A letter to all members and friends – July 2020
We hope this letter finds you and your family safe and well after what has been a challenging time for us all.
Now that we are seeing the easing of the lockdown and with it the government advice that churches can plan to reopen, the Elders are looking at what needs to happen before we can open so that all are safeguarded and we adhere to government guidelines. These guidelines as you will be aware are changing very frequently as the situation unfolds.
Closing down was reasonably straightforward. Opening up has given the Elders some interesting new challenges around the need to keep distancing, the requirement to clean surfaces after each service/meeting, the ability to contact trace where necessary and so on. We also need to review who can use the premises. While obviously the congregation has first call on the premises, we are very mindful that some of the groups who would normally use the premises service very vulnerable people in our community for whom isolation has been extremely difficult. We need to see how and if we can accommodate some of them to restart.
In the next two to three weeks we are conducting risk assessments and looking at the practical requirements of reopening the premises for our use and for some of the community groups with the greatest need. As you are probably aware the Food Bank has continued to operate its vital service throughout the lockdown from the hall.
You are probably also aware that resuming worship activity will be different as singing is not permissible, distancing is required which may limit numbers and there will be no opportunity for coffee and tea after the service.
The Elders are being guided by advice from the URC nationally which in turn is following government policy and guidelines. This includes an assessment tool to guide us all about our personal situation and a copy is included at the end of this letter for your own use.
We would hope that some activity will be possible by early to mid-September, but this will be dependent on the outcome of the assessments made over the next two to three weeks. A further letter will be sent detailing possible arrangements when appropriate.
In the meantime, should you require any further information or wish to comment please do so through your own Elder.
Peace and blessings to you all