Since Monday (19 July) most restrictions related to Covid 19 have been eased.
We are in a new time when we are no longer told what to do by the Government in so many aspects of our lives at home and in public spaces.
Whilst restrictions have gone we are still urged to be careful. To me the word ‘careful’ does not mean over-cautious, but rather ‘full of care’.
It is important as a church community to know that there are people who are still very anxious about Covid, about the Delta variant and those who are medically vulnerable. Those of us who are less anxious and not medically vulnerable should be full of care to them.
In what follows below are the ways in which we will remain ‘full of care’ as a church, and also look to open up our life and practice further. What follows is in accordance with Church of England guidance too (although different churches will apply that guidance in different ways according to local conditions).
BEFORE CHURCH - TEST AND TRACE The church will be totally open again and there will be no maximum number of people in church. We will still ask worshippers to sign in as they have been doing as contact tracing remains key in protecting against the virus. Those who would rather not register don’t have to.
ON ARRIVAL - HAND SANITISING Please continue to hand sanitiser on entry to and exit from the church and before receiving communion. The hand sanitiser points will remain in place to be easily available as you enter and leave and before receiving communion.
ON ARRIVAL – ONE WAY SYSTEM On Sundays please continue to observe the one way system by following the floor markings.
ORDERS OF SERVICE Continue to bring your own. New laminated Orders of Service will be available in the next few weeks
IN CHURCH - FACE COVERING You are not obliged to wear a face cover in church but we would ask that you do whilst you are in the building. Do bear in mind that face covers protect others more than yourself. We are acutely aware that wearing a mask is not comfortable, and less so when speaking or singing, but we do this for others not ourselves. We will keep this request under active review.
IN CHURCH - SOCIAL DISTANCING IN THE PEWS The two metre and one metre plus rule has gone. However, it would be courteous and gracious to give people outside your household or bubble some personal space. Initially we will keep the extra chairs inside the church to give people extra space, should they desire it. We will review this in the autumn.
SUNDAY SCHOOL Sunday School will resume on Sunday September 12th
SERVERS Servers will recommence their duties after they have been retrained. All processions will be reintroduced.
DURING THE EUCHARIST - HOLY COMMUNION Holy Communion will continue to be administered in One Kind. In other words, the chalice will not yet be shared. The priest will continue to wear a mask whilst behind the altar and sanitise before administration. The people’s hosts will remain covered.
DURING THE EUCHARIST – CONGREGATIONAL SINGING Congregational singing is now permitted again. This is something many people are anxious about. We would ask that you continue to wear a face cover when singing. Initially we will be singing the new Mass Settings which the music committee will choose on July 31st, and after the summer we hope to resume singing hymns again.
DURING THE EUCHARIST - THE SIGN OF PEACE The words ‘let us offer each offer the sign of peace’ will be used again. We ask that the peace be shared physically by handshake or embrace only with members of the same household or bubble. Otherwise a bow of the head, smile or prayerful hands gesture will suffice to the person on either side of you: you are expressing the peace that flows from Christ. Please do not move from your pew at this point.
DISMISSAL Worshippers will be asked to remain seated until they are dismissed
LIVESTREAM The livestream will continue for the time being. This will be reviewed again in September
REFRESHMENTS Refreshments will be served after the service from September onwards. Gloves will be worn by those serving refreshments.
The Rectory 54 Clayton Hall Road Manchester M11 4WH
0161 223 0766 07793144841 email@example.com
Some sources of help throughout the pandemic are listed below: (Please note that these are not affiliated with St Cross in any way.)
This is a free, confidential helpline dedicated to older people which is open every day and night of the year. They offer information, friendship and advice—or just someone to chat to. The helpline team can also direct you to groups and services in your local area that might be of interest to you. 0800 470 80 90 www.thesilverline.org.uk
Mental health helplines:
Self Help offers a wide range of support and services for people living with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, phobias and panic attacks. Phone: 0161 226 3871 Website: https://www.selfhelpservices.org.uk/
CALM CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably, for men aged 15 to 35. Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight) Website: www.thecalmzone.net Mind Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems. Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) Website: www.mind.org.uk Rethink Mental Illness Support and advice for people living with mental illness. Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm) Website: www.rethink.org Samaritans Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline) Website: www.samaritans.org.uk SANE Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers. SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm) Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum Website: www.sane.org.uk/support Young Minds Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals. https://youngminds.org.uk/
Advice on dealing with domestic violence. Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline) Website: www.refuge.org.uk
Cruse Bereavement Care Phone: 0808 808 1677 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) Website: www.cruse.org.uk
Family Lives Advice on all aspects of parenting, including dealing with bullying. Phone: 0808 800 2222 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm and Saturday to Sunday, 10am to 3pm) Website: www.familylives.org.uk
Relate The UK's largest provider of relationship support. Website: www.relate.org.uk Phone: 0300 003 0396.(Monday-Thursday: 8am to 8pm, Friday: 8am to 6pm, Saturday: 9am to 1pm)