Covid update Wednesday 1 September 2021
As we continue to build back together our life and ministry at St Alfege after the government's move to step 4 after lockdown, the covid team and churchwardens have agreed we will ease some restrictions from Sunday 5 September.
We encourage you to continue to use hand sanitiser on entering church and the NHS track and trace app.
While it is no longer a legal requirement, the government expects and recommends that (unless exempted) people wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed settings to protect themselves and others.
At Sunday services at 10am and 6.30pm we will be re-introducing singing for all. The choir will return downstairs to the stalls and will unmask during singing. The congregation are invited to unmask during singing if you wish.
For the time being we will leave the 'ticks' on the pews and ask you to use common sense as to where you sit and keep a distance from others.
When we share the Peace please be sensitive to others who may not wish to shake hands or embrace.
We are resolving the best way to take the collection in services. For now please put your cash offering in the 'dome' at the entrance or use the card reader for electronic payments, or better still set up a regular standing order to St Alfege Church. Account: PCC of St Alfege, Greenwich. Sort Code: 60-09-16 Account: 25249304.
Please also note that if you are a UK tax payer the church can claim 25% Gift Aid in addition to your donation therefore if eligible and setting up a standing order, please request a gift aid declaration form from the church office email@example.com
We will continue to take communion in one kind only (consecrated wafers) and those administering communion will sanitise hands and wear a mask as before.
We will continue to keep the church building well ventilated during services.
We will continue to webcast the Sunday 10am Eucharist via Zoom before switching soon to YouTube, which offers better sound reproduction.
Children's Church will resume in the hall at 10am on Sunday mornings, and we plan to continue with hand sanitiser, and keep the hall well ventilated. Family groups will continue to sit together and a priest or lay minister will continue to bring communion for us from church each Sunday morning.
Refreshments will re-commence in the hall after the 10am service. We ask you to use common sense in not crowding the hall and if necessary take your drink outside. Please bear with our volunteers as we work out the best way to reintroduce refreshments.
Choir members will continue to take two lateral flow tests a week in advance of Thursday rehearsals and Sunday services.
A reminder that if you wish to join in worship and receive communion in a less full building, the 8am said services on Sunday and Thursday attract a lot less people than the Sunday 10am service. We hold a quiet service of Morning Prayer at 8.30am on Monday-Wednesday.
If you feel unwell or are displaying any potential symptoms we ask you to stay away from worship.
Hall lettings by external groups will resume but will be restricted to one booking per day at the weekend. They will continue to be asked to make risk assessments and wipe down surfaces after use.
Recitals continue twice weekly in church. Audiences are encouraged to sanitise hands, wear masks where possible and to sit sensibly distanced. We have audiences of around 50, so this has been possible and achievable.
Concerts re-start from 17 September although our lunchtime recitals are already taking place. It is hoped that audiences can be restricted to 100, with sanitising and mask wearing where possible. Audience numbers may need to be reviewed.
The church will remain closed on Mondays and Wednesdays for the foreseeable future. Visitors will be welcomed and asked to wear masks and sanitise hands. Volunteers do not need to wear masks continuously but are encouraged to wear them when greeting visitors and walking around with them.
All interpretation is now open to visitors except for items that involve touching. We will continue to enter through the north door and exit through the south door. Groups larger than 10 will be asked to visit only in groups of up to 10 at any one time. Hidden spaces tours will begin but with a maximum of 6 so that when we are in the crypt we can maintain social distance whilst still engaging with the tour guide.
We will continue to monitor the local situation around Covid-19 and how it affects our life together and make changes as appropriate. Thank you to everyone for your support and understanding. Let's continue to encourage, support and pray for our church and wider community as we emerge from and cope with the effects of the pandemic.
Revd Simon Winn, Vicar
Irene Bishop and Malcolm Reid, Churchwardens