Sunday services in Step 4
As we progress to Step 4 of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown we are making some changes to our Sunday services. These changes will allow us to enjoy some of the freedoms we have been denied in church for so long, while also taking into account the rising number of Covid-19 cases locally, and the need for us to remain careful and cautious.
You can read our updated Public Worship policy here.
Do I still need to register for a ticket?
We are still operating a ticket system for the 9am and 10am services to help allow people to maintain social distance. Tickets aren't needed at the 11am service at the moment, and tickets have never been required for the 8am. We'll keep this regularly under review.
Can I sit next to someone from a different household?
Although social distancing is longer legally required, we’ll be keeping alternate pews roped off to help people maintain social distance if they wish. If you’d like to sit next to someone from a different household please make sure they are comfortable with this first. Many people will want to continue social distancing.
Will children be coming to the front during the 9am and 10am services?
So that we can continue to maintain social distancing families will be staying in the pews for the time being.
Why are we not singing more?
We’re opening up cautiously and gradually, so we’ve decided to have just a few things sung at each service. We intend, in time, to return to the same level of singing as existed before the pandemic.
Why can members of the choir sing without face coverings?
Because the choir leads our singing its members need to be able to sing without face coverings on. Also, a separate risk assessment means that members of the choir are at least 2m apart, whereas members of the congregation may be 1m+ apart, which means extra mitigation.
Why can’t Holy Communion be administered in both kinds for those who wish?
The remaining consecrated wine has to consumed, normally by the priest celebrating the Eucharist or another minister. So, to avoid risk of transmission to our clergy, we will continue to administer Holy Communion in one kind only for now. This is a valid way to receive Holy Communion, and the Church teaches that, when we receive Holy Communion in one kind only, we still receive the fullness of the sacrament. The grace given in Holy Communion is not halved by receiving just the bread.
Who can I share the Peace with?
While many people will want to continue to practise social distancing, we are not recommending sharing the Peace physically. This does not stop you sharing the peace with those in your household, or with those who you already know to be comfortable shaking hands. However, the symbolism of the Peace is better expressed by everyone sharing it in spirit.
Do I have to wear a mask?
In line with many other venues, we are strongly urging people to continue to wear a face covering at church services and events. This is not legally binding, but we know that wearing a mask protects those around us, so, unless you are exempt from wearing a face covering, we ask that you do wear one. However, there is now no need to wear a face covering when attending the church for private prayer during the week.
Do I need to use Test and Trace?
The government is encouraging use of Test and Trace, and the QR code and Test and Trace forms are available. However, there is no requirement to use them.
Why are refreshments only being served after 11am?
During the summer many of our volunteers will be away, so we are limiting refreshments to one service for the time being. We decided to do this at the 11am service, as there are more people at this service who have been socially isolated during the pandemic. We hope to serve refreshments after more services from September.
When will the new service pattern begin?
The PCC has decided to begin a new service pattern provisionally from Sunday 5 September, depending on the Covid-19 situation. We will publish more details about this in due course.
What are the cleaning arrangements?
The church is professionally cleaned on Saturday and Sunday evenings, including frequently touched surfaces. The latest science makes clear that the virus is principally spread by particles in the air, and that there is little or no evidence of it being spread by surfaces. This is why we are now dispensing with the need for pews to be cleaned between every service. This is also why we are reintroducing the use of hassocks (kneelers) and orders of service for some services. Hand sanitiser will still be available.
What about ventilation?
Ventilation is seen as a key factor in slowing the spread of the virus. We will continue to keep some windows in church open permanently, and for doors to remain open during services. Of course, St Paul’s Church is naturally very well-ventilated; it is by far the tallest indoor space in Winchmore Hill, and, as we know from the winter months, perfectly draughty!
What if I don’t want to use an order of service?
You will able to download the order of service from this website when these booklets have been produced.
What are the implications for Sunday School?
Sunday School isn’t meeting during the school holidays. Children are, of course, very welcome at all services.
What should I do if I am uncomfortable with the new arrangements?
The 8am Holy Communion never includes singing, and the levels of attendance mean that it should be easy to maintain social distancing. The same is true for our Wednesday 11am Holy Communion. We will also continue to live-stream the Sunday 11am Eucharist on our YouTube channel.
When will these arrangements be reviewed?
These arrangements will be in place from Sunday 25 July until the end of August, when we will review the situation in light of latest advice and number of Covid-19 cases.
Signing in for school admissions
Parents seeking a reference for school admissions need to ‘sign-in’ using the QR code as they leave church at Sunday services. For St Paul's School, this will now include families of children intending to apply for admission for September 2023. Please note that we will not be taking into account the Sundays of lockdowns when giving references for primary and secondary school admissions; parents will be deemed to have attended church during these periods at the same regularity as the periods when it is possible to ‘sign in’.
For families of children wishing to apply to St Paul’s School, please note that the school has published a new admissions policy, with updated criteria, which takes effect for admissions in 2022. To read the policy please visit the school’s website.
To book a baptism please email email@example.com. From September baptisms will take place on Sundays at 12.15pm (time TBC).
All parents must attend a baptism preparation session before their child/ren are baptised.