Re-opening St Andrew’s Church Centre

[Latest update 5th January 2020]

We are now in a National Lockdown and the Church Centre is closed for most activities, but some church services are still possible.

Groups of any size cannot met inside or outside , including in St Andrew’s Church Centre, unless exemptions apply. There are exemptions for Church Services, but these don’t apply to other church groups and similar meetings. External group meetings in the Church Centre are also not allowed unless there are clear national exemptions (in which case please provide details of your exemption before you met, e.g. NYA for young people’s organisations). 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.

Only the church and hall are currently 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. For the present, 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.

Heating Back On. With advent of the colder weather, we have now put the heating back on. There is clearly a balance to be struck between:
> Providing good ventilation during the COVID-19 situation.
> The cost and environmental impact of heating up the atmosphere if we have the doors and windows wide open.
> The need for some warmth and heating.
Clearly having no heating through winter is not a practical option, so we have asked all users to take appropriate steps to allow some ventilation, e.g. only partly opening windows in the hall, whilst maintaining warmth in the building. We will be updating the risk assessments and instructions to fully reflect this in the coming days as we assess the situation.

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.