Current Meeting Guidelines...
Current Information to give guidance to every person wishing to attend Ashton Free Church for purposes of Worship or Prayer. The transmission characteristics of COVID-19 are outlined by Public Health England. The transmission of COVID-19 is currently thought to occur mainly through respiratory droplets generated by coughing and sneezing, and through contact with contaminated surfaces. The predominant modes of transmission are assumed to be droplet and contact.
The Government acknowledge that places of worship play an important role in providing spiritual leadership for many individuals, and in bringing
communities and generations together. This is to be welcomed. However, the communal nature of places of worship also makes them places that are particularly vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). From 14th September 2020 onwards the UK legislation makes it an offence for more than six people to meet together at any one time. The legislation is in place in order to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus. However there is a specific exemption to the meetings of more than six people, for meetings in Church for communal worship, including prayers, devotions or meditations led by a Minister of Religion or lay person.
However in these settings people must still not mingle within a group of more than six people. To comply with the legislation and to reduce the risk of transmitting
Coronavirus we are implementing the following guidance which must be followed by all attendees:
1. Any persons with any symptoms of Coronavirus are requested not to attend.
2. All attendees are asked to follow the government guidance on self-isolation after symptoms and/or positive test/contact tracing/returning from foreign travel.
3. We recommend that anyone who is particularly vulnerable should consider whether their attending is appropriate.
4. Each person who enters the building will register their attendance by completing a form provided at the entrance to the building (the main doors at the top of the steps) and will then use the hand sanitiser supplied. The form is simply a temporary record of Church visitors which would be used by NHS Test and Trace, if appropriate. By completing the form at the door you will confirm that you have read and accepted the current advice provided in this guide.
5. The current social distancing rules of 2m (or 1m+) must be adhered to when entering and leaving the building and also when you are in the building itself. So the first thing to be will be to find an appropriate seat!
6. There must be no physical contact between persons from different households.
7. All attendees are required to wear a face covering. The only exception to this will be if you are speaking to the whole congregation or praying.
8. Areas of the Church will be marked “out of bounds” where appropriate.
9. Seating arrangements have been adapted for social distancing within the Church building and in the unlikely event that our capacity is exceeded, no further attendees will be allowed.
10. There will be no congregational singing during our services and we will provide appropriate audio and visual worship segments on our projector screen.
11. No communal bibles or song books will be available and worshipers are requested to bring their own bibles etc.
12. We are advised to discourage cash donations at this time and recommend that people use online banking to make their gifts and donations. If online banking is not an option for you we recommend that your cash offering is placed in a sealed envelope and passed to either Andrew or Geoff.
13. All attendees are instructed not to gather in groups, except with members of their own household, inside or outside the building.
14. Toilets in particular are thought to be an area of public buildings where Coronavirus can be transmitted. While the toilets will remain open and appropriately cleaned we strongly recommend that their use is limited as much as practical and attendees consider using facilities at their homes before attending Church.
15. Attendees will leave the church via the vestry and then through the new Foyer door, continuing to socially distance, as appropriate. Hand sanitiser will be made available on the way out which we request that you use before leaving.