reopening Aldershot Methodist Church

Dear Aldershot Methodist Church Friends,

We intend to restart the 10:30 am service, in our church building, beginning Sunday 20th September 2020.  We look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible back, after these long months of meeting and worshiping in different ways.  We have undertaken a full COVID-19 Risk Assessment, following government and Methodist guidelines, and aim to make things as safe as possible.  We are able to accommodate up to 40 people for public worship, but things will look quite different to what we have been used.  This is just a summary of those differences, so that you can be prepared for what to expect.

  • There will be 2m social distancing throughout the building and car park.  This means that there will be a one way system through the building and the chairs will be set out  to allow for individuals and household groups to be distanced from each other.
  • It is now mandatory for everyone over the age of 11, unless they have a clinical reason to be exempt, to wear a face covering when inside a church.
  • On entry to the building, you should use the hand sanitiser provided, or you may use your own.
  • We will keep a record of all who attend and visitors will be asked to give contact details.  This  is to support NHS Test and Trace, if needed.  Contact details will be destroyed after 21 days and used for no other purpose.
  • Please move through the porch and vestibule as quickly as possible, maintaining  social distancing.
  • You will be shown directly to your seat by ushers, and are asked to remain there.
  • All services will take the form of family worship.  Unfortunately we are unable to make separate provision for children at this time and they must stay with their families. Families are welcome to bring their own quiet toys and activities.
  • There will be no congregational singing.
  • We will not be passing round an offertory bag.  There will be a receptacle for your monetary gifts on the way out.  However, we would encourage you to give remotely where possible (e.g. standing order, BACS etc).
  • Services will be shorter than previously, 30 - 45 minutes.
  • Unfortunately we are unable to serve refreshments, for the time being.
  • The only available toilet will be the disabled toilet, which will be available for use by all.
  • At the end of the service, you should leave promptly. There can be no gathering to chat either inside the building or in the car park.  If you are unable to drive away immediately, due to double parking, please wait in your car, until it is safe to do so.

Anyone who is displaying symptoms of Covid-19, is self-isolating due to a possible or confirmed case of Covid-19 in the household, or because they have been requested to do so by NHS Test & Trace, or has been in close contact, for more than 15 minutes with anyone who has subsequently tested positive for Covid-19 within 48 hours, must stay at home and not attend public worship.  

Anyone over 70, or clinically vulnerable, should consider carefully the risks associated with indoor gatherings and whether it is right for them to attend public worship, at this time.

The full Risk Assessment is available here.  

We hope that although this seems strange to us all, we will quickly become comfortable with the arrangements and enjoy worshipping God together at Aldershot Methodist Church.  Please do be patient with us as we work through this to make it a safe and meaningful experience.  Things are bound to change as we adjust and find better ways.  Please do not hesitate in coming forward with any comments or suggestions.