An important update from your Stewards regarding etiquette when attending worship:
- To adhere to Methodist Church and current government guidelines on social distancing please wait until you are invited to enter church through the main doors going into the Link one household at a time. Gel your hands and register your name with the Steward on duty.
- Move as swiftly as possible through into church and take your seat as advised by the stewards. Do not linger to chat.
- At the end of the service, exit church one row at a time, leaving as directed by the stewards. Do not congregate in doorways.
- Most importantly, do not pull down or remove your mask when talking to anyone whilst on the church premises.
If you plan to come to church you must:
- Wear a face covering.
- Please do not arrive before 10:20am.
- You will not need to open doors and you will be directed to your seat.
- Please maintain social distancing at all times.
- Please avoid touching any surfaces (where possible).
- Social interaction must also be kept to a minimum both inside and outside the church.
- The offering will be collected at the back, not during the service.
- Toilets may only be used in emergencies.
- There will not be refreshments after the service.
- Once the service is over, a Steward will invite you to leave when it is safe to do so.
- Please leave the church site promptly.
It is vital that we all adhere to these guidelines to protect each other and minimise the risk of infection.
It would greatly assist in planning Safe Spaced Worship if you could contact us in advance. Please let Sue Bracher know if you plan to come along. Her contact details are in the Church Directory or you may email her by clicking here.
Latest from our Sperintendent Minister... 16th September 2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers - with the most recent lockdown restrictions I felt I ought to write to you all to clarify one or two questions I have received and to emphasise the continued importance of following the guidelines set out before us when we meet at Church for Worship. Thank you to church stewards and property teams who have worked so hard to assess risk and to set up our churches to be safe places for us to gather. Can I humbly ask you to listen to them when they may be required to ask you to do certain things in order to maintain our collective safety. I am conscious that we can all get frustrated with the
ongoing restrictions and the apparent contradictions within them but we must follow them if we wish to remain open.
1. The new restrictions do no stop us from gathering for Worship provided a Covid Safe plan exists. So our churches remain open on Sundays and a new preaching plan will be issued for October and November in due course. Note that we have clarified that Lawrence Lane can remain open for Worship despite being in the Sandwell Local Lockdown area.
2. Church Meetings - This is less clear but it appears that work meetings and the management/provision of charitable services (the running of a
church) are OK. Our recommendation is therefore that key church meetings may take place safe spaced (eg Church Council etc). But please try and make all these meeting online if possible, although we recognise that this is not possible for many people. Sadly more informal fellowship meetings such as Bible Studies and Prayer Meetings should not be going ahead at a time of increased infections rates.
3. Church Lets - Only government approved lets should meet at this time. These include various exemptions such as education, training, businesses and
support groups (eg AA meetings). For a full list please see: www.gov.uk and search for Coronavirus (COVID-19): Meeting with others safely (social distancing). Updated 14 September 2020. Therefore social groups bigger than six who wish to use our premises should not be meeting at this time.
4. Safe Behaviour - No groups of greater than six. There is a great temptation before and after worship to gather publicly outside our buildings to talk, often without masks and sometimes even shaking hands! This fellowship is important to all of us in prolonged lockdown but the current law says we cannot gather in groups of more than six. I am particularly concerned that we may be reported or worse a photo may end up on national social media which could be taken by a passer by, if they were to see a large group gathered outside one of our churches. This could lead to forced closure and deep embarrassment after all the hard work so many have done. Please be self-aware of maintaining social distancing and wearing of masks and perhaps seek to arrange to meet people in their gardens or other locations at other times. As you leave church premises you are encouraged to keep your mask on until you get into your car or are leaving the site.
5. Offering Lifts - Lifts can be given but full cars should be avoided if possible unless from one household. If you offer a lift to someone from another house hold they should sit in the back and wear a mask with the window slightly open for fresh air. I know this is difficult but imagine how you would feel if someone were to become ill after travelling with you.
6. Singing in Church - Is still not allowed by the congregation although a soloist can sing provided additional measures are taken.
7. Interacting with the Congregation during Worship - Whilst we seek to avoid too much too-and-fro in services, bible readers, those sharing testimony etc., can come forward wearing a mask, then remove the mask to speak, before putting their mask back on to return to their seat.
Once again I thank all of your for your perseverance at this time as we seek to sustain the worship life of the church and fulfil our obligations to each other and the country. This letter has been reviewed and approved by the circuit meeting. Please try and ensure copies of it are available at Sunday morning worship.
Thank you. Rev'd. Alan Combes