Sunday services at Frome St John the Baptist & Woodlands
Psalm 122 v1: I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
Following the opening of St John’s for private prayer (on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 1.00pm to 3.00pm) we are now able to move towards a regular pattern of Sunday services in our churches.
We have provided about 25 locations in the body of St John’s church where individuals or small ‘bubbles’ (of two or three people) can sit.
The safe capacity for Woodlands is 16 'bubbles' allowing a range of 16 to 30 people in church depending on how many come as individuals and how many come with another member of their own household.
For the time being the pattern of services at both churches will be different from that which folk are used to: Particularly in that there will be no congregational singing.
The wearing of a face covering when attending church services will be required by law unless people fall into one of the few exempt categories.
Services at St John's will now take place each Sunday - please check the parish magazine and weekly notices to check which time(s) apply for any particular week.
Services of Holy Communion are now being held but the chalice (cup of wine) will not be shared nor will any physical exchange of the peace be allowed.
For all services at St John’s the way in will be through the main West doors and the way out through the smaller doors at the North West corner of church.
Hand sanitizer points are provided on entry and exit.
As part of the governments ‘Test and Trace’ programme we are asked to keep an accurate record of the names and contact details of everyone attending church at present.
The route to be taken around church is clearly marked with arrows at 2 metre separation.
Please note that the limited capacity does mean that there is a risk that we might have to turn people away: For the moment we are not operating a booking system but that option may have to be considered.
If we provide weekly notice sheets at seating locations they are able to be taken away by those attending.
If we provide any service books at seating locations they will have been quarantined before the service and will be quarantined again for 2-3 days after the service.
There will be no passing around of collection plates during any service: A plate, box or other container will be made available for people to drop donations into it – after 72hrs quarantine the donations will then be able to be banked. The preferred option at present is that donations and regular giving be made online or by standing orders wherever possible.
Please maintain social distancing at all times within the church.
Toilet facilities may be made available for those attending services at St John’s. Hand sanitizer is provided within the toilet area. Those using the toilet need to be careful to maintain social distancing whilst moving to and from the toilet area.
There can be no provision for after service social contact within church at present and folk are encouraged to engage socially outside or virtually. Most weeks a Zoom meeting (virtual after service tea and coffee) is being hosted at 11.30am on Sundays by Terry Bushell, churchwarden at St John’s, and details are on the weekly sheet on our website at www.stjohnsfrome.com
Recognising that some are shielding, others will be nervous about venturing out, and many will need some time before engaging with Sunday services, we are committed to maintaining a presence online through social media and our Youtube channel ‘FromeStJohnBaptist’.
Appendix: Current Government advice on who should attend
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell) should not attend.
Individuals who are self-isolating due to a possible/confirmed case of COVID-19 in their household or because they have been requested to do so by NHS Test & Trace should not attend.
Those who are shielding are advised not to attend.
Those aged 70 or over, regardless of medical condition, are at increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19 and are currently advised to take particular care to minimize contact with others outside of their household. They should consider carefully whether they should attend. However, it is up to the individual to make their own decision, at their own risk. Attendees are required to wear face masks unless officially exempt.