New Church Guidelines

Dear friends,

As you will be aware, the government has now moved into phase four of their lockdown plan, and that means it is now the responsibility of local churches, more specifically me, to decide how we should respond and adapt. I understand that we have some people in our church families that are still very concerned about the process, and conversely, some who are desperate to return to some kind of normality.  It is, therefore, important that we ensure that we make everybody feel comfortable and welcome at our services of worship however they feel.  From this Sunday, therefore, these will be the changes:

  • For those who are not comfortable returning to the building, please log into the Zoom stream that has been running since lockdown began. The details are on the Connect sheet every week. The Sunday Service on Felixstowe Radio will also continue to run.
  • If you would like to return to church but are concerned about the next phase, we have designated an area in both churches as ‘safe spaces’. In these areas, folk will be required to mask and asked not to sing. Social distancing will be in place.
  • For the main body of the church, we will still be asking you to sanitise upon entrance, but you will no longer need to provide your details for track and trace. We clearly cannot enforce the use of masks but ask that if you can wear them until you are seated in the church. You can then remove them to join in with worship.
  • We are now permitted to sing if you would like to in the main body of the church. We have included extra hymns this Sunday to celebrate this occasion!
  • For the time being, we are continuing to offer communion in one kind only, under the same guidelines as before.

Café 10/St Philips Community Hub/Refreshments

The arrangements for these will remain the same for now as they seem to be working well. There will be no need to sign in, and you will be served to your table.  St Martin’s have commenced refreshments after church, and again the expectation is that you will be served tea and coffee at your seat. Please do put your mask back on whilst walking around the church. I am sure St Mary’s will instigate this soon; when they do, the same conditions will apply.

These changes will be reviewed regularly, and if you have any issues or concerns, please do speak to one of the wardens or me. Whilst I understand the joy of being able to sing again, please do be mindful of each other’s differing circumstances. It is important that nobody feels excluded from the opportunity of attending their church.

Rev Paul