Covid-19

Arrangements in place from 19th July 2021

This services will be broadcast live on the St Matthew's YouTube channel.   Details of our services can be found on our Services page and a recording of the service will also be available via St Matthew’s YouTube channel.

New arrangements from 19th July

Philippians 2.4 Let each of you look not to your own interests but the interests of others.

Since the Government restrictions have now changed drastically, after much thought and prayer we have put together these guidelines. This advice will last until September (unless things change and subject to advice from the Church of England and the Government).

We ask that everyone continues to wear a mask, unless given medical advice not to. If it makes it possible for more members of the church to continue attending, the inconvenience of a mask becomes a symbol of Christ’s love working out in us. The reasoning is this:

  • infection rates are going up at the moment, and at higher rate in Oxford than many places
  • there is a risk of getting COVID 19 even if you are vaccinated
  • some members of the congregation are much more vulnerable to COVID 19 even if they are vaccinated
  • masks help with reducing transmission
  • all our younger people are not yet fully vaccinated/ protected

Please also bear in mind that we have members of the church who have been told not to wear a mask for medical reasons: please do not challenge people. You can speak to Jenni about any concerns.

Please continue to sanitise your hands when you come in and go out.

The one-way system will remain in place, as will other COVID measures such as ventilation (this will be increased over the summer months).

We continue to ask that you enjoy each other’s company outside the building at the end of the service.

The west side of the church has pews which will remain at 2m distance.

In the matter of singing, we await the advice of the Church of England. However, our proposal in the meantime is that those who wish to sing may do so, behind a mask and gently, from July 19th. The west side will remain for those who do not wish to sing.

Beginning August 1st, we will provide a team to serve coffee, tea and squash outside. You may bring your own cup or we will provide one. If one person could get the drinks for a household this would be hugely helpful.

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.

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 appropriate distance apart 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.

After church

Please do not linger to chat inside the church building after the service.

Other arrangements

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.