Attending church FAQ

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FAQs: Attending St. Andrew's and St. Michael's during the Covid-19 pandemic

We will be holding services at St. Andrew's, Alwalton and St. Michael's, Chesterton from Sunday 12th July - please see the website calendar for details

As we open up the church buildings for services again, you might have some questions:

Will there be social distancing?
Yes, we will be asking you to observe social distancing, preferably 2 metres for your own and everyone else's safety. We know that the 1 metre plus rule does exist but there will be vulnerable individuals in our services, so even if you feel confident being less than 2 metres away from others please be considerate of everyone else.

How will we be seated?
Seats have been separated or pews and rows blocked off. Please sit where indicated.

Will there be Holy Communion?
No, not yet.

Should I wear a face mask?
Yes. It is now a requirement to wear a face-covering that covers both your mouth and nose whilst you are in the church building; before, during and after the service. The only exception is if you have an underlying medical condition that makes it impossible for you to wear a face-covering or if you are leading the service or an element of it (the Bible reading or prayers) during which you may temporarily remove the covering so that you can be heard clearly.  Children under 11 are also exempted.

Will there be hymn books or service sheets?
Alwalton will be projecting all liturgy onto its screens. Chesterton will have disposable sheets - please take these home with you. We are not allowed to use hymn books, Bibles or service books.

Will there be singing?
No.

Will there be refreshments after the service?
No.

Will we share the peace?
No.

Will Children's Church be running?
No, not for the foreseeable future

Can we gather together and chat before or after the service?
I'm afraid not.

Will there be a collection?
We are trying to discourage people from giving a donation by cash. The option to give via contactless will be available at St. Andrew's. If you haven't already, we would ask that you consider setting up a regular gift via the Parish Giving scheme.

Are the toilets open?
Yes, but we would encourage you to only use them in an emergency. Towels have been replaced with disposable hand towels.

What should I expect when I arrive?
A warm welcome and hand sanitiser. We will have to take a register of everyone attending so you might be asked for your name and contact details. Please then follow the directions to your seat. Please do not congregate around the door before the service or at the end.

Do I need to book?
No. We are not taking online bookings as this would make it difficult for the very people who have been unable to join in our online services during the lockdown. However, we have limited our seating to about 40 individuals so please arrive early to ensure a seat. If you have to queue outside the building please observe social distancing.

Should I attend if I feel unwell?
No. If you are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 you must stay at home and follow the government's instructions.

Should I attend if I am vulnerable or shielding?
If you fall into either of these groups you are advised not to attend but the decision is yours.

We know that services will be very different from those before the lockdown; our hope and prayer is that we will eventually be able to return to "normal".  We ask that in the meantime you please bear with us as we seek to obey the directives from the government and the Church of England. We are looking forward to seeing you again soon and worshipping with you but ask you to be wise and considerate as you decide whether or not to join us.