What to expect when you come to St Andrew’s Oxshott for a service
I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’ Psalm 122 (NRSV)
The wardens and I are so glad to be able to welcome everyone back to worship in God’s house here in Oxshott. As we do so, we continue to follow the guidelines published not only by the Government but also by the Church of England and the diocese of Guildford. Some things will therefore be done differently in order to keep everyone safe. Please remember that other people may be more vulnerable than you, so, for their sake, please follow this new way of doing things.
Please do not come to church if you are feeling unwell, have a cough or a cold or have had any of the symptoms of Covid-19 over the last seven days. Anyone exhibiting any symptoms will have to be asked to go home to protect others. Similarly, if you need to quarantine according to government guidelines please complete that period before attending in person.
Please read this information carefully before coming to church
- Before you enter the vestibule, please put your face mask on (unless you are exempt from wearing one) and be prepared to sanitise your hands as instructed.
- You will be welcomed, and your name checked off against the list of those who have reserved a seat. Your details will be kept for 21 days in order to assist with NHS track and trace.
- As you go in please make your way to the seat indicated. If you have booked as a bubble you should find the right number of seats available together.
- We will all be longing to chat to those whom we have not seen for a while – but please go straight to your seat and save chatting for outside after the services (standing at 2m distance). People moving around the church will make it hard to maintain our distance from each other.
- Toilets will be available. However, please do make sure that you use the hand sanitiser in each one.
- The first part of the service will be live streamed so that others can join with us from their homes. Afterwards, we will have a short service of Holy Communion, with the familiar words of liturgy given on the screen. This part of the service will not be live streamed.
- Please note that we have had to remove all kneelers, Bibles and service booklets to comply with guidelines, so please do bring your own Bible with you.
- Families with children are most welcome. However, children need to remain in their seat/buggy with their parents. They will not be able to interact with other children and adults. We have had to remove all toys, books and play mats from the church, so please bring something from home to occupy them.
- Sadly, no congregational singing is permitted in church. Hymns, worship songs and some organ music are included in Listen & Pray in order to help us to worship God. However, they are simply for us to listen to.
- Communion in one kind only (ie just the bread/wafer) will be brought to everyone in their places. We ask please that you remain seated to receive. This may feel odd, but please remember that what truly matters to God is not our physical position but the attitude of our hearts.
- The priest will wear a face mask and a visor, but not gloves (at least initially). Please keep your mask on while the priest is nearest to you.
- It is very important that no skin contact is made as she/he gives you the wafer, so please have your hand open and facing upwards ready to receive. Please respond by saying ‘Amen’ as usual before removing your mask to eat your wafer.
- In keeping with the current guidelines of the Church of England, the priest alone will consume the wine.
At the end of the service
- At the end of the service please do wait to be directed out through the south door by a warden, who will be making sure that we maintain a 2m distance at all times in church. Please do also use the hand sanitiser as you leave.
- Sadly, we are not permitted to serve refreshments, even outside.
It may feel strange at first, but this is a step on the way to worshipping all together again. We will be constantly reviewing how we do things and fully expect Government guidance to change frequently. We hope that none the less you will feel that you have met with God in worship, and that you feel safe and cared for.