Published by Eddie Mason on Thu, 18 Jun 2020 12:24

Last week we said that the opening of church for private prayer would be discussed at Tuesdays PCC. We are being guided by the diocese and the Church of England guidelines. The diocese guidelines are quite extensive with a comprehensive flow diagram leading to risk assessments. The PCC took the decision that the church would not be open at the moment and that there will be a working group set up to determine how we can best open church as government lockdown rules change and things are mede easier to manage.

Some of the reasons for caution are:

We have no incumbent at the moment so would need to supervise opening by volunteers. The volunteers ned to have safeguarding training to C0 and C1, a number of people have this but not everyone.

The isolating / shielding restrictions apply in that we can not use volunteers with underlying health issues and anyone over 70.

Cleaning teams needs to be established that could fully clean the church before opening and subsequent cleaning after every use. It is also recommended at the moment that once used the church should be closed for 72 hours thus reducing the cleaning levels required.

There can be no open worship worship with music and hymns.

Social distancing rules need to be applied, currently at 2 metre distances. This would be very difficult in the medieval building with pews and narrow aisles. There is no hand washing facilities although with have supplies of hand sanitiser. The toilets would not be available in the hall as these would also need restricted access.

There are many more issues but on the basis of this the PCC have adopted a working group to go through all the issues whilst following the guidance of the diocese.

As things change and we develop methods of safe access we will keep you up to date.

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