Church Re-Opening

29th June 2020

Dear friends,

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. After 15 long weeks of being unable to gather together as a church family I am writing to share with you the good news that this Sunday, 5th July, we will be re-opening our building for public worship.

The elders and I are excited that services will be resuming, but the virus that caused us to close in the first place is still present, so for everyone’s safety we have put the following provisions in place. In doing so we are well aware that this will make church feel very different, so we ask for your patience and understanding as we do our best to navigate though these challenging times.

At this current time I feel a bit like Noah, who, long after the 40 days of rain had finished still had months of the confined safety of the ark to endure as the flood waters receded before he could step out on to dry land. The worst of lockdown may be over, but ‘normal’ life is still in the distance. But the same God who has sustained us this far, will by his grace, continue to guide and provide for us.

“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!”

Psalm 27:14

UPDATE 19th AUGUST 2020

Following recent consultations with public health authorities, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland has joined with Christian church leaders all over this island in formally recommending and encouraging the use of face coverings at all services of worship, along with the ongoing maintenance of 2 metre physical distancing, from Sunday 30th August 2020, and earlier if practicable. Read full statement here

Staying Safe at Church

Before you come to Church

  • While we feel it is the right time to restart services, it is up to each individual and family to decide if they will attend. Many are still feeling nervous about leaving home, and we don’t want to put pressure on anyone to come out.
  • If you are displaying any of the COVID-19 symptoms (a fever, a cough, breathing difficulties, a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste), or have been in close contact with anyone displaying such symptoms, then it is important to stay at home and contact your doctor.
  • For those who need to stay at home for whatever reason, our ‘Church at Home’ page will be updated with new content each week. Those have been receiving transcripts by post then these will continue to be mailed out, and just let me know at any stage if you want them to stop.

Entering the Building

For those who do decide to come on the 5th or the immediate weeks following, things will be a little bit different and we want you to know what to expect. All these measures will be reviewed regularly and restrictions will be eased as soon as it is appropriate to do so.

  • From August 30th we are recommending and encouraging the wearing of face coverings
  • You will be greeted with a smile outside (no handshakes or hugs for now).
  • There will be a one way system in place, so please look for and follow the signs.
  • Please wash your hands with the hand sanitiser provided in the vestibule.
  • Please go straight to your seat, and remain there until the end of the service
  • Strict social distancing will be in place so it is important to only sit in the marked pews and spaces (to help us make sure that there is place for everyone it would be useful to know each week in advance if you are planning on attending. Simply contact your elder to let them know, or filling out this form)

During the Service

  • It will be a shorter service than usual.
  • Please bring your own bible if you have one.
  • Unfortunately due to the higher risk there will be no singing, but there will be music to listen to and reflect on.
  • There will be no Sunday school or creche
  • Doors will be kept open for ventilation
  • There will be one toilet open emergency

Giving

  • There will be a plate by the door on the way out where you can leave your offering.
  • Alternatively you could give by setting up a temporary or permanent Standing Order, or make a one off Bank Transfer (email us for bank details)

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