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- The Methodist Church
Coronavirus - District response
Official Guidance from Connexional Property Team Please see:- https://www.methodist.org.uk/for-churches/property/coronavirus-guidance-...
Update 15 January 2021
The latest guidance for Places of Worship was published on 11 January and it should be noted that guidance for singing in churches in England has been updated in the light of current restrictions. The following is a summary:
Where singing or chanting is essential to an act of worship, this should be limited to one person wherever possible. Exceptionally, where it is essential to the service, up to three individuals should be permitted to do so. Strict social distancing should be observed and the use of plexi-glass screens should be considered to protect worshippers, and each other.
Communal singing should not take place. This applies even if social distancing is being observed or face coverings are used.
Chanting, shouting and/or playing of instruments that are blown into should also be avoided in communal worship and in rehearsals.
Where communal singing plays a big part in worship, and recordings are available, we suggest you use these as an alternative to live singing.
Communication from Rev Paul Martin, Chair of District.
12 January 2021
You will be well aware of the rise in cases of coronavirus and correspondent concerns expressed by healthcare professionals. This poses a particular threat to our members, many of whom are in vulnerable categories. Whilst the programme of vaccinations brings
hope it ought not to generate complacency.
I am aware of the detrimental effect on peoples’ spiritual and mental wellbeing when they cannot attend public worship. Up to now, I have taken the view that if a risk assessment has been done, and if people adhere to protocols around distancing, wearing masks,
handwashing and cleaning, then we should make public worship available. On the basis of the current evidence and statistics, I have changed my mind. As Chair of District I feel I must offer some leadership and discourage public worship for the time being.
Obviously, the decision is within the gift of managing trustees and I can only offer advice. I do so with a heavy heart, but I feel we have travelled so far with this pandemic and it would be sad to fall back now when there is hope on the horizon. I have consulted the
Superintendent ministers before issuing this letter and they too feel that this is the right course of action – a fact which many of you will know already.
We pray for God’s wisdom and guidance as we continue with providing worship and pastoral contact in other ways.
Rev Paul Martin