Coronavirus updates

current guidance

Car sharing

Some of us usually get to church by sharing lifts with others. Because of coronavirus, some people will not feel they are able to offer/receive this as they had before – they should feel OK to say, “Sorry, I’m trying to avoid being too close to other people still, so I can’t give you/receive a lift at the moment.”  Others, however may feel that at this stage they are comfortable giving/receiving lifts. This is an important part of gathering our church community together, but we should be doing so as safely as we can. The Department for Transport advice on car sharing is:

You should try not to share a vehicle with those outside your household or social bubble.

If you need to do this, try to:

• share the transport with the same people each time
• keep to small groups of people at any one time
• open windows for ventilation
• travel side by side or behind other people, rather than facing them, where seating arrangements allow
• face away from each other
• consider seating arrangements to maximise distance between people in the vehicle
• clean your car between journeys using standard cleaning products – make sure you clean door handles and other areas that people may touch
• ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering


Face Coverings

The latest government advice is face coverings must be worn while attending our church buildings, remembering that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not the wearer, from coronavirus COVID-19 and that they are not a replacement for physical distancing and regular hand washing.  We know that some people (for a variety of reasons) are unable to use face coverings but we hope that the majority doing this will decrease the risk of the virus for all.

Along with various other categories of people, children aged 11 & under are not expected to wear face coverings.

NHS Test and Trace

If you consent to us collecting your data for use by NHS Test and Trace (if asked), please fill in a card each time you attend, which you will find on your seat in church. We will keep these for 21 days before destroying them.

Thank you for your care.
In all of these areas we don’t sit in judgement on anyone! We understand that there are a complex variety of factors affecting our response to coronavirus; above all we want to enable you to worship God in the best way that we/you can at this time.

Coronavirus and our community

After long and careful discussion we have taken the decision to close our church buildings for worship during the current lockdown. We were mindful of how important it is for some of us to be able to gather, but we were also clear that nobody should feel obliged to do so, which includes welcomers, musicians, readers etc. And while up to now gathering for socially distanced worship has not been a significant factor in spreading the virus (ie on the whole, it has been safe), the new variant makes the current situation less certain. Also the need to support the NHS by being extremely careful to reduce transmission possibilities makes, in our view, closing our centres the best thing to do at this moment. We will keep this under review, and will still be streaming worship from Hawkshaw Church on Sundays at 10.45, and producing evensong and compline services online from Holcombe. Churches will be available if needed for a funeral. Also, for those who need to exercise, the reflective garden at Emmanuel Church Centre is a good place for a pause or gentle stroll. We hope you are keeping well in these difficult days, and if there is any way in which we can help, or if you just need a chat, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

With my prayers for you and those you care for at this time,
Paul Sumsion