The Beaminster Area Team
Weekly Covid – 19 Update Friday 16th October, 2020
As I’m sure you will have been following avidly on the news outputs, there has been another week of feverish activity on the Covid safety rules and regulations front. I spent an exhilarating hour combing through them last night ahead of writing to you today. In the main there is very little change to the guidance in relation to churches and worship. The only changes I can see, and I stand ready to be corrected if you have spotted something I have missed, is in regard to ventilation during the service. It is not compulsory to keep doors open for ventilation but to ensure that ventilation takes place before, after and between services. The other change I spotted whilst preparing to meet a couple on Zoom tomorrow ahead of their wedding next Saturday is in regard to who makes up the number of 15 in attendance at the ceremony. It would appear that there has been a reversal in the advice that anyone deemed to be working i.e. minister, verger, organist etc. did not count, unless I have misread the update they now do. It is clear that singing by choirs or individuals at weddings is being strongly discouraged and for this to take place a full reworking of risk assessments explaining how the H&S guidelines on droplet spread is going to be managed, must take place prior to the event.
With the last point above in mind, this also applies to singing in churches at Sunday services. If you are encouraging choirs to help lead your worship I must be sent a copy of your updated risk assessment which shows how you have worked out safe placement of choirs avoiding droplet spread. This not only applies to spread to the congregation but also the minister, the organist and between choir members. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you need advice or help.
Before I went on leave I asked that you let me know the actual number of seats that you have in each church. Again I ask you to do this as to date,I have received a reply from only five churches. This will help with the planning when I meet with PCCs in the next few weeks to talk through what we may be able to offer in terms of Christmas services and activities. Again, I am happy to come and meet with you to work this out. When we do meet together as PCCs the meetings must take place in Church to be deemed as the business of the church. If we meet on private property they are deemed as social gatherings and are subject to the rule of six and at this point my eyes have glazed over.
Congratulations to Mosterton and Toller Porcorum for the excellent Harvest Takeaway Suppers that were organised in the parishes. Not only was it financially beneficial for each parish but more importantly it engendered a spirit of community which we are all missing as this time goes on. A big thank you to the food preparation teams and to all who helped in the organisation. Toller also held a raffle as part of their event which leads me to mention South Perrott who have sought advice on holding their Grand Christmas raffle and have all the legal requirements in place and have worked out a covid safe way of handling the sale of tickets.
Another busy week in the life of the Beaminster Team including meetings, planning, pastoral visiting, a funeral, funeral preparation, a wedding, foodbank volunteer recruitment, online Messy Church, services, school governor work, online services created, Rev Chat recording, Christmas and Advent planning not to mention writing for parish magazines, prayer and sermon writing. It is good to be out and about and seeing people.
Messy Church was watched online by a good number of people, the resource bags were collected and we even had lovely photos sent of the crafts made at home. Online Messy Church will return in December.
If you would like to donate some Christmas goodies to the foodbank we would love to receive them, preferably in November rather than December, so we can get our Christmas hampers prepared in good time. You can donate via Yarn Barton, the Co-op, Beaminster Pharmacy, in church if you have a foodbank box or via the church office.
We look forward to celebrating St Luke on Sunday in our online and in person services. Find our online service on the website.
With every blessing,