I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. Psalm 122:1
Dear members and friends of South Grove Free Presbyterian Church,
This coming Lord’s day, 5th July, our church doors will be open once more for public worship. This letter is intended to provide you with some guidelines and what to expect upon your return. As a Committee we wish to keep things as normal and comfortable as possible while respecting the need for social distancing as well as observing other areas of hygiene, health and safety. I will also record this letter in audio format and attach it to the same text. For those who may not receive this letter please provide them with a copy. I am doing my best to reach everyone who is contact with our church but I may inadvertently miss someone out. Your help in this is appreciated.
1. Times of services
You will know already that we are temporarily changing our Sunday meetings to 11am & 7pm. This is because we identified the period between 11am and 1pm as problematic. It would become very difficult to observe social distancing measures inside our building once the morning meeting is over. Naturally children will want to run around and also bottlenecks would be formed. It is anticipated that our 7pm meeting will have less people at it. Some have indicated they will attend this one for that reason. Both sermons from the meeting will be live streamed on www.sermonaudio.com. The broadcast will most likely start around 11.30am and 7.30pm. Please notify me of your intention to attend - this is much appreciated.
2. Who should attend?
The only restriction we put in place will be to ask those who are showing obvious symptoms of COV!D-19 to not attend. This applies if anyone in your household is showing the same symptoms. Some who are elderly and shielding have indicated to me they wish not to attend as yet. The choice is entirely yours and I respect whatever decision a person or family may make at this time.
3. Social distancing measures and basic hygiene
Signage will be outside the front and back door indicating the above restriction and asking all to observe social distancing. We will arrange chairs in the main hall and back hall in accordance to 1m+ regulations (see the next point for more information on seating). You will also see stickers on the floor asking you to observe social distancing. You will see clear bottles of pump action hand sanitiser in the church. One bottle at the front, one in the kitchen and one in each bathroom. Please use these. A large bin will be in the main entrance hall. Use this for disposal of tissues, gloves, face masks etc. Face masks and gloves are not compulsory. If you wish to wear them - that is fine. Toilets will be in use. They will be cleaned, as always, each week. You will see wipes in these facilities. Please wipe down the surfaces after use and dispose in the bins provided. Food and drink should not be consumed in the premises nor kitchen facilities used. An exception for babies, those with dietary needs etc will be made.
4. Upon your arrival and after the meeting
Either myself or once of the deacons will be around but not restricting entrance into the church. If you are coming as part of a family please occupy one of the rows of chairs. There will be several rows of 6. If rows are available and you are coming as a couple or an individual then please use them but move to the very end so that others can join the same row without needing to climb past you. Note: please keep one chair free between you and another person/people from a different household. When the meeting is over we will leave a row at a time. Again this is to prevent a bottleneck forming. I will be outside the front if you wish to chat to me. If the weather is good then feel free to go out the back door and use the grass area if you wish to chat and fellowship. Many of us haven’t seen each other for a long time and I am mindful that fellowship is important.
5. Order of service
This will be as it always has been. We will be singing. Our hymn books will be in use but please follow these steps:
Take a hymn book from the pile which will be provided for that meeting. All hymn books have not been in use for months so are fine but we will wipe them all down to make sure. Once the meeting is over return the hymn book into the box provided and we will then not use these until the following week. The evening meeting will be using a different pile of hymn books. Please bring your own Bible. Our congregational reading is from the Authorised Version. The offering plate will not be circulated but instead will be at the back of the main hall if you wish to give your tithes and offerings after the closing benediction.
I hope all this helps and do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have other questions.
Rev. Patrick Baker