On Thursday, Government restrictions relating to Covid-19 were lifted. However, since the virus is still very much with us, the Government suggests that we continue to exercise caution in crowded and indoor spaces where we might come into contact with people we do not normally meet. It is now clear from scientific evidence that the main risk of transmission is from breath, by nasal or oral aerosol. Although the risk of infection from touch transmission is minimal, we still need to be sensitive towards those who are hesitant about returning to church. We have therefore decided that the following guidelines should apply in Saint Edmund’s for the time being.
- On entering the church you are encouraged to use the sanitiser provided.
- We still ask you to wear a face-covering in church.
- Please be considerate of other people’s concerns and avoid sitting too close to others.
- Readers are no longer required to sanitise their hands but sanitiser will be available for those wishing to continue to do so.
- While choirs may continue to sing without masks, we ask that the rest of the congregation keep their masks on when singing.
- The Sign of Peace will continue without contact, eg, by bowing to your neighbour.
- The route to come forward to receive Holy Communion will revert to the original i.e. using the centre aisle to approach the altar and returning via the side aisles. Please come up row by row starting from the front pews.
- Holy Communion will continue to be given under one kind, on the hand. Those unwilling to receive on the hand should come forward at the end of the distribution.
- All ministers of Holy Communion MUST wear a mask and they must sanitise their hands AFTER putting on or touching their mask.
- For the time being, we will not be making holy water available in the holy water stoups.
- The Church in England and Wales supports the vaccination programme and encourages people to be vaccinated. It stresses that any people displaying symptoms of Covid-19 should stay at home and not participate in acts of worship in church.
We will be writing to you again about the resumption of home visiting and social activities.