Re-opening St Andrew’s Church Centre

[Latest update 17th May 2021]

Guidelines. We adhere to the guidelines as follows:

  • The government guidelines (including exemptions) are available on the Government website by clicking here.
  • The Church of England guidance is available on the Church of England website by clicking here.
  • The National Youth Agency guidance is available on the NYA website by clicking here.

From Monday 17th May,  England moved to Stage Three of the Government’s ‘reopening’ roadmap. However as the Prime Minister says “We must take this next step with a heavy dose of caution”. For places of worship this move will involve some changes – notably a rise in the numbers permitted at funerals, up to the COVID-safe capacity of the building, and a maximum of 30 attendees at weddings. The Church of England have just published their updated guidance and the key item is that no indoor gatherings of more than 6 people (or  2 households or linked households) are allowed except for services (including weddings and funerals) and ‘permitted organised gatherings’, including some exempt groups. However, whenever possible, it is always preferable to meet outside rather than inside.

The following is a summary of our arrangements within all St Andrew’s Church Centre from the 17th May:

  • The requirements to wear face coverings at all times inside (except for leading a group) and to maintain social distancing (inside and outside) will remain in place.
  • We will be re-opening the two yellow rooms (as one unit) and the two blue rooms (as one unit) for groups to use providing they are well ventilated (please use the roof vents and don’t have the heating on). For these , the church and the hall we allow a maximum of one booking and use each morning, afternoon and evening. However the organiser / leader for each must ensure that:
    • There is no congregation of people in the corridor, foyer our outside the building.
    • One way flows are maintained as much possible (possibly by slightly delaying entry / exit from rooms if others are using the corridor).
    • All rooms used are well ventilated throughout their use and appropriately cleaned and secured afterwards.
    • A checklist (see below) is duly completed for each room use.
  • All social and similar arrangements (including Life Groups) will be limited to 6 people or 2 households, but services and other permitted events (including many organised youth groups) will be limited by the COVID-safe capacity of the room.
  • Depending upon the number and size of bubbles attending, the maximum COVID-safe capability of the church is approx. 40, the hall approx. 25, the two yellow rooms combined approx. 12 and the two blue rooms combined approx.10.  It is the organiser / leader’s responsibility to ensure that these COVID-safe limits are adhered to. However note that no indoor gatherings of more than 6 people (or  2 households or linked households) are allowed except for ‘permitted organised gatherings’, including church services, weddings and funerals.
  • The kitchen and refreshment facilities are still not available for use, even for water.
  • For the time being, the Church Centre will not be available for parties or similar events; just normal meetings, allowed groups and small gathers (up to 6 or 2 households).
  • Full risk assessments have been undertaken and these have resulted in Additional Conditions of Hire/Use that must be followed by everyone using the Church Centre.

The following documents (applicable from the 17th May 2021) are available to download as PDF files:

We will be regularly reviewing these arrangements and updating them as the COVID-19 situation develops. Meanwhile thank you for your co-operation in ensuring that we all remain safe while we re-open the facilities.

With the increased focus on Safeguarding, we now require all groups with children, young people or vulnerable adults using or hiring the church centre to complete a Safeguarding Declaration that can be found  by clicking here.

Previous Arrangements – From Monday 12th April to 17th May:

  • Only the church and hall (including the outside grassed areas) will currently be open at St Andrew’s (all other rooms are closed) for use by the church as well as to outside hires. (For Sundays only the yellow rooms will also be used by our children’s group and quarantined for the rest of the week.) Except for the church itself, hall and church office, all other rooms are closed. The kitchen and refreshment facilities are not available, even for water. Communal play, games and similar equipment must not be used  and any craft materials must be for individual use only. We currently anticipate a further relaxation in keeping with Government guidelines from the 17th May 2021.
  • For the time being, the Church Centre will not be available for parties or similar events; just normal meetings and groups. As below, full risk assessments have been undertaken and these have resulted in Additional Conditions of Hire/Use that must be followed by everyone using the hall.
  • To maintain a reasonable separation between groups using the hall, we will only allow one booking and use each morning, afternoon and evening.
  • For allowed church groups having normal meetings in the hall or church, we have produced simple checklists that can be used in place of a specific risk assessment. However if anything else is planned to be undertaken, a fuller risk assessment will be needed. These simple checklists (or probably a tailored version of them) could also be used by people who hire the hall for meetings as a quick way of checking that they have completed everything in their risk assessment.

The following documents are available to download as PDF files:

We will be regularly reviewing these arrangements and updating them as the COVID-19 situation develops. Meanwhile thank you for your co-operation in ensuring that we all remain safe while we re-open the facilities.

With the increased focus on Safeguarding, we now require all groups with children, young people or vulnerable adults using or hiring the church centre to complete a Safeguarding Declaration that can be found  by clicking here.