Re-opening Bearwood Chapel for public worship

We now have permission from the Government to re-open our building for public worship.  So, we are really encouraged to be opening this Sunday, 5th July.  I want to take the opportunity here to explain what we are doing. Ina follow up article I will explain why we are taking this approach. I also hope to include an article later sharing some thoughts on how we might take things further at the right time.

At this point, I want to emphasise that everything we are proposing has been risk assessed and at this stage is provisional. Our aim is to open on Sunday but that will be reviewed prior to the weekend. We will also be continuing to provide the live-stream on Facebook, Zoom communion service and other Facebook and YouTube content for the foreseeable future. You may choose to continue to watch and join in from home.

What will happen?

If you join us on Sunday then:

The building will open at 10:00am. 

You will be asked to queue at appropriate social distance outdoors until it is possible for you to enter.  A strict one-way system will be in place that will direct you via washrooms and hand sanitisers. Please wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds.  From there you will proceed into the main hall. 

We have set out chairs in groups of 7. This means that either a household can sit together on one row or individual attendees can sit spaced out. We are asking that you wear face-masks and sit at least two chairs apart from other. 

We plan to project the live-stream service onto our big screen at 10:30am. We are going with that option rather than live-streaming from the building. I will explain why in a separate post. 

We will close the building at 11:15am.

Who should come

We are encouraging those who are fit and able to plan to start joining with us within the next few weeks. We are aware that some people may still feel nervous about resuming public worship and we want you to come when you feel ready to. If you want to talk through your concerns with one of the church leaders, then please give us a call. 

Those who are shielding should continue to do so over the next month. We note that there is a change to the guidance on this from August but we will review that at the time. Over 70s should continue to follow the specific advice for them. Families are welcome with children but please note that at this stage we will not be providing Sunday Club activities. You may want to consider whether your children will be able to sit still and follow social distancing guidelines.

Other practicalities

We will ask you to wear a face-mask. Disposable ones are available from the Chapel.  Everyone should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds on entry to the building.  We will be cleaning surfaces and handles regularly but we advise you to avoid touching where possible. Please do not shake hands or hug. We recommend a wave to signal welcome.  Please bring your own Bible or read the words on the screen.

We are currently unable to serve food and drink so there will be no refreshments available. We are looking at how and when to re-commence sharing communion at the building.

Giving is preferable by standing order or bank transfer but we will have a box available for cheques.  No cash donations please.

Conclusion

We are still a long way from normal, but we want to make a start. We believe that the physical gathering of God’s people, as far as is possible, is important. We are looking forward to starting to see you all in person soon.

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