Covid-19 Update

Reopening our Church

Good News
With the Government and the Church of England now allowing the opening of churches for public worship we have now been able to carry out the necessary risk assessments and put in place the required precautions. We will start with a single Sunday Service at St Benedict’s, the Ven Bede will remain closed.
We are therefore pleased to announce that the church will be opening for our 10.30 am Communion service on Sunday 12th July. On Sunday 19th July there will be a celebration of Holy Communion at 8.00am and 10.30am.
Our Booking System.
As the social distancing of two-metre rule still applies for public worship we have had to introduce a booking system for those who wish to attend. It is with regret that we have to take this action but with pew seats in the church being limited to between 30 and 40 we feel it is the only way to prevent
having to turn people away, something we clearly wish to avoid.
Booking is essential and you can do this by either ‘phoning 01902 892856 or We are grateful that Hilary, our churchwarden, has agreed to coordinate the requests.
A record of those booking a place and attending will be made and kept for 21 days. Be assured this is purely to assist ‘track and trace’ if required and is for no other purpose.
Are you at Risk ?
If you are at increased risk of severe disease from Covid-19, including those aged 70 or over, think very carefully as to whether you should attend, this is a personal decision.
Those who are considered to be extremely clinically vulnerable to Covid-19 are being currently advised not to attend.
Those who are showing signs of Covid-19 or are self-isolating should not attend.
When you do attend we are afraid you will find things rather different from before the Pandemic.
You will find that:
• All pew seats and kneelers have been removed
• All Bibles and gift aid envelopes have been removed – you are welcome to bring your own bible if you wish
• The Hospitality Unit, the toilet and the children’s tower room will be closed.
• Pew seats will be marked out as to where you can and can’t sit, although people living in the same household or ‘bubble’ can sit together
• There will be Social distancing floor markers A notice board at the church entrance will highlight requirements.
• There is no requirement to wear face coverings although you may wish to do so – again, this is a personal decision
So what will happen when you arrive?
If there is a queue at the outer door you will need to observe social distancing.
On entering the church you will need to sanitize your hands using the sanitizers provided.
You will need to pick up a Service booklet as they will not be handed out
You will then be able to take a seat as directed by a Sides person or by going to one of the indicated free places. Please be brave, you may not be able to sit in your usual place !
How will Parish Communion be different?
• Sunday Club will not restart
• Unfortunately singing is not permitted and there will be no choir. However, the organ may provide some music to accompany the service.
• A donation plate will be available by the door at the beginning of the service. The collection plate will not be passed around during the service.
• The Peace will not involve shaking hands or any physical contact.
• The sacrament will be shared in one kind only from just below the chancel step. You are strongly advised to bring your own small hand sanitizer to use before and after receiving communion.
• The service will be shorter than usual, with no hymns for example.
• At the end of the service you are asked to leave promptly, placing your service booklet in the box provided.
• Please socially distance and sanitize your hands again on leaving the church.
• Please don’t stay in church to socialise – this can be done outside but maintaining social distancing.
When we open we expect there will be some teething problems but we would ask you to bear with us – this is a new experience for us all and the ‘new normal’ may take some getting used to. Furthermore restrictions and requirements are changing all the time. We just hope that you appreciate that we have taken the above measures to both try and meet Government and C. of E. requirements and to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being.
The Churchwardens and I look forward to welcoming you back