The Beaminster Area Team
Weekly Covid – 19 Update Friday 25th September 25th 2020
This week has seen a new raft of Covid safety guidelines affecting all of us and while you may have seen and read what will be required whilst shopping or socialising I will outline below what changes are required for Worshipping Communities and places of Worship.
The regulations are approximately broken into three areas; Business, Social and others including Places of Worship. Many of the current guidelines regarding Churches remain unchanged but the changes are important for us to take onboard. Firstly from Thursday 24th September all public buildings are required by law to display the NHS QR codes which will register those entering the building through an APP on our Smartphones. Alongside this for those who do not have such a phone we are required to collect names, contact details and times of arrival and departure, which are destroyed after 21 days.
I am grateful to Jo who registered all our parishes and obtained the QR code posters which are individual to each church and which I sent to church wardens and key parish contacts yesterday.
Secondly the Rule of Six does not apply to acts of worship held in church and churchyards this remains the number that each area of worship can hold safely by abiding to the two metre/one metre plus with added precautions Covid safety guidelines.
Attendance at wedding ceremonies as been reduced to 15 but a change includes that those who are deemed to be working i.e. minister, organist, verger, photographer do not count in the 15. Funeral service attendance numbers remain at 30. Attendance at stand alone baptism ceremonies will change from Monday 28th September and will become subject to the rule of six from that date. Church meetings can continue so long as they adhere to the Covid safety guidelines and distancing and numbers allowed in the space being used. The number allowed to sing in choirs has been reduced to a maximum of six and again full Covid safety and distancing must be met and the risk must be considered and the church risk assessment amended accordingly. I personally have concern that distance in some of our smaller churches is a problem and increases the risk of droplet spread so I would ask that serious consideration is given before choirs are asked to sing.
To help with our planning for services at Remembrance and Christmas I need to know the numbers that each church can hold within the two metre/one metre plus with added precautions. Please could you send your numbers to myself and Jo. If you need advice on this please contact Jo whilst I am away. I will be away from Monday returning to duty on Monday 12th October and during this time Jo will make any decisions required if new guidelines are issued.
For your prayers this week. Fiona who will be ordained priest on Saturday. David Shearlock now resting at home following a heart attack last Monday, and Aileen Bishop in DCH after a Stroke 2 weeks ago.
It has been a busy week with lots of exciting conversations going on about how to plan for Advent and Christmas. We have been talking about our Advent window trails. All the details for how to run this event in your village will go live on the website next week, on 1st October. The planning will be done for you, all you will have to do is contact 24 willing volunteers. Look out for the link next week.
Please pray for Fiona our curate as she is ordained priest on Saturday 26th September and presides at her first Eucharist on Sunday. Please also pray for wedding couples who are having to reorganise or reschedule weddings often for the second or third time as the legal restrictions change again.
We have made the difficult decision to not reopen Messy Church until we are free from the strict Covid19 protocols we need to observe at the moment. However, we will still be leading online Messy Church on Saturday 10th October and Saturday 12th December and preparing bags with resources to participate along at home. If you have any jam jars that we could use for our session on 10th October please could you leave them outside The Vicarage in Broadwindsor if you are passing, thank you. More details for how to book in to receive a Messy Church pack will be available on Facebook over the weekend.
Finally, I have spoken to a number of people this week who are dreading the shorter days and potential isolation that further lockdown restrictions may require. Do take time this week to connect with friends, see how they are doing, and perhaps get creative in ways that you can keep in contact and connect. How about reading the same book and then chatting about it on the phone? Have a Zoom coffee or gin and tonic with someone? Offer to go on a walk with someone? Or perhaps just phone up and pray for each other.
Every blessing, Jo2020-09-25-Weekly-Share-Sheet