Coronavirus – Update 14th August 2020
Our Church Buildings are re-opening for services
We are now in a position to open our churches for services. Unfortunately for now the church buildings must remain closed at all other times. For the time being there will be one service each Sunday in the benefice, alternating between Whitwell and Creswell. The first service will be on Sunday 2nd August at 10.30am at Whitwell, followed by Creswell on 9th August and so on. This rota is subject to change to accommodate any weddings so please check the services / events section of the website for details of service location. Due to the requirements for social distancing it is currently not possible for services to take place at Elmton or Steetley.
There will be some changes to bear in mind when you do attend church which are necessary to reduce the risk of virus transmission. You will need to remain 2 metres apart from people not within your household at all times. We understand that this will be very difficult, especially as we haven’t seen each other for so long, but it is a sign that we love and care for one another and are doing our best to keep each other safe. Please give people room to enter and leave the church building and move around whilst inside, ensuring the 2 metres distance is maintained.
There will be a ‘one way’ system in place and we ask you follow the directions of the Church Wardens / Sidespersons. Services will start at 10.30am but we ask that you do not gather too early for this, 10.15am will be early enough. We will need to record your name and a contact number for the government’s Track and Trace service. This information will be held for 3 weeks and then destroyed.
Please do not attend church if you feel unwell, and especially if you have a new cough, a higher temperature than normal or have lost your sense of taste or smell. On entering and leaving the building hand sanitizer will be available and we ask that you use this.
Face coverings are now mandatory in places of worship. This is a legal requirement. Therefore, please make sure you bring a face covering with you when you attend church.
The doors of our churches will be left open to ventilate the building and so you may wish to consider wearing extra layers to keep warm.
The way we worship together will look and feel quite different to how we are used to worshipping, for example, services will be said, with no hymns or sung responses. Medical advice also warns that loud talking is a way that the virus can spread, so responses during the service are optional, but if you choose to respond, please speak them quietly and prayerfully. When we share the peace, we will stay in our seats and simply wave or make the sign of the peace with others around us. There will be no collection plate passed around during the service but a collection plate will be available near the exit. Please do continue to support your church by giving generously and consider arranging to give or continue to give electronically for your safety and convenience. During communion services, only the bread will be distributed. Please observe social distancing when receiving communion and please do not kneel at the altar rail.
It will take a while for this ’new normal’ to feel normal and for us to hit our stride with the new arrangements so please bear with us as there are bound to be ‘teething problems’ initially but we are all committed to the long term future of the benefice. There are a lot of changes to think about for all of us, but despite the issues we are facing, let us not try not to forget what we gather in unity to do, to worship a loving God and to pray for the needs of the world and each other.
If you have any concerns or questions please contact one of the Churchwardens:
Creswell – Lewis Marriott, 01909 721564 or 07973 823857
Elmton – Bob Glassey, Tel: 01909 720242 or 07502 005108
Whitwell – Ann Godley, 01909 723514 or Nigel Bradshaw 01909 722675