Reopening St Michael’s Church
 
Dear St Michael’s Church Family,
You may have seen the Government announcements recently on opening up churches for private prayer and now for worship. This week we have been able to open the church during the day for private prayer at set times with a steward in attendance to ensure social distancing and to clean.
 
The Church will be open for Private Prayer on Saturdays from 10.00am - 4.00pm
 
We are now holding a Sunday service back in church this coming Sunday at 9.45 a.m. This is of course a cause for celebration, but we are going to have to be very very careful about how we go about this.
 
We recognise that many people, especially those deemed to be particularly vulnerable, will feel that it is too soon to come back to church, and no one should feel under any pressure to do so. Our main Sunday worship will continue to be online for the foreseeable future.
 
We are operating in line with Government and Church of England guidance on social distancing and hygiene. The following precautions will be in place -
 
The service this Sunday will be a version of the online service adapted slightly for the church with no Holy Communion.
 
There will be no singing and therefore no choir, although there will be music.
 
Children are welcome to attend, but we cannot offer Sunday school or creche facilities. Young children may wish to bring their own toys.
 
Social distancing of 2m will be in place in the church, although household groups and those who are in ‘bubbles’ together will be able to sit together. People will therefore be guided to their seats by a sidesperson.
 
Everyone will need to hand sanitise on arrival and before leaving the church. If a queue builds up this will need to be socially distanced.
 
The congregation will need to print off their own orders of service from the weekly bundle to use in church. These must be taken home again at the end of the service.
In order to assist with ‘track and trace’ we will need to keep a record
of everyone who attends (names only). This will be destroyed after
three weeks.
 
At the end of the service we will need to leave the building row by row so that we can maintain social distancing.
 
We cannot offer coffee after church, and people should not gather socially after the service.
 
If the weather is fine I will be standing in the churchyard after the service for socially distanced greetings. If you would like a longer chat I’d be delighted to arrange this at another time.
 
Please remember that you cannot offer lifts to church to anyone outside your household or ‘bubble’.
 
The church will be cleaned after the service before it is reopened for visitors on Monday.
 
From all of the above you will see that we have thought long and hard about how to ensure we are as safe as possible at church. With social distancing it is certainly the case that we won’t all fit into the building. The exact number we can accommodate depends on whether people come as individuals or as family groups.
 
It would be helpful to know if you are planning to come to church on Sunday so that we have some idea of numbers.
 
If all goes well this week, Standing Committee have agreed that we might offer a short simple service of Holy Communion on Sunday 12 July. There are extensive rules about how we go about this too!
 
Peace be with you all,
Diana
--
Revd Diana Young
Vicar, St Michael's Woburn Sands
Tel: 07887296588

Published 27 Jun 20