Letter from Rev. Dr Iain Ballard, September 2020
It feels as though, ‘I write in difficult circumstances,’ has become my catchphrase. I had hoped that my first letter to the members and friends of Kenilworth Methodist would be quite different to what I will write below but we find ourselves in difficult times and they need to be addressed.
Firstly my thanks to all those who have made us feel welcome. Those who have done so in visible ways and those who have worked unseen to prepare the way. I look forward to working with you all in the coming months and years as we seek to discern God’s will in the deepening of our faith, the bringing of good news to our communities and the seeking true justice for all.
Following decisions of the Church Council and Leadership Team it has been decided to open Kenilworth Methodist Church for a trial run of the Covid Risk Assessment. This will take place on Sunday 20th September at 10:00. The risk assessment is a very significant piece of work and I am grateful for all those who have been involved in this process. It is essential that the risk assessment is followed – though it may at times need to be changed. Failure to follow the guidance below could put you and others at risk.
Firstly we are required to remind people that the Government advice is that those who are clinically vulnerable (over 70 yrs of age and those with significant illnesses) are advised to stay at home as much as possible. Whilst we will not prevent you from attending Church we ask that you take seriously the advice. If you have been asked by the Track & Trace service or you have any of the symptoms of Covid-19 (New continuous Cough, Raised Temperature, Loss of Taste or Smell) then YOU MUST NOT attend Church.
If you want to come to church
We have much reduced capacity and so have decided to implement a booking system for anyone wanting to attend the service and you must contact Lisa Lavender (07989 848086) prior to attending. This will allow us to allocate space within the Sanctuary. This will also allow for us to keep the details of all those who attend for 21 days which is a non-negotiable legal requirement.
If you are unwell on the day of the service with any of the symptoms of Covid-19, I repeat: you MUST NOT ATTEND.
Before you come to Church.
Please use the toilet at home before you set off. There will be toilets available but there is much reduced capacity and you will be asked to wipe any surfaces you have touched (wipe provided) once you have finished.
When you arrive…
You will be greeted by a steward who will direct you to sanitise your hands.
The building will look very different. There are notices reminding people to keep 2m apart at all time. You may only be closer than 2m if the other person is either someone you live with or is in your ‘bubble.’
The chairs are laid out in a very different way and you will be directed by a steward to your seat which may not be in its usual place. These are in boxes or pods with the required distance between each pod. Where there is a group of more than two people a pod will have been created for you.
Once inside the building YOU MUST wear a mask at all times. The only exemptions to this are for those legally exempt and those participating in the leading of worship. If you forget your mask there is a small supply available for your use.
What will the service be like?
It will feel very different. People will not be sitting together. There will be limited interaction before and after the service. There may be music but SINGING is NOT PERMITTED. The service itself will be shorter 30-40 minutes with prayers, Bible readings and an address.
Immediately after the service you must wait until you are directed to leave – this is to maintain social distancing at all times.
If you feel unwell at any time YOU MUST inform one of the stewards.
After the Service.
If you become unwell in the week after the service, you must contact the track and trace service as well as asking for a Covid Test if appropriate.
I realise that the above reads as dictates. Please understand that they are requirements placed on us from elsewhere and we must follow that guidance lest we put ourselves and others at risk.
Further to opening
Following the service there will be further discussions amongst the Church Leadership with regards to future services. If you would feel able to help with the Stewarding of a service, please would you contact Andy Bennett or myself.
- Priory Road
- CV8 1LQ