Covid-19

From September 2020 we will be meeting for a worship service each Sunday in our church building.  This service will be live-streamed so that everyone can be part of our worship, whether there in person or not.  Details of our services can be found on our Services page and the live stream is available via St Matthew’s YouTube channel.

There are clear rules and guidance from the Government and Church of England to ensure we maintain safe practices as we gradually re-open our doors for Sunday worship. We are following these guidelines closely and have completed appropriate risk assessments.  A summary of the main steps taken and precautions which must be taken by anyone entering the church building is below.

We want to welcome everyone, but we ask that you do not come to the church building if you are feeling unwell or have any symptoms of COVID 19.

Cleaning and hygiene

The church is being regularly cleaned in line with government guidelines.

The toilets are available if needed but we will limit to one user at a time in each of the male and female facilities.  Before using the toilet, please apply sanitiser, then wash your hands with hot water and soap afterwards. Discard paper towels in the appropriate bin. Before leaving the toilet, re-sanitise any areas you have been in contact with, as well as your hands. 

Arrival at church

Please enter the church building through the glass doors and follow social distancing rules if you need to wait to enter.  Hand sanitizer is available just inside the doors which we ask everyone to use this: please don’t linger at the doors or sanitizer station as we would like to get people into the building with minimal queues outside. There are clear signposts and friendly welcomers on hand to guide you to a seat.

If your child is attending one of our children’s group, please take them straight to the parish centre before you come into church.

Please wear a mask when you enter the church and for the duration of the service, unless you are not able to do so for medical reasons.  We will have spare masks if you need one.

Track and Trace

When you enter the church the welcomers will take your name and (if we don’t have them) contact details for Track and Trace.  Please notify us by contacting the church office if you develop symptoms after you have been at a service.

Seating and one-way system

Chairs and pews are set at 2 metres distance and marked to maintain social distance. Our welcomers will guide you to a seat.  Households can of course sit together without observing social distancing. Please don’t move the chairs as these have been carefully positioned.

A one-way system is in place and you will leave the church building via the church kitchen door.

Holy Communion

In line with Church of England guidance, we are administering communion ‘in one kind’– that means bread only.   A one-way system will operate for Communion distribution and the welcomers will be on hand to direct you. Please feel free not to take Communion if this isn’t right for you at this time.

Other arrangements

There may be music before and after the service and during Communion, but at the moment  congregational singing is not permitted.

We will be livestreaming the service, so if you are concerned about being filmed, please let the welcomers know and they will seat you somewhere where there’s no risk of this. We realise that there are good reasons why people cannot be filmed so please don’t hesitate to say so.  However, we would also like to have some congregation visible in the livestream, so please say if you are happy to be seen ‘on camera’.

At the moment we can’t offer the usual style of prayer ministry because of the need for social distancing. However, if you would like to be prayed for, please write your prayer down (anonymously if you wish) and put it in our prayer ministry box.

At the moment we are not permitted to offer refreshments after the service. If you would like to chat to people after the service, feel free to do so in the church garden, whilst, of course, complying with social distancing rules.

’Drinks on the Terrace’,

An opportunity to chat with others via Zoom and listen to an informal interview with a member of the congregation, will continue to take place at 12.00 noon after the Sunday service.  If you would like to take part, please contact the church office for details.