Re-opening St Andrew’s Church Centre

[Latest update 19th July 2021]

Guidelines. We adhere to the following guidelines:

  • 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 19th July 2021: England moved to Step 4 of the roadmap. Everyone should be cautious whilst managing the risks as cases of COVID-19 remain high. The Church of England has published revised guidance, which urges all churches to continue with precautions that are appropriate to the local situation and give due consideration to anxieties of those using our premises.

This step enables us to cautiously continue to open up the Church Centre further for use by groups. Nevertheless, 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 19th July 2021:

For everyone using the church and church centre:

  • You must follow the current Government guidance and do your best to hold your meeting in a safe manner for all.
  • As appropriate, please continue to ask people to use the Track & Trace QR code or attendance sheets whenever you visit the church centre.
  • We ask people attending to wear face coverings (unless exempt or under 12) for all services and meetings whenever possible for the benefit of others. For small groups meeting within the church centre this may not be necessary in their meeting room (by mutual consent).
  • The church, foyer, hall, two yellow rooms (as one unit) and the two blue rooms (as one unit) are available for use by groups. However the organiser / leader for each group must ensure that:
    • The rooms are well ventilated at least 15 minutes before, during and at least 15 minutes after use.
    • All rooms used are appropriately cleaned before and after use and secured afterwards. All surfaces touched should be cleaned using the anti-vital cleaning products available.
    • Rooms are not too full so that appropriate social distancing is observed as much as possible, including the use of one-way flows (hall users are encouraged to use the entrance and exit doors at the north end), avoiding too many people in the corridor, foyer and toilets (possibly by slightly delaying entry / exit from rooms if others are using the corridor).
    • Everyone sanitises their hands on arrival, before departure and as appropriate during their visit.
    • Any provision of refreshments must follow the guidance below.
    • Please try to avoid sharing items like printed sheets and books, possibly by projecting them on a screen instead.
    • Try to avoid using shared items like children’s toys (perhaps children bring their own?), or where this is not possible, ensure that all common items are thoroughly sanitised / cleaned before and after use.
    • Please bag and take all rubbish and recycling home with you after your use of the church centre.
    • Please avoid congregating in the foyer and corridor.
    • A reminder guidance sheet is available in each room.
  • As a very rough guide we would like organisers to keep within the following maximum capacity of the rooms:
    • Church -75
    • Hall – 40
    • Yellow rooms combined – 12
    • Blue rooms combined -10
  • We will generally continue to only allow one booking/use of each room each morning, afternoon and evening. This will ensure that there is no rush for cleaning or ventilation between bookings.
  • Groups using the church centre should try minimise the use of refreshment facilities (kitchen and foyer). Perhaps encourage people to bring their own water bottle instead? If refreshments are to be served, then they should bring their own, use their own crockery and cutlery (and take it home for washing afterwards) or use recyclable disposal items. It is recommended that only one or two people wearing face coverings prepare and serve all refreshments and ensure that no items are shared outside families. If the kitchen or foyer facilities are used at all they should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised after use.
  • For the time being, the Church Centre will not be available for parties or similar events; just normal meetings, allowed groups and small gatherings.
  • We would encourage groups using the church centre to carry out their own risk assessment and ensure that all attending know what is expected of them.

For church services (in addition to the above):

  • Holy Communion will continue to be administered by ‘intinction’ (dipping the wafers into the wine) and brought to congregation members, following Church of England guidelines on this. The ‘common cup’ will not be used for the foreseeable future.
  • Seating in church for services will be set up in rows of 5 chairs, spaced apart by approximately 1.5m. Congregation members have the opportunity of indicating by placing something on the chairs next to them if they do not wish others to sit next to them.
  • Further guidelines on services can be found at link:

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 using the facilities at St Andrew’s.