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Protocols for a safe return to Church

WELCOME BACK TO CHURCH!

The re-opening of churches does not bring with it any imperative that we must return to worship.  It is instead a permission and an invitation that those who so wish, may do so. 

We have to work within the directives and protocols of both Government and Central Church authorities.  These include restricting the number of people that can attend – depending on the space available in the buildings with physical distancing.  In St. Nahi’s this is 16.  In Christ Church it is 60.

Please note the time of the Service in Christ Church is 11.00 am (for the present).  As it is not possible to hold two Services in St. Nahi’s on the same morning, due to health & central church protocols, the mid-morning Service in Christ Church will be at 11.00 am – being a mid-time between 10.15 & 11.45!

In attending these Services you will need to be advised and adhere to the following protocols:

You should arrive at the church no more than 15 minutes before the commencement of the Service (to minimise the length of time you will be in the building).  Admission to the church will not be allowed once the Service begins or the maximum allowed congregation has been admitted.  At Christ Church, admission to the church will be through the West (Bride’s) Door.  Disabled access will be through the lower door of the Parish Centre.  Exit will be via the Tower Door.  Capacity under current regulations are St. Nahi’s 16; Christ Church 60.

What to bring:

You should bring a face mask, if you wish to wear one.  It is not compulsory to do so.

A small packet of tissues.

A pen or biro to fill in the “contact & tracing” card.

And, of course your Collection!

Prayer Books will not be available and you should NOT bring your own.  Service Sheets will be provided in St. Nahi’s and in Christ Church the Services will be displayed on the screen.

On arrival at the church:

You will be greeted by one of the Wardens and requested to use the hand sanitiser.

You will then be escorted to a seat.  Because of the restriction on seating it will not be possible for you to sit in the seat you normally sit in.  It will be a first-come, first-seated system.  Seats farthest from the entrance door will be filled first.  While waiting to be seated, please leave 2 metres between you and those in front of you.  Families who are members of the same household may sit together without physical distancing.  This also applies to those residing in the same household.

During the Service:

Once seated, you will be required to remain in your appointed seat.  Even at Holy Communion.  The Sacrament will be brought to your seat.  Those wishing to receive the Sacrament will be asked to stand.  Those not wishing to do so will be requested to be seated.

For the present there will be no singing, although in Christ Church, there will be organ music at intervals throughout the Service.

There should be no physical contact with others – other than members of your own household.

Should you become or feel ill during the Service, you should contact a Warden immediately.

You will be required to fill in a “track & trace” card which you will find at your seat.  This will involve you giving your name, your contact number and the seat/pew number where you are seated.  This is to know who should be contacted in the event that someone attending a Service subsequently becomes ill and tests positive for COVID19.  These cards will be retained, confidentially, for three weeks and will then be shredded.

As you leave:

Please follow the direction of the Warden.  Those seated closest to the exit door will be asked to leave first, with those following maintaining a 2 metre distance from those in front.

There will be a box in the exit porch for you to deposit your “track & trace” cards and your freewill offering or “collection”.

You should take all other items, including Service Sheets home with you.

You should also use the Hand Sanitiser as you leave.

The clergy will not greet you at the porch as you leave.  Weather permitting, they will be available in the car park, should any parishioner wish to talk with them.

You should not congregate with others in the Car Park or outside the church building.

YOU SHOULD NOT attend a Church Service if:

You (or any member of your household) feel ill or are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.

You are considered to be a “vulnerable” person – such as having an underlying health condition or compromised immune system.

YOU SHOULD if within 2 weeks of having attended a Church Service are tested positive for COVID-19, contact the Parish Office without delay and inform your health professional that you attended a church Service.

All of the above may seem to be “not worth the candle”.  However, these measures are put in place by us in Taney for YOUR protection and safety and to comply with Health Authority and Central Church Protocols and recommendations.  You can be assured that we here in Taney as your clergy and administrative staff will do nothing to compromise your health and safety.  What we want to achieve is a safe environment where you can feel comfortable whenever you feel it appropriate for you to return to church worship.  For a while it will seem and feel strange – but just like other aspects of pandemic life in society, we will get used to it and we will be constantly monitoring what needs to be tweaked or relaxed when conditions allow.  In the meantime we will take these tentative steps.

In preparation to returning to “church”, you may care to view last Sunday’s Service on Facebook or YouTube via www.taneyparish.ie  There is also short video presented by Bryan Dobson available for viewing at https://youtu.be/vcYyhwFTRKQ  which is informative.

Continue to Stay Safe and prepare to Pray Safe!