Coronavirus

As of writing, Thursday 2nd July, everything seems clear for me to open up Sundays Service at St Bartholomew’s to the public.

 

There are important instructions to be followed for the safety of the congregation and clergy.  It may seem as if society has laxed on it’s vigilance, we are not allowed to.  Receiving Holy Communion is a close up personal action, probably the closest you will have been to someone outside of your agreed bubble of contacts: you certainly will not have been ‘fed’ by anyone unless you have had a spell in hospital. Sitting amongst others in a public building will be a new experience, maybe even venturing out on your own for the first time.

 

There are many instructions issued by both Government and the Church of England which we will have to follow.  It will seem odd at first and very different to how we went to church in February.  Everything has changed since then.  What you have been following on the internet each week, on YouTube, Facebook, though emails, is what you will experience when you decide the time is right for you to return to our main service on Sunday.

 

These are the important facts to follow:

 

  • We have only one entry/exit it must remain clear.  The Church will open at 9.40am on Sunday for you to enter. The doors will remain open throughout, whatever the weather! Our available capacity is 54 people.  If full you will not be able to come in.

 

  • When you do enter, sanitise your hands at one of the dispensers and go directly to an available place in the pews.  Do not congregate around the back of church.  Do not search for your old place, please fill up from the spaces available at the front.  DO NOT MOVE from your seat and avoid standing up, turning around and saying/waving hello to friends. 
  •  
  • Please wear a face covering in the church building.  If you are unable to do so, please see the notice about private appointments.

 

  • Do not cross any red lines on the floor, do not sit on any red lines on pews.  Half the pews are closed in order to maintain the distance required between worshippers.  The spaces available are enough for two people from each household/bubble.  The service booklet will be placed on the pews 48hours ahead of the service in accordance with hygiene instructions.  You must take the booklet home with you.

 

  • Do not pass any red barrier cord.  The front (Chancel, Choir stalls, Sanctuary, vestries) of the church are out of bounds.

 

  • There are no cushions and no bibles (Bring your own). 

 

  • If you come to church you must be willing to have your name/presence recorded.  This is in accordance with the Governments requirement for records to assist with Track and Trace programmes.

 

  • Please be aware that at the moment we cannot offer Toilet facilities.

 

  • No congregational or other singing is permitted.  You will hear music recorded by the Davies family as you have on the broadcasts.  (Organ music may be introduced shortly).

 

  • You are asked to respond quietly to all parts of the service.  Raised voices are discouraged by Government advice in all venues.  This will be strange at first.

 

  • Before we begin I will ask who would like a prayer candle lit on their behalf.  These will be placed on the stands in the Sanctuary by myself.

 

  • Please be aware that we continue to record and broadcast services!  You will not be in any picture but can be heard.

 

  • The Service will be what you are used to but shorter.  I don’t know how much yet, but maybe 40-50 minutes.  Stand and sit as usual. 

 

  • We DO NOT share a handshake at the Peace.

 

  • Communion will be brought to you, DO NOT MOVE.  Just stand and place you hands out.  The Holy bread will be dropped gently into you hand: I will wear a mask and gloves at this point.  The Hosts (bread ready for consecration) will have been placed aside 72hours beforehand to eliminate any chance of contamination.  ( If you drop the Holy bread you must pick it up and consume it yourself.)

 

  • At the end of the service DO NOT MOVE until you are told to by me.  As we have one exit, we will have to leave in an arranged order.  Stay put and please be patient.

 

  • The church will be shut at 11.00am and opened later on Sunday between 1.00pm and 2.00pm for those wishing to pray privately.

 

  • Wednesday and Thursday’s Service will continue on-line for the moment.

 

These instructions are extensive but should make our return to worshipping together as easy and moving as possible.  We are permitted to open and under no obligation: if we play our part and follow the rules we will be fine.  I, nor any of us, wants returning to church to be part of Covid-19’s path of destruction.  We should all be aware that this is all subject to Government and Bishops permission.  It is your decision whether to come on Sunday’s, please pay heed to advice from Public Health England, your Doctor and circumstance as you make up your mind.

 

No Parish Priest ever expected to have to speak to his congregation like this, believe me it is not what I hoped for you all at the beginning of 2020.  But we are a people of God, a Resurrection people (which is why I have left the Resurrection dressings on the cross for when we return!).  Let us be hopeful, prayerful and responsible and we may come through this and hug again some day!

 

With every blessing

 

Fr Richard

 

 

Do not cross any red lines on the floor, do not sit on any red lines on pews. 

 

Our Church Hall remains closed

until 1st September at the earliest,

subject to Government regulations.

 

 

Our risk assesment is copied below:

 

Risk assessment

 

Church:

St Bartholomew Plymouth

 

Assessor’s name:

Fr Richard Silk

 

Date completed:

4th July 2020

 

Review date:

1st August 2020

 

 

 

Area of Focus

Controls required

Additional information

Action by whom?

Completed – date and name

Access to church buildings for clergy for purposes of private prayer and/or livestreaming

 

 

One point of entry to the church building clearly identified

 

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

A suitable lone working policy has been consulted if relevant.

NA

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Buildings have been aired before use.

Rear windows

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Check for animal waste and general cleanliness.

Grounds closed

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Ensure water systems are flushed through before use.

                                                           

 

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Switch on and check electrical and heating systems if needed. Commission system checks as necessary.

 

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Holy water stoups and the font are empty.

All Holy water removed to cordoned off area

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Ensure safe use of equipment needed for livestreaming: avoid exceeding safe load on sockets, cables/tripod causing trip hazard

Cordoned off

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Deciding whether to open to the public

Discuss with nearby venues and businesses to ensure that the timing and practical arrangements for using the church are compatible.

NA

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Update your website, A Church Near You, and any relevant social media.

Done

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Consider if a booking system is needed, whether for general access or for specific events/services

NA

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

If opening to tourists consider applying for the Visit Britain ‘Good to Go’ standard mark

NA

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Preparation of the Church for access by members of the public for any permitted purposes, including worship and tourism

Confirm that all steps (above) for access by clergy have been carried out before anyone else accesses the building.

Done

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Review CofE guide on cleaning church buildings. Complete the ‘cleaning’ section of this risk assessment (below).

Done

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Choose one point of entry into the church to manage flow of people and indicate this with notices, keeping emergency exits available at all times. Where possible use a different exit.

Main door

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Make any temporary arrangements for people to wait or queue outside the building (taking into account any consequential risks arising from people gathering outside).

Notice on gate

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Where possible, doors and windows should be opened temporarily to improve ventilation.

Left open during service

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Remove Bibles/literature/hymn books/leaflets

Removed

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Cordon off or remove from public access any devotional objects or items (if they are liable to be touched or closely breathed on)

Candle stands isolated in Sanctuary

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Consider if pew cushions/kneelers need to be removed as per government guidance

Removed

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Remove or isolate children’s resources and play areas

Removed

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Walk through the church to plan for physical distancing in seats, aisles, at the altar rail, including safe flow of visitors. Remember 2m in all directions from each person (or 1m with risk mitigation if absolutely necessary).               

Marked at 2m

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Clearly mark out seating areas including exclusion zones to maintain distancing.

Red marking and instruction

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Clearly mark out flow of movement for people entering and leaving the building to maintain physical distancing requirements.

Notice board and verbal instruction

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Limit access to places were the public does not need go, maybe with a temporary cordon in needed.

Barriers erected

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Determine placement of hand sanitisers available for visitors to use.

Doors and church

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Determine if temporary changes are needed to the building to facilitate social distancing

Chapel chairs thinned out

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Put up notices to remind visitors about important safe practices e.g. no physical contact, practice hand washing etc.

Tower boards outside

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Ensure high-risk surfaces and touch points have been wiped with appropriate sanitiser spray or disposable wipes

Available

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Check that handwashing facilities have adequate soap provision and paper towels, and a bin for the paper towels.

Out of bounds

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Where there are toilet facilities, ensure an adequate supply of soap and disposable hand towels, and a bin for towels, are available.

Out of bounds

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Ensure all waste receptacles have disposable liners (e.g. polythene bin bags) to reduce the risk to those responsible for removing them.

Out of bounds

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

If possible, provide safe means for worshippers and visitors to record their name and contact details; retain each day’s record for 21 days

Notice given, register to be recorded

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Give due notice of the resumption of use of the building to neighbours, congregation and wider community, ensuring that visitors and worshippers will know what to expect when they come.

Notice given

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Cleaning the church before and after general use (no known exposure to anyone with Coronavirus symptoms)

 

Advice on cleaning church buildings can be found here.

If the church building has been closed for 72 hours between periods of being open then there is no need for extra cleaning to remove the virus from surfaces.

 

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

If 72-hour closure is not possible then check all cleaners are not in a vulnerable group or self-isolating.

Weekly professional cleaning

Clean as you like

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Set up a cleaning rota to cover your opening arrangements.

Weekly professional cleaning

Clean as you like

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

All cleaners provided with gloves (ideally disposable).

above

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Suitable cleaning materials provided, depending on materials and if historic surfaces are to be cleaned.

above

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Confirm person responsible for removing potentially contaminated waste (e.g. hand towels) from the site.

NA

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Confirm the frequency for removing potentially contaminated waste (e.g. hand towels) from the site – suggested daily removal.

NA

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

Cleaning the church after known exposure to someone with Coronavirus symptoms

If possible close the church building for 72 hours with no access permitted.

TBD

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

If 72-hour closure is not possible then follow Public Health England guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings.

Will be closed

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

If the building has been quarantined for 72 hours, then carry out cleaning as per the normal advice on cleaning.

Clean as you like

Fr R

4 July 2020

Fr R

 

 

 

 

We are located at:


13 Outland Road

Plymouth

PL2 3BZ

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If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us:

 

+44 1752 518030 +44 1752 518030

fr.richard@virginmedia.com

 

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