Covid-19

Summary of main care-points post Step 4 of government roadmap (i.e. after 19 July)

Following a review of the guidance issued by the government and The Methodist Church post step 4, Wellesbourne Methodist Church Council met on 20 July 2021 and agreed that the church will continue with the following care points (as detailed in the church’s Covid-19 risk assessment updated in line with this).

  1. Risk assessments – Churches are still legally required to have a Covid risk assessment. All users of the premises will continue to be provided with the latest version relating to the premises to include as part of their own risk assessment. Any special events will require separate risk assessment.
  2. Who can attend? – No-one is permitted to attend the premises if they, or anyone in their household, are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or have had a positive test for Covid-19, or if they are self-isolating. People are also strongly encouraged to stay at home if they feel unwell in any way.
  3. Social distancing – 2m social distancing will be maintained. The socially distanced seating in the sanctuary will be retained. People can choose to sit together if they pre-arrange to do so and arrive together. The one-way system is to be scrapped and the main door will be reinstated for Sunday worship.
  4. Face coverings – All are strongly advised to wear face coverings inside the church building at all times. A supply of masks will be available in the vestibule / hall. Those who do not wear face coverings (including those who wear visors) will be seated together (socially distanced). Door stewards must wear face coverings.
  5. Ventilation – All windows and doors are to be left open during services and meetings. This will be reviewed as the weather changes in the autumn. Third party users will be informed of the need to provide maximum ventilation.
  6. Touching and surfaces
    • Hand Sanitiser – Will be available at entrance and exit of the building and at entrance to the toilets, and its use is recommended.
    • Kitchen use / serving food and drinks. – The kitchen will remain out-of-bounds except for essential reasons such as access to water for cleaning and access to rear of the building. Only drinks should be served and this must be outside by providing bottles / cans.
    • Toilets – All toilets will be re-instated for use. Existing protocols will remain in place i.e. all users to use hand sanitiser on entry, and wipe down all contact surfaces after use. Signs remind users.
    • Shared items – Books can be used if desired by individuals (who can help themselves from the shelves). Toys will not be available for use.
    • Offering – A receptacle will be placed just inside the sanctuary for people to make their offering as they enter if they prefer to give cash or cheques. The offering will then be blessed during the service. Protocols are in place for counting money.
  • Singing –Face coverings must be worn by anyone singing (including those leading the service). Those not wearing face coverings will be asked not to sing. Singing will be introduced gradually – initially only the final hymn increasing to 2 or 3 hymns / songs maximum. Third parties can use the premises for singing but will be expected to complete their own risk assessment and will be asked not to move the furniture in the sanctuary.
  • Holy Communion – Current protocols will continue for Holy Communion until The Superintendent Minister issues further guidance. This includes no person-to-person contact when sharing The Peace and care when handling and distributing the elements.
  • Test and trace – Use of QR code or manual recording of names is to be continued for indoor activities.
  • Attendance at church when no meeting is taking place – Anyone planning to be in the building for more than a few minutes should inform the Property Steward or Bookings Secretary. All entering the building at any time who are not part of an organised group or meeting are to fill in the Attendance Log on the hall noticeboard.
  • Transport of others to church – It is recommended you wear a face covering when travelling in a private vehicle with people you do not usually meet and, on your journey, open windows to let fresh air in where possible.
  • Review of these requirements – These requirements will be reviewed at October Church Council unless there are significant changes to government or Methodist Church guidance before this.
  • Communication – Any changes will be communicated to all via e-mail and letter.

For full details of all controls please see Church Covid-19 risk assessment, a copy of which can be seen on the hall noticeboard. If you wish to have a copy the Church Steward can provide one.

Hirer Safety Guidance – From 19 July 2021

All hirers are asked to:

  • Review section A (i.e. premises section) of the Wellesbourne Methodist Church Covid-19 Risk Assessment Issue 5a dated 27-07-21 and include reference to this in their own assessment of risk
  • Ensure their attendees do not attend Wellesbourne Methodist Church Centre if they feel unwell
  • Ensure they have sufficient leaders present to ensure all care-points are followed
  • Give serious consideration to social distancing recognising that not everyone is ready to reduce social distance
  • Ensure rooms are well ventilated by opening doors and windows
  • Request their attendees:
    • wear a face covering when inside the building
    • undertake regular hand washing or use hand sanitiser
    • follow care-points for use of toilets
    • cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or crook of elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • Clean common contact surfaces, stack chairs, empty bins and complete Users Checklist on the hall noticeboard before leaving premises
  • Record the contact details of attendees and retain for 21 days for NHS Test and Trace
  • Notify the Bookings Secretary as soon as possible if an attendee tests positive for Covid-19 within 48 hours of attending the premises

All users must continue to self-isolate if they have a positive Covid-19 test or are asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Wellesbourne Methodist Church retains the right to cancel future booking where a hirer puts the well-being and safety of other users at risk.

This guidance will be reviewed and updated in October 2021 or before if there are significant changes to guidance from government or The Methodist Church central office.