We’re really looking forward to welcoming you back to the church building on Sunday morning.
It’s been far too long since we’ve been able to worship together. The purpose of this article is to give you a guide as to what you should expect on Sunday, and how to get ready for the service.
Before You Leave Home
Getting ready for the service on Sunday begins at home:
- Are you feeling well?
If you’re not feeling well at all, or you have any of the government recognised symptoms of coronavirus, we would ask you to stay at home and join us online.
- Have you got a Bible?
We won’t be able to provide you with one of the church Bibles, so you’ll need to remember to bring your own with you.
- Have you got a bottle of water?
There won’t be any refreshments after the service and we won’t able to offer you a drink during the service. So, please do try and remember to bring a bottle of water with you.
- Do you need to go to the loo?
We’re trying to encourage people where possible to avoid using the toilets at church. They will be available, but please use them as a last resort.
- Have you got a face mask with you?
On the 8th August, the Government made it a legal requirement to wear a mask covering in a Place of Worship. Please remember to bring one from home with you to wear on the premises. We hope to have some spares with us, but if you’re not able to wear a mask (except for a valid health reason or if a child is aged 11 or under) you won’t be allowed to enter the Chapel.
- Do you need to bring some toys or activity to entertain your children with?
You might need some toys or colouring to bring with you to entertain any kids with you. We really don’t mind the noise that children make but we aren’t able to provide church toys, and the Vestry and Lounge will be closed.
- Are you warm enough?
We’ll have many more of our doors and windows open to increase ventilation in the building, so if you feel the cold, make sure to bring a jumper or coat with you.
- And lastly, have you booked online?
This one, isn’t essential, but it is really helpful for us: have you booked online before you’ve come? This allows us to make sure that we have contact details for you, have enough socially distanced chairs, and speed up the process of registering people when you arrive.
When you arrive
You’ll be asked to queue up outside. We’ve placed markings on the floor in order to help us to ensure that we have social distancing of 2m at all times.
When it’s your turn to enter the Chapel – we hope that you’ll be given a warm welcome by our welcome team. We’ll then ask you whether you’re feeling unwell, and to sanitise your hands. If you’ve already booked online, we’ll tick you off our list. But, if you haven’t we’ll need to take your name and make sure that we have up-to-date contact information for you to help us to comply with the government’s track and trace program in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Some areas of the church building have been closed off (e.g. the kitchen, the lounge, and the vestry) please respect the “Do Not Enter” signs, unless you have permission from someone who is stewarding.
During the service
The main difference you’ll notice during our services is that you won’t be able to sing. Initially, we will be using some pre-recorded music videos to help us to worship. Please reflect quietly on the words when the music is playing.
A one-way system will be in place, with people entering through the front door, and exiting the building through the garden fire exits and along the passage to the side of the building. If you need to use the toilet during the service, please follow the one-way system, and exit into the garden, and re-enter the building through the front doors.
After the service
When the service is over, please remain in your seats, until your row is asked to leave. The exit to the building will be through the fire exits into the garden, and then out via the side of the building. Please do not linger, as we would normally love to do, as the government has asked that we discourage social interactions following our services.
Everything will be available online
The service will be live streamed, so that those who need to remain at home for the time being will be able to access exactly the same service. You can watch any of our services on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/westgatechapelBSE
That can feel like a lot of rules for us to follow
It’s worth saying: this is not normal.
This is a lot of rules and guidelines for us to be following when we gather together to worship on a Sunday morning. It will feel different. It will feel a bit odd. But, we’re hoping and praying that this is the beginning of the road back to being able to gather together in full freedom.
Please do follow these rules as closely as you’re able to do. This will help us to care for the vulnerable, for those who are feeling concerned about coming to church, and is a way for us to be loving our neighbours and submitting to the authorities that God has placed over us.
We’re really looking forward to being able to gather together again in person and look forward to welcoming you back to Westgate Chapel to worship God in Spirit and Truth.