On Tuesday 23rd July, the Prime Minister said this in the House of Commons:
Mr Speaker, I know that many have mourned the closure of places of worship, and this year, Easter, Passover and Eid all occurred during the lockdown. So I am delighted that places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services – including weddings with a maximum of 30 people, all subject to social distancing.
We will be discussing what this means for us, taking into acccount the Church of England's updated guidance and our Bishop's updated directions once those are available. It seems likely that we will be permitted to hold public services, but with restrictions on the numbers who can attend and on what we can do during those services.
Given expected restrictions on numbers, it will help us plan if we know how many people intend to come to services when they restart, and how many do not wish to come at the moment for whatever reason. If we know this, we can plan how best to serve both groups of people.
No decisions have been taken on what our service pattern might look like. So, to help you answer the questions below (and not at all to say that this is what will happen), imagine the following:
- Services on Sunday resume.
- Limited numbers mean we could hold more than one, potentially identical, service each Sunday, to allow all who wish to attend.
- Some kind of advanced booking system would be necessary (so we know numbers and don't have to turn people away).
- It seems singing could be prohibited, so assume the services are entirely said.
- Holy Communion may or may not happen.
- Services would be somewhere in the region of 30-45 minutes.
- Children's groups do not restart yet.
- There are no refreshments before or after the service.
If you live locally, please complete the form below by the end of Sunday 28th June. Please complete the form once for your entire household; where asked the number of people, please give the number of people your answer covers. (So, if only 2 in your household would want to come to church, say that your answer covers 2 people.) However, if different answers apply to different people in your household, please then do complete the form more than once, so we have an accurate picture of everyone in your household.
No personal data is being collected; you are not asked for a phone number or email address. Please simply be honest, so we can plan effectively.
Thank you for your help.