Newhaven Church Plans for Reopening – Frequently Asked Questions
Updated 14 September 2020
- When will the church reopen?
We are hoping that our first service will be held on September 20th with another one the following Sunday 27th September. We have made an application to Presbytery to re-open and are awaiting their decision. Confirmation and details of how it will work will be send out when we know definitely. These two services are “pilot” services, which we will then assess and decide what we should do going forward. If you attend a service we would like to have your thoughts about it.
- Will it be like it was before?
Unfortunately not. The Scottish Government rules mean that we have to maintain social distancing and that means that we cannot have more than 20 households and 25 people in total. In addition at the moment group singing is not permitted. We hope that in time there will be further relaxation.
- Can anyone just turn up at 10.30am?
Because of the restricted numbers we have to adopt a booking system. We feel that those who have not be able for any reason to engage with the on line services would have first priority. Over the two Sundays priority will be given to surnames A to L on the first Sunday and M to Z on the second. To book a place you must contact the Session Clerk who will take your contact details. (We are required by the government to retain these for 21 days). He will confirm if you can be given a place.
- Are there any people who should not attend?
Anyone who is unwell or who shows any Covid 19 symptoms (High temperature/fever, cough or loss of smell or taste) MUST NOT attend. Anyone in a high risk group or who is shielding or living with someone who is high risk or shielding should carefully consider their situation. Legally since 1st August 2020 they may attend but it may be wise to make use of other non-physical worship facilities.
- What happens when we arrive?
As you enter the church grounds, you will be checked off by a member of the congregation acting as a steward, to ensure that you are preregistered. You will be asked to confirm that you are well and have no COVID symptoms. You then go up the passage keeping 2 metres from anyone and you should use the hand gel at the entrance to the building. You then can enter the building still keeping 2 metres from anyone else. You will be shown where to sit. Unfortunately it will not be possible to wander around the church as we have to ensure that 2 metre social distancing is maintained at all times.
- Do I need to wear a face covering?
The Scottish government has said that face coverings must be worn at all times during worship services, unless you are exempt.
- What will the Service be like?
It is going to be different because of the restrictions. However Peter is working hard to ensure that it will be a meaningful and worshipful occasion where we can spend time before God worshipping Him in a different way. Don’t come expecting what it was before. Come expecting to spend time with God to worship Him and enjoy his presence. We may be restricted by the regulations but God isn’t and He wants to interact with us.
- It all sounds very regimented! Will there be tea or coffee?
Unfortunately we have to follow a clear procedure to ensure safety of those attending. At the end the congregation will exit by rows to ensure that 2 metre social distancing is maintained and will not be able to congregate in the café or hall area. Because of the need to maintain social distancing we are unable to offer after church tea or coffee. You may choose to meet up with friends after the service in the Park or at a coffee shop if you wish.
- Can I use the toilet?
The disabled toilet will be available. Hand gel is available at the entrance and you should use it before entering the toilet.
- Will the Sunday Children and Youth Groups be meeting?
As you may be aware they have been meeting in the park. Because at this stage we are not permitted to have a separate children’s group in the church at the same time as a service, they will continue to meet in the park, weather permitting. We are exploring how this might work going forward.