Church On The Rise

COTR - COVID GUIDELINES - Revised Sept. 2021

We are pleased to announce the recommencement of our In-Person services on Sunday 26th Sept 2021 following a long Covid Season where the church has been closed and has been operating an Online Service each Sunday since March 2020 and our start and stop attempts since July. Our last Service pre-Covid in our Church which actually was on March 15th 2020 was the first service that we livestreamed and of course the following Sunday the country was in lockdown. During that week leading up to the lockdown our Church Leadership made a decision that we would change our affiliation to the Destiny Church Network based in Scotland and that has proved a great benefit to us during this Covid season

During this season we acknowledge it hasn’t been the same and I am sure we have all missed each other but one thing has been important for us to look forward to and that is getting back to Church in person and also to come out of this season stronger than when we were placed in lockdown 18mths ago. Church actually will not be the same as in previous times as this season has moved us forward and we probably will be continuing to do more services livestreamed as well. Its surprising how many people have been watching our services online averaging about 3 to 400 people at times and that last service pre-covid we livestreamed  in March 2020 saw it reach 743 people and quite a lot of people engaging. We would have a big problem if all those people turned up to Church so please expect a difference in church from now on. Also just the last few months it has been great to receive requests for prayer from different parts of the world such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, and USA and during this season we have had the privilege of leading at least 2 people to the Lord online. We also have been connected by a young lady called Favour from Nigeria who is an orphan and who lost her parents in February this year from a car crash and whose 2 sisters have been sold into slavery. She holds a degree in Psychology but cant get a job. She has become a regular attender of our services online and has classed us all as her new family. We have managed to sign her up for Destiny College online course in a Certificate for Christian Leadership and who knows what God has in store for her.

Now its important that we continue to understand the remaining Government COVID rules and regulations that affect us as a church so please read these Guidelines as they form part of how we will be operating for the time being and are the terms and conditions in allowing you to attend our in-person services. Bear in mind also that the guidelines do change quite often and we will endeavour to let you know any changes as soon as is possible. As we move forward to continued more easing of these guidelines we will find more freedom in what we can do. Many references have been made to us that other places have been showing more freedom during the early part of the covid season but can we assure you other churches are responsible for their own actions whether that is within Government guidelines or not and we certainly don’t wish us to follow suit but show integrity in all our actions. Also please remember that the Covid virus is still with us and hasn’t gone away with us seeing increasing rates of Covid in Wales and we should take every precaution in our daily lives to limit the exposure of the virus by using a common sense approach not only to ourselves but to our fellow congregation.

Firstly then

BEFORE EACH SERVICE

  • We ask that anyone that has symptoms of Covid namely 1. A High temperature 2. A new, continuous cough and 3. a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste not to attend our service. We will be using a temperature gun on arrival to check this and refuse entry for those showing a high temperature. Please do not be offended if you are refused entry but understanding of the situation.
  • We ask that attendees follow the revised government guidelines on self-isolation after symptoms and/or positive test/contact tracing/returning from foreign travel etc 
  • It is advisable that anyone who is at high risk from coronavirus takes every precaution and if they are not sure whether to come to a service or not to err on caution and stay at home and watch the livestream service.
  • We remind car owners that the leadership’s advice is that you only drive to the church with people who are in your same family household bubble. Therefore we are still unable to offer lifts to anyone at this stage.
  • It would be useful if we stagger our arrival at the church as the front door will be our main pinch point on arrival which may have queues to enter our premises and on departure. Despite social distancing been relaxed by the Government guidelines they are still advising us that social distancing is still a good method to use in our Risk Assessment as a mitigation
  • An action plan will be in place by our Leadership Team in view of any Covid case that is known to have entered our premises and this may mean that services may have to temporarily close down until a full clean up operation is carried out and a revisit of our Risk Assessment is actioned.
  • Previous booking of seats via Eventbright has now been relaxed and therefore you will not need to book in advance however if individuals have not been vaccinated with 2 doses it would be useful if the Leadership Team were advised in advance (not compulsory but out of courteous intention) so that they can give due consideration to the special needs request which possible may mean allowing special areas of seating and possible full allowance of 2 metre social distancing.

 

 

 

Secondly then

ARRIVAL

  • All attendees over the age of 11 are required to wear a face covering/mask and to keep it on when entering the premises or moving around in the premises. Once seated and remaining seated the masks can be taken off but then placed on again once standing to sing worship together. We are unable to accept persons attending who unfortunately cannot wear a mask due to health reasons as this is unfair also to persons who have other health conditions. Children under 11 years of age don’t have to wear a mask. If you have forgotten to bring a mask then please ask us to supply you with one at the door on entering.
  • Social distancing measures although they have been relaxed are to be maintained reasonably wherever possible as you enter and as you think of others and their needs. Red circular signs means you need to stop before going further. Our Leadership Team will take your temperature and any high temperature shown you will be asked to not attend our service.
  • You will then be directed to the table where another red sign is and shown how to record your attendance on our Track and Trace Record Book. This is still a legal requirement that needs every individual to be accounted for to assist the Track and Trace authorities in the event of a Covid outbreak. For those who have the NHS app on their mobile there is a poster on the front door that can be scanned with the OCR information but the Track and Trace record book still needs to be completed.
  • You will then be escorted to the sanitiser unit to sanitise your hands before you enter the Church Hall
  • On entry to the Church Hall there is a red sign on the floor and you wait until you are invited inside. Most of the seating is straightforward but families will have particular seating sections and those needing special allowances. Once you are seated in the right seats you will need to sit down and stay there during the duration of the service unless you have to use the toilets or to leave the premises completely for any particular reason.
  • Although the tram lines have now been removed  there is still a one - way system only through the building to avoid any pinch points. So entry to the building is through our front door and exit is through the fire exit door on the stage end of the building. To proceed to the toilet and upstairs the door at the back on the right nearest the toilet is to be used not the main entrance to the church hall and when leaving the community hall upstairs the exit is via the back exit door and down the stairs and through the fire exit door 
  • Please read any signage on the floor as to direction and if wording is upside down it means you are going in the wrong direction
  • Please limit any physical contact between persons from different households/bubbles 
  • Seating arrangements have been adapted for allowance of some social distancing wherever possible so please do not move the chairs before, during or after the service
  • Signage is in place to remind you of safe practice so please adhere
  • Due to ventilation requirements our windows will be open so depending on the weather you are asked to bring a coat just in case. Please keep any items you bring to a minimum and it would be advisable for you to take any litter home with you. There will be bins around but this is going to be a high risk area for us.
  • Certain areas of our building and entrances/exits are out of bounds and will suitably have signage such as the known No Entry sign and please adhere to this
  • Toilets are available and again there is signage to ensure the right access and the right return to your seat. We are only using the Disabled toilet and therefore there may be queues so again consider social distancing if possible. Hand sanitisers and hand paper towels will be available and you will be expected to sanitise the toilet seat before leaving to assist the next person using the facility. If at all possible to reduce the usage at this pinch point then try and arrange to go to the toilet before you come to the service.
  • Please do not gather in groups except with members of your household inside and outside the church premises
  • All doors are open to reduce contact with door handles but will be sanitised regularly. Please do not close any doors 
  • There will be regular cleaning of surfaces likely to be touched with appropriate sanitiser spray

 

Thirdly

DURING THE SERVICE

  • We are allowed to take off our masks once seated and we are allowed to sing but we must put our masks on whilst singing or when we are moving around in the premises. 
  • There will be no passing of the collection plate/bag but on exit there will be a suitable receptacle to take your tithes and offerings which we will be very grateful if you kindly consider during this season we are in.
  • Presently there will be no communion service but we do celebrate this on our Online Growth Group session on Thursday night and it may well be that for the time being we will possibly include some further opportunities online.
  • Any Bibles are to be brought by yourselves and taken away at the end of the service
  • The service is been broadcast live on our church Facebook live platform and a recording is also been made to broadcast later on the You Tube Church Platform

And Fourthly

AFTER THE SERVICE AND FELLOWSHIP TIME IN COMMUNITY HALL UPSTAIRS

  • Once the service and closing prayers is over then you may leave the premises by putting your mask back on and via the fire exit door to the right of the stage and through the gate outside onto the front pavement. We must not exit through the front door that we entered and suitable signage reminds us. We may have to take it in turns to exit to avoid pinch points. Don’t forget the receptacle on exit for our collection offerings and tithes and there is also another sanitiser unit that you will need to use on exit.
  • For those staying for fellowship time and refreshments please place mask on exit the door nearest the toilet area and proceed left and then right up the stairs into the community Hall or for those needing to use the lift to wait in the lift area. Its advisable for individuals to use the lift on their own and not in a group.
  • On entering the Community Hall you will see individual separate tables with seats and these are to be kept as they are. Do not change the seating or add extra chairs to the tables. Once seated you can take your mask off. 
  • You will be served tea or coffee at your table by a server on a rota and you will not be able to come to the hatch to pick up refreshments.
  • We will not be using crockery but insulated double walled cups and milk cartons and sugar sachets will be on the table provided.  A selection of biscuits will be served in individual packets from the table. All used packets, cartons and empty sachets and cups are to be left on the table when you leave and will be cleared by those on the rota for that evening
  • You will need to exit on the left (not down the stairs as you came up  by the lift) of the room down the stairs and out through the fire exit door and through the gate and on to the front pavement outside.
  • No person is allowed in the kitchen except Rob and Kath who will be manning the refreshments  provision and the servers appointed for the night. 
  • We will need some help in cleaning, serving and keeping on top of things so if you can volunteer please let anyone know in the Leadership Team. 

OTHER POINTS

  • Please bear with us in the early weeks as this is all new to us and we all have never been this way before so lets be patient with each other
  • Don't feel that you have to come to the in-person service as we are aware that there are many who are still fearful of coming outside of their own home. We may be able to help you to engage online as an alternative 
  • We have tried as a Leadership to keep in touch with folk during this Covid season and we are excited about the opportunities available to us as a church coming out of this season so be encouraged
  • We will keep you posted of any other changes as soon as we are aware
  • Any questions or queries please feel free to ask anyone in the Leadership Team

 

It is important to read all these guidelines and understand them as they are laid out to protect us and keep us safe. May God truly bless you as you continue to fellowship with us and may we be blessed as a church as we go forward. Destiny's mantra for this year is "Together as One" so may we experience that with each other 

                                                                 CHURCH ON THE RISE LEADERSHIP TEAM

 

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  • Nahum 1-3   

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