19th July 2021
HT Church Services Covid – Relaxing of Restrictions
with effect from 19th July
As the UK Government has made very clear, COVID-19 will not disappear on 19 July. It remains a potent and real threat to the health and lives of people in our communities. So, as we move to a principle of learning to live with the virus, which will be around for some time to come, we will continue to be cautious and suitably manage the risks.
What does this mean for us here at HT?
Service Format, Times & Seating
Sunday 25th July only – we will have two identical services starting at 9:45am and 11:30am (as now with the 11:30am service being livestreamed).
Sun 1st Aug – Sun 5th September, i.e. the 6 week summer period, we will hold just one service each Sunday morning starting at 11:00am for one hour. This service will be a fantastic opportunity for the church to come back together, to celebrate and worship together.
We will continue to livestream the 11am service each week during this period.
The need remains to be both responsible and cautious following the official lifting of restrictions and we have therefore decided to monitor our capacity and keep to a maximum of 120 people in any one service (our normal capacity is approx. 250). This will allow us the freedom to arrange the seating so that those who wish to sit in families or with friends can, but also to accommodate those who wish to maybe sit alone or with a partner/friend until they feel safe and confident. It can be quite daunting going to a public space when you have been at home over a long period of time. It is important & honourable to always respect the personal space and preferences of others.
All the proposed measures outlined in this communication are to protect the safety of others, particularly whilst there is still a high risk of Co-vid infection.
A separate communication will be issued to let you know what is happening with effect from Sep 12th.
We realise that booking has been an extra step to remember each week, and therefore, we have decided to remove the need to book for the next few weeks initially. We will monitor attendance levels, and should we start to quickly reach the capacity that we feel is safe during this transitional period, we may have to re-introduce a booking system. Bookings, how seating is arranged, and capacity may be subject to change over time.
The crèche will be available during the service with effect from Sun 1st August for those with babies and toddlers (aged 3 and under) who wish to make use of this facility.
Entry to Church, NHS QR scan and the use of hand gel, masks
Please enter the building via the front door where someone will be available to welcome you. With effect from Sunday 25th, you will be encouraged to scan the NHS QR code on entry to the church. You can then make your way into the church and choose where you would like to sit. However, can we encourage you to try to find groups of seats that equate to the number in your group where possible, e.g. if you are a party of two people please try to not sit in an area where a set of four or six chairs are set out.
The legal requirement to wear masks indoors and in public spaces has changed but, as the church is a public building, we would encourage you to continue to wear your mask when in the building unless you are seated (or exempt from wearing one).
Hand gel will continue to be available as you enter the building and at various stations in the building. Disposable masks and anti-bac wipes are also available as you enter the building should you require any of these at any time.
Hugging and greeting each other
We would encourage you not to shake hands or hug each other at this early stage of restrictions being lifted.
It is our intention to keep the main door and the side door (to the right of the stage) open during the service to all for a flow of air through the building. Please bear this in mind if you are attending with children. These doors will be monitored during the service.
With effect from Sunday 25th July congregational singing is once again permitted.
Refreshments will not be available throughout the summer services but will look to be introduced with effect from 12th September. Please feel free to bring your own drink should you require one.
The toilets available to use between now and Sep 5th will be:
New toilet with disabled facilities to the left of the platform – anyone is welcome to use
Toilet with limited disabled and baby changing facilities in the foyer area – anyone is welcome to use
Men’s toilet in the foyer area
Exiting the Building
We would ask that you exit the building via the door to the left-hand side of the stage, closest to the new toilet with disabled facilities. This door will be opened at the end of the service.