps lower the risk to you and everyone else.

12. After the service participants may socialise if they wish outdoors keeping to social distancing and face coverings as we have during open Church on Sunday afternoons.