We are reopening Morley Central Methodist Church for worship from 6th of September.
This is something to anticipate with joy but it is still a step toward an unknown future. Many of us are looking forward to coming back to church with cautious optimism or perhaps cautious trepidation, yet curious to see what God is doing in all of this.
Before I go on to tell you dos and don’ts, I would like to acknowledge that this is a fearful situation for all of us. We are taking a huge leap of faith to jump in to take responsibility for a new way of being a church. From my personal experience to keep the faith and to keep going despite all the challenges that many of us are facing requires courage and lots of it. We need faith, and to sustain our faith we need lots of courage.
During these times, let us keep Sowing the Seeds of Courage. As we begin our Methodist New Year, let’s make it our motto that we are going to sow the seed of courage in peoples’ lives, so we could help them to stay strong during these uncertain times.
The God of Israel challenged His people to be strong and very courageous as they were terrified before entering the promised land. He said to them “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
This is the same God encouraging and equipping us with His indwelling Holy Spirit, who is there to lead, guide, help, and support us as he has done in the past when His people faced uncertain times.
As we continue through these challenges, let us remember that God is with us giving us the courage to carry on, for He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.
So here is the guidance from the government and the Methodist Church. We are asking that, should you wish to join us, you remember the following:
Currently, we could seat 36 couples, bubbles, or individuals. If the need arises to create more space we will look into it.
If you are over 70, or in a group who have been advised to shield in the past, then please be cautious. Everyone must make the decision that is best for them.
Online worship and other resources will continue once face-to-face worship begins in some churches in the circuit, so we hope that everyone will still feel included in the church family, even if they choose not to attend church.
- If you or anyone you have had close contact with is ill, with confirmed or possible coronavirus symptoms you should not attend worship, but should isolate at home.
- In order to support the NHS Test and Trace programme, we are taking contact details (name and telephone number) for all visitors, as well as recording times entering and leaving Morley Central Methodist Church.
In line with guidance issued by the Department for Health and Social Care, we will keep your details safely and in compliance with GDPR legislation for 21 days before securely disposing of or deleting them. We will only share your details with NHS Test and Trace, if asked, in the event that it is needed to help stop the spread of coronavirus. We will not use your details for any other purposes or pass them on to anyone else.
- Your contact person for test and trace is Anne Schofield (0113 2530 031)
- We will be operating a one-way clockwise system of entering through the main entrance following the arrow on the floor or door stewards’ instruction to get to your seat. For exits, you will be asked to follow the stewards’ instructions and one group or an individual will leave at a time.
- If you need to speak to someone, please contact me (0113 4730 458), Sue Evans(0113 2531 700), Anne Schofield (0113 2530 031), or one of the Church Stewards.
- Please use the hand sanitizer immediately upon entering the building.
- The door steward will take your name and contact details upon entering.
- Where we can, doors will be left open to improve ventilation and so that handles do not need to be touched.
- There will be a door steward to ensure that we all enter safely at a distance of 2 metres from each other.
- Please keep coats and bags with you at all times.
- Please wear a face mask when you enter the church building and keep it on throughout the service.
- Church hymn books and pew bibles cannot be used. If you are bringing your own bible or hymn book please take it back with you. We will use a projector when necessary.
- Please go straight into the worship area and a steward will guide you to a pew. Couples or those who are part of a “bubble” may sit next to each other.
- At present, we can only have spoken words in services, and Communion services will not include any sharing of the elements.
- There will be a collection plate at the entrance of the worship area – please leave your weekly offering (cash or envelope) in the box.
- The church toilets will be the only ones available for use on a Sunday – you must sanitize your hands on entering and exiting and wipe any surfaces touched with the wipes provided.
- Please ensure that you wash and dry your hands thoroughly before you leave it. If the toilet is occupied a steward will ensure you wait away from the door.
- For the time being, Junior Church will not be possible. If children attend, they will need to sit with their parents or carers.
- Please use the hand sanitizer as you leave the building.
- A steward will usher you to leave the worship area promptly once the service has ended. We will not be serving coffee and if you wish to chat with others, please do this outside, at a safe distance.
- If you become ill and attend a testing centre for a Covid 19 test, and it is less than 48 hours from when you last attended church, please contact Anne or Imran at … so we will then be able to inform all those attending the church that day to take extra care with social distancing etc.
We will keep everyone informed as things change so that you can assess when you feel it is right to return. If you wish to talk through anything in this letter, please contact me or your pastoral visitor, or a church steward for a chat.