Re-opening St Andrew’s Church Centre

[Latest update 28th December 2021]

Updated COVID safety guidelines 
Following on from the latest guidance, we are seeking to balance the need to keep in person arrangements in place whilst ensuring our environments as safe as possible for everyone. Key points include:
  • Face coverings are mandatory in places of worship for everyone 11 or over (unless people are exempt, taking part in the service, or consuming refreshments). Please continue to wear face coverings in ALL services.
  • This means that face coverings are now mandatory for youth in their youth sessions also so please could parents ensure that their youth bring a mask with them.
  • Please continue to sanitise your hands on entry and do not attend if you have any symptoms.

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.

Update following guidance from the Church of England up to November 2021:
We welcome the publication of the Government’s Autumn and Winter plan, recognising the very positive effects of the vaccination campaign and also the ongoing risks posed by Covid-19. We will continue to monitor the situation as we move towards Christmas.

The following is a summary of our arrangements within all of the St Andrew’s Church Centre from the 1st October 2021 where we will endeavour to keep everyone as safe as possible whilst opening as many facilities as possible:

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.
  •  Anyone who has attended the building and develops COVID is strongly encouraged to inform the Church Office immediately so that appropriate action can take place (including informing the Rector).
  • We ask people attending to wear face coverings (unless exempt or under 12) for 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), the two blue rooms (as one unit) and the crèche/chapel are available for use by groups. However the organiser / leader for each group must ensure that:
    •  The rooms are well ventilated at least 10 minutes before, as appropriate during and at least 10 minutes after use. Please try to strike the balance here between ventilating the rooms and retaining heat while the heating is on so as not damage the environment and increase heating costs. For the rooms in the new build with roof vents, please ensure that these are fully closed before you leave.
    • 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 some appropriate social distancing can be 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.
    • Groups using the church centre should review their use of refreshment facilities (kitchen and foyer) possibly by using disposable items or by making sure that thorough cleaning takes place of all items and surfaces used, including. washing up and rinsing all crockery and cutlery in hot water. It is recommended that only one or two people (ideally 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.
    • 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 try to take all rubbish and recycling home with you after your use of the church centre.
    • Please avoid congregating in the foyer and corridor.
  • 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.
  • As a very rough guide we would like organisers to keep within the following maximum capacity of the rooms:
    • Church -90
    • Hall – 50
    • Yellow rooms combined – 20
    • Blue rooms combined -15
    • Crèche/Chapel – 6
  • 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 ‘priestly intinction’ (dipping the wafers into the wine) and served to congregation members. The ‘common cup’ will not be used at present.
  • Seating in church for services will be set up in rows of spaced chairs with the rows spaced well apart. 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 our current services can be found on our website.

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.