OPENING OF CHURCHES

A WELCOME TO PRAYER
A PICTORIAL GUIDE TO ARRANGEMENTS AT ST JOHN'S - CLICK HERE


MORE INFORMATION

Knaresborough Team Ministry

Emerging from Lockdown/Opening Churches

A paper for Clergy, Churchwardens and PCC members.

Paper #1 – 12th June 2020

INDIVIDUAL PRAYER

A brief résumé – Government has given permission for churches to open for individual prayer from Monday 15th June (now Saturday 13th June). Please note ‘individual prayer’ does not mean casual visitors or tourists.

There is helpful guidance on the Church of England and Leeds Diocesan websites as to how best and safest to implement reopening.

Likewise, this useful document has just been released by Government.

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic

 

These documents are all readily accessible and it is not the intention of this paper to reproduce them but to look at implementation.

The clergy suggest that we follow our regular pattern of churches being open and closed – therefore St John’s will be open ON OCCASION, whilst all other churches remain closed.

 

A ‘RISK ASSESSMENT for opening church buildings to the public: individual prayer’, has been generated by the Church of England and is included (completed for St John’s) as Appendix 1

 

Church

Open/Closed

When

When

When

St John’s

Open

Wednesday mornings 10am-12pm

Thursday

Evenings

6pm-7.30pm

Saturday mornings 10am-12pm

Holy Trinity

Closed

 

 

 

Goldsborough

Closed

 

 

 

Nidd

Closed

 

 

 

Brearton

Closed

 

 

 

PRAYER ZONES - The Nave at St John’s will be partitioned off using colour coded ribbon into prayer zones: Blue, Red, Yellow and Green… each ‘prayer zone’ will be used no more than once every week therefore limiting the need for cleaning.

CLEANING - It is hoped that an external cleaner may clean the nave weekly – however, after each individual prayer ‘session’, the cleric on duty will perform a light touch clean.

CLERGY PRESENCE - St John’s will have a clergy presence in the building during these times of opening to:

  • ensure the use of hand sanitization and hygiene
  • ensure safe distancing and explain one-way system of movement
  • ensure the correct use of prayer zones
  • for prayerful support
  • for security

CLOSED - All other areas of the church will be cordoned off.

No votive candles will be available to light, but the Easter candle will be lit (in the centre of the church next to the clergy stalls) as a focus for prayer.

South door (in), North door (out) to remain open throughout.

All church lights will be fully on… no heating will be used.

TOILETS - The HUB will remain closed and off limits for toilets etc.

As well as hand sanitization, there will be a welcome table for the distribution of printed material for use in the church and then to be TAKEN AWAY. There will also be the opportunity for people to write down prayer requests.

Donations will be accepted but they are to be placed into a box, and there left untouched until at least 72 hours has passed!

Proposed Opening Dates:

Cleric

Wednesday 17th June

Revd Garry

Thursday 18th

Revd Garry

Saturday 20th

Revd Stroma

Wednesday 24th

Revd Stroma

Thursday 25th

Revd Garry

Saturday 27th

Revd Stroma

Wednesday 1st July

Revd Garry

Thursday 2nd

Revd Garry

Saturday 4th

Revd Stroma

Wednesday 8th

Revd Stroma

Thursday 9th

Revd Garry

Saturday 11th

Revd Stroma

 

WEDDINGS

A brief résumé – Government have not as yet given permission for churches to open for weddings.

There is helpful guidance on the Church of England and Leeds Diocesan websites as to how best and safest to implement eventual reopening.

These documents are all readily accessible and it is not the intention of this paper to reproduce them but to look at implementation.

 

A ‘RISK ASSESSMENT for opening church buildings to the public: weddings’, is not yet available, but we shall follow the pattern for risk assessing our buildings as for individual prayer – please see Appendix 1

 

 

BAPTISMS

A brief résumé – Government have not as yet given permission for churches to open for baptisms.

 

There is helpful guidance on the Church of England and Leeds Diocesan websites as to how best and safest to implement eventual reopening.

These documents are all readily accessible and it is not the intention of this paper to reproduce them but to look at implementation.

 

The clergy suggest that ALL CHURCHES in the KTM be available for baptisms from September (if permitted).

 

A ‘RISK ASSESSMENT for opening church buildings to the public: baptisms’, is not yet available, but we shall follow the pattern for risk assessing our buildings as for individual prayer – please see Appendix 1

FUNERALS

A brief résumé – Government have given permission for churches to open for funerals from Monday 15th June (now Saturday 13th June).

There is helpful guidance on the Church of England and Leeds Diocesan websites as to how best and safest to implement reopening.

These documents are all readily accessible and it is not the intention of this paper to reproduce them but to look at implementation.

The clergy suggest that ALL CHURCHES in the KTM be available for funerals from the above specified date – flowers can be brought in and taken out with the coffin, but no pedestal or arrangements are allowed.

The social distancing rules and guidelines will be carefully and rigidly adhered to.

A ‘RISK ASSESSMENT for opening church buildings to the public: funerals’, is not yet available, but we shall follow the pattern for risk assessing our buildings as for individual prayer – please see Appendix 1

Church

Max number of Mourners allowed

Music

Verger

Toilet facilities

St John’s

50

Organist - Yes

Hymns - No

Piped music - Yes

Yes

No

Holy Trinity

40

Organist - Yes

Hymns - No

Piped music - Yes

Yes

No

Goldsborough

30

Organist - No

Hymns - No

Piped music – Yes (if own music system brought)

Yes

No

Nidd

30

Organist - Yes

Hymns - No

Piped music – Yes (if own music system brought)

No

n/a

Brearton

20

Organist - No

Hymns - No

Piped music – Yes (if own music system brought)

No

n/a

 

CLEANING - It is hoped that due to the irregularity of funerals that ‘extra’ cleaning will not be necessary.

 

TOILETS – these will remain closed and off limits.

APPENDIX 1

Risk Assessment for Opening Church Buildings to the Public: individual prayer

Version Control

Issue Date

Version Number

Issued by

22nd May 2020

1

The House of Bishops Covid-19 Recovery Group

8th June 2020

2

The House of Bishops Covid-19 Recovery Group

 

THIS IS A PLANNING DOCUMENT ONLY. IT WILL BE UPDATED AND CONTENT MAY CHANGE ONCE GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE ON REOPENING PLACES OF WORSHIP HAS BEEN PUBLISHED. We are awaiting clarification from government on the extent and nature of what ‘supervised individual prayer’ means and what exactly will be required. We will update this document as further information becomes available.

 

On 7th June the government announced that places of worship may open for individual prayer in line with social distancing guidelines from 15th June. The government requires a COVID-19 risk assessment to be carried out for every building and site open to the public. This document provides a template risk assessment, with links to the relevant advice notes. It relates to opening up church and cathedral buildings to clergy and members of the public entering for individual private prayer. As well as offering guidance on best-practice, it is also intended to help parishes make a decision on whether to open for individual private prayer or not, based on their local circumstances, resources and context.

 

Future versions of this document will be produced when small services such as weddings and funerals with limited numbers are allowed and then for different forms of public worship.

 

A risk assessment relating to contractors and construction workers forms part of an updated document giving advice on access for these groups. This can be found on the Church of England Coronavirus pages.

Church: St John’s, Knaresborough

Date completed:

11th June 2020

Review date: monthly

 

Area of Focus

Controls required

Additional information

Action by whom?

Completed – date and name

Access to church buildings for clergy for purposes of private prayer and/or livestreaming

 

General advice on accessing church buildings can be found here.

One point of entry to the church building clearly identified.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

A suitable lone working policy has been consulted if relevant.

An example can be found here.

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Buildings have been aired before use.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Check for animal waste and general cleanliness.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Ensure water systems are flushed through before use.

                                            

See Government Guidance for organisations on supplying safe water supplies

n/a

 

Switch on and check electrical and heating systems if needed.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Holy water stoups and the font are empty.

 

n/a

 

Preparation of the Church for individual prayer

Confirm that all steps (above) for access by clergy have been carried out before anyone else accesses the building.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Review CofE guide on cleaning church buildings. Complete the ‘cleaning’ section of this risk assessment (below).

Advice on cleaning church buildings can be found here.

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Choose one point of entry into the church to manage flow of people and indicate this with notices, keeping emergency exits available at all times. Where possible use a different exit.

South door – in

North door – out

Direction arrows

Zoning colour coded ribbon

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Where possible, doors and windows should be opened to improve ventilation.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Remove Bibles/literature/hymn books/leaflets.

covered

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Consider if pew cushions/kneelers need to be removed.

These will remain in place but due to use of zoning will be safe to reuse

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Walk through the church to plan for physical distancing in seats, aisles, at the altar rail, including safe flow of visitors. Remember 2m in all directions from each person.          

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Determine placement of hand sanitiser available for visitors to use.

South & North doors

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Determine if temporary changes are needed to the building to facilitate social distancing

Consult advice on gaining temporary permissions (link to be added when guidance is live).

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Clearly mark out seating areas including exclusion zones to maintain distancing.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Clearly mark out flow of movement for people entering and leaving the building to maintain physical distancing requirements.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Put up notices to remind visitors about important safe practices e.g. no physical contact, practice hand washing etc.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Ensure high-risk surfaces and touch points have been wiped with appropriate sanitiser spray or disposable wipes

Advice on cleaning church buildings can be found here.

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Check that handwashing facilities have adequate soap provision and paper towels, and a bin for the paper towels.

Bins available

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Where there are toilet facilities, ensure an adequate supply of soap and disposable hand towels, and a bin for towels, are available.

Register with Parish Buying for procurement options.

n/a

 

Ensure all waste receptacles have disposable liners (e.g. polythene bin bags) to reduce the risk of those responsible for removing them.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Cleaning the church before and after general use (no known exposure to anyone with Coronavirus symptoms)

 

Advice on cleaning church buildings can be found here.

If the church building has been closed for 72 hours between periods of being open then there is no need for cleaning.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

If 72-hour closure is not possible then check all cleaners are not in a vulnerable group or self-isolating.

 

n/a

 

Set up a cleaning rota to cover your opening arrangements.

 

n/a

 

All cleaners provided with gloves (ideally disposable).

Register with Parish Buying for procurement options.

n/a

 

Suitable cleaning materials provided, depending on materials and if historic surfaces are to be cleaned.

 

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Confirm person responsible for removing potentially contaminated waste (e.g. hand towels) from the site.

External cleaner

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Confirm the frequency for removing potentially contaminated waste (e.g. hand towels) from the site – suggested daily removal.

External cleaner

GH & SMcD

GH & SMcD

11/06/20

Cleaning the church after known exposure to someone with Coronavirus symptoms

If possible close the church building for 72 hours with no access permitted.

 

GH & SMcD

 

If 72-hour closure is not possible then follow Public Health England guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings.

Public Health England guidance available here.

GH & SMcD

 

If the building has been quarantined for 72 hours, then carry out cleaning as per the normal advice on cleaning.

Advice on cleaning church buildings can be found here.

GH & SMcD