Dear friends,

 

As I'm sure you are aware, the majority of legal restrictions surrounding Covid-19 came to an end on Monday 19th July. You will also be aware that, with the increasing number of cases and hospitalisations, we are being urged to be cautious. With this in mind, we are going to take a gradual approach to the loosening of restrictions in services with the following changes in place from Sunday 25th July.

  • We strongly encourage the continuation of mask wearing inside, unless you are exempt from wearing them. Masks have been shown to significantly reduce transmission to others, both of Covid-19 but also other viruses. 

  • Inside the churches, you will be able to choose where you sit rather than being allocated seats. You will be able to choose to sit with others from outside your household or bubble, but please respect those who would still feel more comfortable not mixing. In Broughton and Cransley, we will still leave every other pew empty.

  • You will not be directed when to leave at the end of the service, but please do leave space between you and other households as you leave. As the risk of transmission is a lot less outside, we are suggesting that any conversations take place outside, particularly over the summer months.

  • We will gradually be reintroducing singing, beginning with one hymn/song at the end of services. If you would feel more comfortable not being in the building for the singing, then you are very welcome to slip out at that point.

  • At communion services, we will continue to only distribute the bread to the congregation and it will be taken to where people are. Please wear a mask while the priest is near you.

  • Hand sanitiser will continue to be available. 

  • Restrictions on gathering outside will be lifted, so you will be free to chat and mingle outside.

I hope you understand why we are proceeding with caution in our services rather than removing all restrictions straight away. Although I know we would love to go straight back to how things were 18 months ago, we want to help people adjust to the changes and still feel safe worshipping together in church. As we have been reminded by the medical advisors, the pandemic is not over, so we have a collective responsibility to care for and protect one another as we move forwards. We will keep our plans under review and make changes as necessary.