St Bartholomew's Milehouse, Plymouth
St Bartholomew's Milehouse, Plymouth

Coronavirus

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.

 

  • 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.  
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  • Please wear a face covering in the church building, this is currently advised unless you have medical excemption. 

 

  • Please use the red lines on the floor and on the pews to maintain space.  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 we ask that you are willing to have your name/presence recorded or use the Test and trace sign in points.

 

  • 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 a priest.

 

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

 

  • 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: the priest will wear a mask and gloves at this point.   ( 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.

 

  • 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 use the red lines on the floor and pews to guide you. 

 

 

 

 

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Fr Richard 2013