COVID-19

COVID-19 Update

Update on 23rd March 2021

Following the PCC last night, I am delighted to let you know that the we feel we are now in a position to reopen the church for public acts of worship. Cases in Luton have continued to drop and the vaccination programme is progressing well across Luton, and therefore, we feel we can now safely reopen the building.

Services
Wednesday Church will return at 10:45am from tomorrow and Sunday Church will return at 10:30am only for now. We will review the 8:30am service at the next PCC. We will continue to stream the 10:30am Sunday Service on YouTube.

Government guidance states that we need to keep our services to around the hour mark, so we will need to aim for this until guidance changes. Holy Communion can be offered, but this is only in one kind. As before, I will come to you with the bread at the distribution. I will continue to take the wine on behalf of the congregation and the parish each time Communion is celebrated.

Easter Sunday
Please book in for Easter Sunday early! If we find there are lots of people wanting to come, we may offer 2 services - one at 9am and one at 11am (these will be the same service), so please book in early so I can make a decision on what to offer.

Refreshments
We are still prohibited from serving refreshments at this stage. We will keep our eye on the guidance to see when this changes.

In person children's work
This also remains prohibited for now.

Guidelines
Unfortunately, we cannot return to services as they were pre-pandemic at this stage. Singing is still prohibited, and there is no indication when this might be allowable again. Face coverings are still mandatory in the building (unless you have a valid medical exemption). For those involved in the service, when on the platform at the front of church, face coverings can be removed. We will still have separate microphones for each person involved in a service and there is some hand sanitiser on the Lord's table.

Social distancing still applies. It is vital that we remain within our household/support bubbles in the church building and we do not mingle. We will still be asking you to sanitise, provide details for track and trace and move straight into the Main Worship Area. Once seated, please remain seated and do not mingle (obviously, do talk with those nearby, but you must be seated to maintain the minimum 2m distance). The chairs remain set out 2m apart, please do not move the chairs when you get to the building. On leaving, a steward will let you know when to leave and by which exit. A churchwarden or PCC member will be at each exit to encourage us all to disperse away from the building. 

The Rule of 6 does not apply until Monday, and even then, only outside. Please do follow the rules as it allows us to stay open and we may be subject to inspection.

Testing
If possible, please get a lateral flow test before coming to the building. You can get these at Lewsey Community Centre, Farley Community Centre or the Central Library, 7 days a week, 8am-8pm. I have also requested that the C19 bus comes to Bushmead. If we find a positive case in the building, we would need to temporarily close again. For your reassurance, the staff team will be tested twice weekly on site. At the moment, tests are only provided for the staff team, but in time, I hope to be able to offer tests to the congregation. A reminder that if you are in a childcare bubble, you can collect testing kits from the test centres. As we continue to emerge from lockdown, we are expecting Government advertising encouraging 2 tests a week when leaving the house.

Booking in
I will need to ask you to continue booking in when attending church whilst we are limited by numbers. Please email bookings@christchurch-bushmead.org.uk or call the office on 01582 454081 (leave a message if no one answers). Please book in by 6pm the day before. If you don't manage to book, please still come to church and we will see what we can do. There will be some seats left available for members of the community.

Testing Positive
If you test positive within 72 hours of being in the building, please let me know on 07307 191582 as soon as possible. I have a legal duty to report cases to public health and they will provide us with the relevant information as to what we need to do in the building.

God bless,

The Rev’d Tim Madeley, Vicar

Email: tim@christchurch-bushmead.org.uk

Phone: 07307 191582