Covid Restrictions

as per Rushden St Mary’s Risk Assessment March 2021

Preparation of the Church Building

  • All soft furnishings have been removed from the pews.
  • All pew bibles have been removed.
  • No books are distributed at the back of church.
  • No papers are to be distributed.

Entering and Exiting Church Building

  • The North Door is open as the entrance to the church building.
  • Tapes mark 2 metre intervals on the floor of the porch and the path outside to enable social distancing. 
  • Signs asking everyone to wear face masks are visible.
  • Signs asking everyone to sanitize their hands upon entrance are visible.
  • Signs asking everyone to maintain social distancing are visible.
  • Bottles of sanitizing gel are available at tables just inside the door.
  • Masks are available if needed. 
  • Lists of those attending each service are made by a Church Warden or another appointed person.
  • Church Wardens and Sides People point out the requirements. 
  • No books are distributed.
  • Every other pew is taped off to provide 2 metre space between rows.
  • Pews are marked with signs where individuals/family groups are to be seated.
  • Signs are ‘green’ when a space is available.  Once people have sat in that seat, they are requested to turn the sign over to ‘red’ for that space to be cleaned before being used again.
  • The back of the church is blocked off by a bench.
  • Any offerings are placed in an offering plate at the back of their church, available either upon entrance or exit of the building.
  • Church Wardens and Sides People point out how the congregation are to go to their seats. 
  • The congregation is encouraged to make their way to their seats by going towards the front of the church down the north aisle, across the front and towards the back by either the central or south aisle.
  • The West Door is opened as the exit to the church building.
  • Church Wardens and Sides People point out the flow of people after the service to the West Door.
  • Doors are kept ajar as much as possible to ensure ventilation in the building.

During the Church Service

  • Clergy and those reading stand behind a Plexiglas guard
  • Those speaking or reading may remove their masks for the time that they are speaking.
  • There is no singing during the service
  • There are no greetings by touching or shaking hands
  • Words of liturgy, etc. are projected on the large overhead screen
  • When prayer books are used, they are placed out before the service by sanitized hands and then left in the pews for collection afterwards. 
  • During communion services, the celebrant will sanitize his hands before distribution; wafers alone will be used, the celebrant placing the wafer into the communicant’s hand.

In between church services

  • If the church is closed 72 hours between services, no cleaning is necessary.
  • In between services where there is not a 72 hour window, all surfaces are sanitized, following the cards which have been turned over to ‘red’ for the purpose of showing where seats have been used.