Covid Update – August 21

Last weekend we started getting back together and we started with a wonderful church away day. Tomorrow is our first in-person church service and we are very much looking forward to seeing you. There are some things that have changed since we last met together and whilst we don’t want these things to either worry you or get in in the way of our worship and fellowship we do feel that they are things you need to know. The plan has been put together with input from around a dozen people, as well as reading advice from the Church of England, FICE and Baptist Union. I’ve also included some “reasons why” to help you understand the thought process a little better

ONLINE GATHERINGS

  • Our Sunday Morning Service will continue to be streamed online at https://live.calvarysoton.co.uk.
    • This is now a permanent fixture for three reasons:
      • 1) the pandemic showed us that many people watch who don’t attend our fellowship. We’ve had people from all over the world tune into our broadcasts and we want to continue making this response available.
      • 2) those who are unable to attend our in-person services, whether it’s because of illness or because they are isolating, this is for you with our love. We want you to feel that you are part of our fellowship.
      • 3) it can be a daunting thing for people to walk into a church only knowing one of two people. We want you to use this platform as an opportunity to say to family and friends to “watch from a distance”. Invite them to watch our broadcast on Sunday before they commit to come along and actually meet people!

IN-PERSON GATHERINGS

  • Hand sanitiser will be available and we ask that you use this as you enter and leave the building.
  • Face masks are no longer required by law.
    • We’re not insisting that people wear masks but if you want to wear a mask then please do feel comfortable to do so.
  • Social distancing is no longer required by law.
    • Given that our hall is big enough for us to spread out, we will not be asking you to book seats.  When you arrive tomorrow you will see that the hall has been rotated 90 degrees so that more chairs can be laid out. Please spread out.
  • If you see someone wearing a mask, please also assume that they want to socially distance and so please do leave one of two chairs between them and you.
  • Singing is allowed. Some people may feel more comfortable wearing a mask to sing but again this is your choice.
  • Possibly the most effective way for us to continue meeting is that everyone takes a Covid test on Saturday and Tuesday.
    • This is so that you know you’re covid free when we meet on Sunday and there is little danger of anyone contracting the illness. If you test positive on Saturday please don’t come to church but watch online. Testing on Tuesday assures you that you have not picked up the illness from the Sunday gathering. If we all commit to the regular testing (at least on Saturday) we know that, as much as we possibly can, covid will not be present on Sunday morning. Testing is a recommendation rather than a requirement.
  • If you’re in the group of people who have been told by their GP that they are vulnerable or if you are experiencing covid symptoms please think twice about coming along. We love you but you should be sensible and tune into our live broadcast instead of coming along.
  • Test and Trace will be available – please use your phone to check in.
  • Kids activities will mostly take place outdoors in August. We have marquees in the garden in case the weather is wet but we really want to do as much outdoors as possible. Please ensure your child has applied suncream before attending church.
  • There will be no tea and coffee served but you are more than welcome to bring your own.

Our entire Risk Assessment can be found here

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