Returning to Worship in our Church Building
So, what will church together look like when we return after lockdown? Here’s a short video to explain.
Reserving A Seat:
Because of social distancing regulations and guidelines, the number of people able to attend each week will have to be reduced, and the job of getting everyone seated safely will be very complicated.
To enable us to manage numbers effectively, we have decided to introduce a seat reservation system, whereby seats will be allocated in advance, to try to give everyone who wishes to attend, equal access to places that are available. Seats may be booked in the Church sanctuary for services from Sunday 2 August onwards. There will also be places available in our main hall, where the service will be live streamed.
We are encouraging as many people as possible to make their reservations online. The booking system is call TicketSource and is accessible by using the following link www.ticketsource.co.uk/legacurry-presbyterian-church .
The booking line will open at 7.00pm on Wednesday 29 July, when it will be possible to book a place in any one of the first 3 Sundays, 2nd, 9th or 16th August.
It will also be possible to book places by telephone call to Helen in the church office Tel: 028 9263 9375.
The telephone line will be open for bookings on Wednesday 29 July from 4 pm – 8 pm and at normal Office hours. (10am-1pm Tuesdays and Thursdays. 4pm-8pm Wednesdays.) A separate allocation of seats will apply to telephone bookings so don’t worry if you can’t get through straight away.
You are asked only to make one reservation at this time, to give an opportunity for everyone who wishes, to come to church at least once.
Further seats will be released later each week if the full allocation has not been taken up, so please keep an eye on the church website www.legacurry.church to see if extra spaces are available.
How do I book?
When you go to the website, you will be asked to choose a block of seats within which you wish to book. Within each block, available seats will show as ORANGE. Seats already reserved are shown with a BLUE dot. Unavailable seats are GREY.
Please try, if possible to book a group of seats that matches the number that you need as, due to social distancing rules, other seats in the group will be blocked when at least one is reserved.
To try to maximise flexibility, single seats have not been set up individually in the seating plan. If you require a single seat, please feel free to book in any larger seating group that is available. A larger family group may have to book into 2 groups if a sufficiently large group of seats is not available together.
Confirmation of booking
As part of the booking process you will be asked for your email address and postal address. This will be used to send you confirmation details when you have booked and may also be used should there be any need to trace contacts. When you have completed your booking, you will receive an email confirmation setting out the details of your reservation.
What happens if I cannot attend?
To enable others to use your seat, in the event that you cannot attend, please be sure to cancel your reservation either through the website or by phoning the church office.
Arrival at church
Please bring a note of your reservation when you come to church. If your reservation is for block A or B, please enter the church by the side door to the left of the building; those in blocks C, D and E will use the main entrance. The pew number will also be on your reservation and stewards will be on hand to show you to your seat.
When we arrive at the church, there will be distancing markers to help us stay safe. While we are socially distancing, we won’t be able to greet each other with warm handshakes or hugs but there are no restrictions on warm smiles and waves! There will be sanitizing gel for us to use at every entrance and to keep everyone moving safely through the buildings, we will be shown to our pews and seats by a friendly team of trained stewards.
To begin with we will not be able to open the crèche or provide Children’s church, Sunday School or Bible Class, so children will stay with their parents during the service. Unfortunately we can’t hand out worksheets or colouring pencils so parents are encouraged to bring such things for their younger children. Some downloadable worksheet will be prepared for each week and put on our web-site.
But we will continue to celebrate Birthdays as we have been doing with Church at Home, so parents, keep sending us photos when your child’s birthday is coming up so we can share prayers and Birthday Blessings.
Toilets will be available and there will be plenty of cleaning products which can be used to keep them hygienic and safe for everyone.
It will be so good to be able to join together in praising God through our music, and our Praise Team will be using all their creativity to help us to do this. Guidelines suggest that singing or responsive readings should be softer rather than louder to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others in our congregation. So initially we will be using music to respond reflectively – while saving our rousing singing for the way home in the car! We will not be passing collection plates around but will have a retiring collection at each of the doors. Or if you prefer, you can ask your elder or one of the stewards about signing up for a standing order.
The church will be thoroughly cleaned each week before Sunday morning and there will be antibacterial wipes in each pew for you to use if you wish to. Before we leave, we can each use these wipes to clean down the touch points where we have been sitting and bins will be provided at the doors to throw them away.
While face masks and gloves are not compulsory for meeting together in church, don’t feel awkward wearing them if it helps you to feel safe as you come to worship. We will also have some at the entry points if you have forgotten yours so don’t be afraid to ask for them.
Leaving the service:
After the service, the Stewards will guide us out safely. It may take a little longer to leave than usual so let’s keep our socially distanced conversations outside so as not to block the exits.
Although initially we won’t be able to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee together after the service, Prayer Ministry will still be available in the prayer room which can safely hold three people (including the member(s) of the Prayer Ministry Team) at a time.
We are working hard to ensure that all the technology is in place to allow our services to still be streamed live each week for those who are unable to join us at the start.
Community of Grace:
So as we return to worshiping together again, let’s remember to be patient with one another. Church is going to look and perhaps feel a bit different for a while yet, and we will all respond to this in different ways. The guidelines and restrictions for keeping us safe are changing all the time and it may take some time (and a lot of work) for these changes to be interpreted and implemented in a way that works for us in Legacurry. Let’s also remember to stay in touch with the people who cannot be at church for whatever reason, as we have been doing during lockdown. Above all, let’s thank God for the freedom we have to come together publicly to worship Him and take every opportunity to do so as His community of grace.