How is church life continuing during Covid-19?
You will no doubt be aware that the government made further announcements this week moving us into their “winter plan B”. We sent an email to those on our database this week asking you to please wear a mask when you come to the church for worship or large events (unless exempt) - see below. The latest government announcements have now made the wearing of face masks in places of worship a legal requirement. There are some exemptions listed here
. So please do wear a mask when you come on Sunday, and we’ll have some available if you forget.
We wanted to write to reassure you about COVID precautions during the Christmas season.
Over the past few months we have been monitoring the infection rates in our local community and praying. This has been particularly so as we have planned Christmas services. We want to have a Christmas filled with joyful gathering where we are all infection free.
In the past week COVID infection rates have slowly risen past 400 per 100k people and so we have decided to take a further precaution in our gatherings from this coming weekend (Sunday 12 December) onwards for the time being.
In short, we are asking you to please wear a mask when you come for worship or large events (unless exempt). We will have masks available if you forget yours.
We hope that this will help to protect us as we come to worship (and invite many from our community to worship) Jesus.
As a reminder, we continue to maintain other precautions in our worship space. We maintain a reduced chair capacity, have hand sanitiser available at the church entrance and would still recommend that you continue to use the test and trace point at the church doors. Let's continue to give each other space when moving around within the building and if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms please follow government advice and don't come into the building – you can still worship with us online.
We are also blessed to have a great air filtration system here at St Bs including UV filters which are known to kill COVID-19, so that COVID-free air is circulating (it works when the windows are closed). We are able to increase the ventilation rate to cope with larger numbers of people. Whilst ventilation inside a building is never going to be as good as being outside, we pleased that our fantastic building is helping to keep us safe.
As always, we are committed to watch and listen as God leads us in making decisions like this. Thanks to those who continue to be in touch.
Please continue to pray for us and for all of our church family at St Barnabas as we worship this Christmas.
Andy Gliddon and Henry Kendal
We wrote to you in July ahead of legal restrictions on gatherings ending to let you know our plans. For the past 6 weeks we have kept certain restrictions in place as our church and community adjust, and to see how the rate of infection has been changing in our local area. We also promised we would review this at the end of August.
We're writing now to let you know what the position will be for our services in September and the first part of the autumn.
From the 5 September, we intend to:
Remove the requirement to wear masks at our gatherings. We recognise that some of you may continue to choose to do so and we welcome you to worship and share life with us either way.
Stop ticketing our services as we return to our post-pandemic pattern of four services at 8:30am; 9:30am; 11:30am and 5pm. This means you won't need to book a ticket in order to be able to worship. And you also won't need a ticket for the Doors Wide Open event on the 5 September (10:30am-3pm).
It's worth mentioning again the things that won't be changing from September that have been introduced to try to help keep us safe.
Chair capacity: Prior to lockdown our maximum seated capacity downstairs was 300. At the moment we will be keep this as it has been since 25 July at 160 (but now with more services for us to return to).
Air filtration: Last year we installed UV filters to our ventilation system which kills viruses. We also recently increased the fan speed of our ventilation system during our services.
Hand sanitiser: We will still have hand sanitiser available at the entrance to the church.
One thing we would continue to recommend is test and trace. With the removal of ticketing, our primary method of test and trace will no longer work. So we would ask that you check in using the QR code on the church doors for the NHS Test and Trace app, or filling in a paper form.
We also wanted to mention the related topic of the future of our online services. We will be continuing with streaming a service to the Church Online Platform and to our YouTube channel; this will be at 11:30am rather than the current 10:30am. Online prayer ministry will stop, and a reminder that there will be no online service this Sunday (5 September) when Doors Wide Open is on.
Parking at Services
If you are coming to the building, please consider using public transport, cycling or walking to church if you live nearby. If you do need to travel by car, please continue to use the church car park for the time being as there is plenty of space. Please don't park on local streets, which we've agreed we won't do with our neighbours.
A Fresh Season
We are committed to you to continue to listen to you and to seek God as we navigate this fresh season as a church. We really value those of you who have been in touch.
Please continue to pray for us and for all of our church family at St Barnabas as we pray for you.
Andy Gliddon and Henry Kendal
Join us this Sunday at 11.30am Online or LIVE
We're broadcasting our 11.30am service each Sunday online. Join us for worship, community stories, prayer, and teaching from God's Word. Join us every Sunday on StBs/Live
, or YouTube
We are keen for everyone to get involved in a life group as a way of keeping in community and having a supportive group around you to help encourage you practically and spiritually. Click HERE to find out how you can join a Life Group.
For some great resources on help about finances, funerals, food banks, bereavement, mental health, domestic violence, drugs/alcohol abuse and other issues, please click here.
We are sending out weekly E-bulletins in place of the paper ones we gave out during out Sunday morning services. They are packed full of useful information about what's happening at the church. If you haven't received it, and would like to, then fill in our Connect Form and tick the box to receive general e-mails.
This is our church app, which has information about upcoming events, rotas, your contact details and communication preferences, giving information, and useful links. Do log-in and take advantage of it! Find out more HERE.