ETCC, the coronavirus and the way ahead
(last updated 20th July 2021)
Following the government's removal of legal restrictions on the 19th July, here is a video link to Nathan explaining a few changes that we will be making to church-life from Sunday 25th July.
A MESSAGE FROM NATHAN
Below is an outline of the main points:
These changes are a gradual approach towards getting back to normal, which we will hopefully be doing by September. And we will review these changes in late August.
We have decided to take a gradual approach for several reasons:
1) Out of love for one another - We are a diverse family with a diverse set of feelings about Covid. A gradual approach will help us all readjust to being together again and help people to feel safe and loved as they do so. We are a family and want to make a priority of keeping the family together; neither running ahead nor lagging behind, but moving together.
2) Rising cases - Whilst the legal restrictions have been removed, we must recognise that cases are rising fast. We have a duty of care to one another and to public health to mitigate the risk of spreading Covid.
3) August is a difficult time to make big changes - Many of the staff and volunteer teams are away and so co-ordinating big changes and rebuilding teams won't easily happen in August.
So what will stay the same and what will change?
#1 – We would love you to keep booking in for church throughout August. This helps us to follow the government guidance to keep a record of who attends our meetings. However, we don't require you to book and we will welcome anyone who forgets to book or just turns up.
#2 – There will still be a welcome team checking you in and guiding you to where is best to be seated.
#3 – We are still encouraging good hygiene. There will be hand sanitizing stations for you to use on the way in and by the toilets. We will also clean between services.
#4 – We are going to add in a few extra chairs but will seek to keep a little more space between rows than we had before Covid. Social distancing is no longer required but we want to help people get used to being near others again. There will be no one-way system and people will be allowed to move around the building a little more freely.
#5 – Like supermarkets and public transport, we are going to keep wearing masks throughout August. This is most proven to reduce the spread of the virus.
#6 – We will sing but with masks on at least through August. Keeping masks on to sing will reduce risks of spreading Covid in these early days of restrictions easing.
#7 - We will continue to encourage mixing after the service to happen outside in the car-park, garden and park rather than in the building.
We're excited that these changes will help church to feel far more normal whilst continuing to care for one another in these Covid times.
What about kids work throughout August?
We hope to get all our Treasure Hunter groups back up and running for September. However, for August, we have already made plans to have a single group running for TH Toddlers (20 months) through to School year Reception. Year 1 kids and above will join us in church and there will be a kid's sheet to help them engage with the sermon. We will continue to ask you to book your kids into the kids group throughout August, but again, we will welcome kids who just turn up.
What about mid-week meetings?
All our prayer meetings will remain on Zoom in August with the hope we can move it back in person from September.
What about other activities?
Our teams are starting to make plans for things to be restarted in September.
We hope to have more information for you in late August.
Prayer and Care
We are keen to keep the praying life of church going. If there are things you would like the church to pray about, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will endeavour to keep sending out a weekly prayer sheet called Grapevine so we can stay up to date in our prayers for one another and our mission partners.
At this difficult time we are aware that many will need spiritual comfort and support as well as practical help. Please make contact with your small group leader, with one of the elders, or make contact with the church office if you need some help. You could also email the welfare team directly email@example.com. Please let us know if you are unwell or self-isolating so that we can support you as best we can.
We would also encourage you to care for one another. If you are able to offer some more practical help please do let us know.