COVID - 19 UPDATE: 4 AUGUST 2020
The situation regarding the opening of churches for
private prayer and worship is constantly changing. The latest, detailed, government info on this
can be found at the following
The following is based on
guidance received from HM Government and the Church of England (nationally and
locally). I must stress that this is based on current information, in a
constantly changing environment, so changes may be necessary, possibly at short
The cleaning that will be done
and the instructions set out below and opposite will reduce the risk of
infection but I must stress that we cannot make our churches completely risk
free. By entering the church you are accepting that risk.
The wearing of face coverings within all places of worship is now mandatory by law, except for the very young, and those with particular medical conditions. Remember that they are mainly intended to protect other people, not
the wearer, from coronavirus COVID-19 and that they are not a replacement for
physical distancing and regular hand washing. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
parish churches in Pilling, Preesall, Stalmine, and Hambleton are open
daily from 10.00-14.00 for private, prayer.
This is subject to certain restrictions as follows:
- People aged 70 or over,
individuals who are extremely, clinically, vulnerable/shielding, and those who
are isolating are strongly advised
not to visit churches for this
- You must, always, respect the
quiet of the place and the needs of other people who may be there.
- No prayer books, Bibles, or
other aids are available in church.
- No music or equipment for
playing music can be brought to church.
- Doors are open so there is no need to touch doors/handles.
- Only four people are
allowed in at any time.
- Rules on social distancing must
- There are designated areas
where you may sit. These will vary from church to church but there will
be instructions on the church door. You must not sit in or go into other
areas of the church.
- As you enter and leave you should use the hand gel provided. You should
then go home and wash your hands thoroughly.
The designated chairs/pews will be cleaned with appropriate materials at the
end of each day.
At the time of writing, these are
not permissible, except for emergency Baptisms.
When you arrive at church you will be asked to use hand
gel and then either write or give your name and telephone number. This is needed for Test and Trace purposes
and the details will be kept safe after the service and held for 21 days and
You will then directed/guided to where you may sit. This coming Sunday there will be no orders of
service. In future weeks there may be,
and the worship leader will give you instructions about whether to take them
home or leave them on your chair/pew.
Music is a particularly difficult area so I will do my
best to explain the thinking behind what we are doing. The only live music we could have would be
our organs or pianos, as long as the instructions regarding the cleaning of the
instrument is followed. However, whilst
organ playing is permissible, we also have to factor in the guidance on those
who are 70 and over and the risks associated. At St James, Paul is not in the increased risk category,
so he can play at services if required.
The guidance is that toilets should be made available if
possible but there are instructions around cleaning etc. If they are
open, please only use them if absolutely necessary.
People from the same household or bubble maty sit
together. Otherwise people must observe
social distancing. Some seats/pews may
not be available as they are being reserved for use by those coming for private
prayer at other times. A
churchwarden/sidesperson will be available to direct people to seats. Please be patient with them as they have a
difficult job to do.
These will be retiring collections only.
As for private prayer during the week, these
will be left open for the entire service and after the service ends
WEDDINGS AND FUNERALS
From 4th July, weddings
and funerals can be held in all parish churches (including Out Rawcliffe, but
not Eagland Hill) but there will be restrictions similar to those for Private
- People aged 70 or over, individuals
who are extremely, clinically, vulnerable/shielding, and those who are
isolating should not attend. Special exceptions may be made for very
close relatives These will need to be discussed on an individual basis and will
need to be carefully handled.
- Only thirty people, including
the family, will be allowed to attend. These will be people invited by
- There will be no singing.
- Any music will be played from digital media. Organists/other musicians cannot be invited to play.
- There will be a verger or
churchwarden in attendance, to manage socially distanced seating at the
- No orders of service will be
provided by the church.
- Orders of service must be taken
away at the end of the service.
- A single bell (as opposed to a full peal of bells) may be rung.
FOODBANKS IN THE PARISH CHURCHES
Having assessed usage over the
last three months, the foodbank in Pilling, Preesall and Hambleton have closed.
Stalmine’s will continue. Discussions are ongoing with other churches about what will happen in Preesall
after that. I am
grateful to everyone who has supported the foodbanks and hope that will
If you want to know more about
any of these issues, please ring Fr. Andy on 01253 799895.
Thank you, and may God bless you and keep you, your families and those you love, safe and well.