We look forward to reopening for public worship on Sunday 5th July at the beginning of Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan.
It is clear from guidelines issued by the Government of Ireland, the Representative Church Body and the United Dioceses that we have a duty of care to do everything possible to prevent the spread of Covid-19, to limit exposure to risk, and to provide clear guidelines for best practice to be followed by all those who attend church or use parish property.
A return to church services requires meticulous preparation to ensure that the church building and the liturgy are safe for all parties. In light of the cleaning required between services it will not be possible to hold two services on a Sunday morning for the foreseeable future. Until government guidelines allow a Sunday Service will take place at 10:15a.m. not at the earlier time of 9.00a.m. As usual during the summer months there will be no service on Thursday morning.
At the time of writing it is a requirement that social distancing of 2 metres, outside of family groups, must be maintained. To achieve this, the seating in the church will be marked out to indicate designated seating locations available for parishioners. Consequently, the church building will have a limited number of places available for worshippers.
The Eucharist is the central act of public worship in our church, and it is hoped that in the future this may continue to be the focus of our public worship. New guidelines for the celebration of the Eucharist are expected shortly, and until such advice is issued all services will be Morning Prayer. The Diocese has advised that it will not be possible to sing in church, but organ music will be permitted. It is hoped that at the earliest opportunity singing will again form part of our worship. As usual a printed single-use booklet will be provided for every worshipper at each service. In line with government requirements, services should not exceed 30 minutes in length.
ARRIVING and LEAVING CHURCH
Parishioners should arrive at the main door keeping a safe 2 metre distance from others, and use the hand sanitizer dispenser in the porch before entering the building and touching any
door handles or other surfaces.
Parishioners should follow the directions of the Church Wardens as to where they should sit. Only designated ‘safe seats’ may be used and under no circumstances should seat positions be moved around. Only single residency family groups can sit together.
Parishioners are requested to complete and return the ‘Attendance Box’ on the service sheet on their way out. Pens will be provided in pews to complete details. Information provided will be retained for 21 days to assist with contact tracing, if necessary.
At the end of the service there will be a retiring collection.
Parishioners should leave by the main door. Please do not socialize or move about unnecessarily whilst in the church building. Two metre social distancing is to be observed at all times, including before and after the service in the church grounds.
Current government and public health authority advice suggests that face coverings should be used when people are in an enclosed space with others. Any masks, gloves or tissues can be disposed of in pedal operated bins, located at the exit of the church.
BAPTISMS, FUNERALS and WEDDINGS
HSE advice on the numbers permitted at funerals and weddings will be adhered to. Currently 25 people may attend a funeral service in the church and a similar number at a wedding. The rector may celebrate baptismal ceremonies as stand-alone events outside normal service times.
No refreshments or post service coffee will be provided until further notice.
PARISH ORGANISATIONS / MEETINGS
At present the Northover Hall is closed to all organisations. Further information will be available in due course as to when normal activities can resume.
SIGNING IN BOOK
A sign-in book in the church vestry, and the parochial hall will be available on a table inside the door of both buildings. Apart from attendance at church services as described above, these books must be signed by anyone visiting the church or Northover Hall. A record of all people visiting the church and Northover Hall is required for contact tracing.
The parish administrator may when required work from the parish office to carry out an urgent or specific task. Visitors to the parish office should telephone ahead to meet the Administrator or the Rector as 2 metre social distancing is not practical in the offices.
Risk Assessment for use of premises:
Rector & Rector’s Glebewarden
Cleaning of buildings:
Ordering of PPE / requisites:
Rector & Rector’s Glebewarden