21 July 2021
You might like to know more about what it feels like to come to church at St Nicholas at the moment.
Here are some answers to FAQs.
What services do you have on a Sunday?
We hold a 10:30am service (with children’s work) and a 6pm service.
At the 6pm service we have fewer people and more room, and therefore you may well feel safer coming then if you want to exercise more caution.
Will we need to maintain social distancing?
We will operate a “traffic light” system, with badges corresponding to 3 different seating zones in church and relating to how we would like to be treated by others:
- Red. I want to maintain 2 m distance and I will be grateful if you will wear a mask when speaking to me inside (basically social distancing regulations up until 19 July). Red zone seating – we will maintain 2 m distance and masks.
- Green. I am happy to return to pre-Covid behaviour. Green zone seating – pre-Covid, sitting next to each other as people wish.
- Amber. I am in between. Please treat me with caution, but not Covid regulations. You may want to ask me what I’m comfortable with… Amber zone seating – a seat or two in between households/individuals.
Do I need to book and if so, how can I book?
In order to help to give enough space for everyone in their zones, we are asking people to book via our website or by ringing the church office (020 8767 8033) to indicate the number in their party and whether they would like to be in the red, amber or green zone.
Please book by 12 noon on the Friday before, as after this time, the booking form will stop accepting submissions. However, it is still possible to complete the waiting list form and we will get back to you by email on Sunday if there is space.
If you have children who will be attending one of our groups during the service, you do not need to include them in your seat booking. For All Age services please include all children in your booking.
Will I need to wear a mask?
Masks are no longer a legal requirement from 19 July. However, we are seeking to maintain appropriate caution. The Government has said they “recommend and expect” masks to be worn in crowded spaces. The Church of England has said that they would prefer singing to be outside. Inevitably our response to the issue of mask wearing will be a judgement call. Our judgement is that the best balance is to ask everyone to wear masks:
when singing. Clearly more “aerosols” will be projected further and wider when singing, so there is more risk of spreading infection. Similarly, though not as crowded a context as some, we hope there will be considerable numbers in the building. We cannot manage services outside, so mask wearing when singing seems a sensible mitigation.
when moving inside. The end of restrictions means more free movement around the building. Inevitably, this will mean greater mixing of people, some of whom will want to exercise more caution. If we all wear masks hen moving around, risk to others will be more limited. Please therefore bring a mask to church and wear it until you are seated, and while you are leaving. (See below for conversation after church).
Do I need to wear a mask when chatting to people?
As much as possible chatting after church will happen outside. If it is wet, we will be grateful if people will wear masks while moving around inside, but feel free to remove them while in a conversation (unless someone would prefer you not to).
Two important principles need to be borne in mind with our “traffic light” system, especially when interacting with others:
- We all need to mould our behaviour to those who are choosing to be more cautious than we are – as an act of care and love.
- People may be more cautious for a whole range of reasons (to do with themselves and/or other people). We shouldn’t assume that we know the reasons, nor make judgements about other people’s decisions. Everyone’s choice is equally fine.
Will we be able to sing?
We are happy to say that we will be all able to sing together in our services. Due to the increased risk of Covid 19 spread during singing, we will ask everyone to wear a mask while singing to mitigate this (as we are singing inside and not everyone is socially distanced).
What other plans do you have in place to keep people safe from Covid 19?
We will continue to follow the standard Covid 19 hygiene policies of:
Isolation – asking people not to come to church if they are unwell with Covid 19 type symptoms, or if they have been asked to isolate because of contact with somebody with Covid 19.
Sanitisation – asking people to continue to use hand sanitiser when coming into the building and at other times.
Keeping records – enabling people to check in via the NHS Test and Trace app (or by giving us their details if they don’t have the app)
Ventilation – continuing to ventilate the building as much as possible with doors and windows open
Normal hygiene procedures – e.g. reminding people not to touch their faces, to sneeze into their elbows etc.
What about children – do you have groups/provision for them?
We are running our children’s and youthwork outside and inside and following guidance from the Government, Church of England and National Youth Agency
- We will be restarting our creche in the next few weeks
- For information about where to drop off your child, please see one of the welcome team
- On the 4th Sunday of the month, we hold an All Age Service and the children will remain in throughout.
Will we be able to celebrate the Lord’s Supper?
We hold the Lord’s supper at or after one of our services each Sunday. We will continue with the practice of “simultaneous administration” of the bread and wine (with the bread being hygienically dipped into the cup by the Minister present) to minimise the risks at the moment. Details will be explained further, at the service itself.
Can I park at church?
At the moment we are asking people to kindly continue not to park in the churchyard to give us more space for chatting outside and youth and children’s work. There is free parking on a Sunday on the streets nearby.
What about toilets?
All of our toilets will be open for use. To minimise queuing, please go before you come to church.
Will there be refreshments?
At the moment we don’t have the resources to restart refreshments after the service. Please do bring water with you if you think you may need it.
COVID 19 Parish Risk Assessment for St Nicholas Church:
Indoor Services click here
We are very much looking forward to seeing you