Christ Church – COVID-19 Opening Arrangements (Updated)

Following the restrictions caused by COVID-19, Christ Church, Stone is opening its doors.

We have begun some trial services as from from last week’s Evening Prayer. 

10:30am Sunday Zoom services will be continuing, however on:

9:15am Sunday Communion Services will be announced here or via email.

The next Holy Communion at Christ Church will be on Sunday 16 August.

Read about these services below, and here.

This, however, this has to be a spoken service with many and various restrictions in addition to the 2m distancing and the advice for vulnerable groups).

Please note, the wearing of face masks at places of worship is now MANDATORY  so all attendees at the communion service or prayer sessions will be required to wear a face covering at all times when in the church (except, one assumes, at the point of consuming the bread.)

The extra precautions include:

  1. No physical contact between communicants or at the peace.
  2. Hand sanitiser for all on entering the building. 
  3. Minister to cover the bread while speaking prayers, and to minimise the handling of bread.
  4. Distribution in silence. 
  5. Communion in one kind only (i.e. bread, but not wine).
  6. Minister will bring bread to you at your seat: please stand when I approach to indicate that you are receiving.
  7. Bread to be dropped into the hand (please ensure a flat had to receive this).
  8. No words to be used at this point.
  9. At the conclusion of the service the congregation to leave without delay.
Markings on the pews to ensure Social Distancing

We are opening for personal prayer on

Wednesdays from 16:00-17:00

and hope to continue with this or a similar plan. We must abide by the Government regulations [website] and those as set out by the Church of England [website].

While these procedures are restrictive, we hope that putting these in place provides confidence about entering the building to pray as an individual. We will have stewards to welcome and oversee the time. Please note that for a flow through arrangement this requires entering and exiting through different doors as indicated. 

If you suspect that you have symptoms of COVID-19 viral infection then we ask that you do not enter the building, but seek medical advice immediately. 

The procedure that we will follow to minimise risk for visitors:

  • Entrance: through the old entrance (Radford Street side).
  • Hygiene: on entry you will be required to use hand sanitiser. 
  • Registration: you will need to give some personal details since we have to keep a temporary register of visitors. In the event of an outbreak this will enable the NHS to  track and trace.
  • Seats: marked with a tick or cross to show where to sit. These have been placed to ensure the 2-metre social distancing that is still required.
  • A sheet of prayers for your use which we ask you to take with you on your departure. This will identify where someone has already sat and enable another person to find a new place. 
  • Exit: through the new foyer. 

We have been praying for the community all through this difficult time for the relief of suffering, the sustaining of medical staff and other care workers, but also for the end of the pandemic. We invite you to join in this with us at this time. 

We will update the plans and arrangements for services when appropriate.

If you are thinking of coming to Christ Church, we wish you to be aware of the following from the government website on the opening of churches.

Individuals aged 70 years and over attending the place of worship

  • Certain groups of people may be at increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19, including people who are aged 70 or older, regardless of medical conditions.
  • Individuals who fall within this group are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if they do go out, to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of their household.
  • You should consider informing these groups in particular of the symptoms of COVID-19 and current stay alert and social distancing guidance.

Individuals who are extremely clinically vulnerable/shielding

  • The NHS has written to around 2.2. million who are considered to be extremely clinically vulnerable to COVID-19, advising them to shield. See the current guidance for this group. Shielded patients are currently advised not to meet more than one person from outside of their own household, and therefore currently advised not to attend places of worship. From Monday 6 July, those shielding individuals may choose to gather in groups of up to 6 people outdoors and form a support bubble with another household, they will therefore still be advised not to attend places of worship indoors. Advice for both the clinically vulnerable and extremely clinically vulnerable is however advisory and they can choose how to manage their own risks.

The Vicar and wardens of Christ Church, Stone.