Last weekend, the government announced that from June 15th Churches will be allowed to open for private prayer “in line with social distancing guidelines”. This requires much practical organisation and a great deal of paperwork. Many churches will not open, simply because of the work involved.
Fr Jeremy at Hednesford and I are keen to reopen our Churches for private prayer. We will keep the situation under review, but provided we can meet all the requirements in time, we hope to open for the first time at the end of the coming week, and from 21st to open each Church for a couple of hours three days a week, so that on most days one of the churches will be open. We plan to open St Mary’s on Friday 19th from 11am to 1pm.
If you can volunteer as a stewards and/or help with cleaning please complete the online form here: https://bit.ly/2BY2hsh
This week we received further guidelines which have now been agreed between the Government and the Churches which will apply when the Churches are opened for private prayer. However, THERE IS NO DATE YET FOR THE REOPENING Before Churches are allowed to reopen risk assessment and other documentation will have to be completed. As well as signposting, floor marking and so on. This is no small task.
If you are can volunteer as a steward, cleaner or other helper when we are permitted to reopen, you should read the guidance which you can download here
Please note that the advice to those who are over 70 has been relaxed a little, but you should still take additional care.
Do not let us know yet, but we may need to ask for volunteers soon. Fr Jeremy at Hednesford and I are also keen that we work together when the churches reopen.
We wait on the government, but, we are preparing to reopen the Centre in three stages
1) Preparing the buildings and grounds - some essential gardening, cleaning and also measures to make social distancing possible. Some important cosmetic work is already taking place. If you could help with some odd jobs, around the centre - all following social distancing rules, - please ring Wayne on 07864 50658.
2) When laws and circumstances allow, we will start to serve and deliver food.
3) When the authorities allow we want to ready to open the bar and serve food.
YOU CAN HELP!
We applying for a grant for funds so that the Centre can reopen as soon as possible. Please send short accounts to say how much you value the Centre, how it helps build strong communities, how valuable the activities of the centre to people of any age, especially vulnerable people. Send these as soon as you can to 07766 335591 (WhatsApp or text) or email stmary- firstname.lastname@example.org.
No dates yet, but we expect that churches will open first for private prayers, and sometime later for worship. Churches will not be allowed to open if they do not meet the requirements of social distancing, which includes the kind of measures we are familiar with in the banks and supermarkets.
We will need to provide cleaning, sanitising and protection equipment, and have signage to ensure social distancing. Thorough cleaning will be needed each time the church is open. We have been told that not all churches will be able to open at once, and that the measures put in place may need to continue till the end of the year, perhaps longer.
We will need a good number of volunteers for cleaning and stewarding, and anyone who is self-isolating or shielding, which includes most over the age of 70, will not be able to be a volunteer. The Diocese has produced detailed documentation (about 20 pages) which I am happy to share with anyone who is interested. We are already starting to work on the guidelines.
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