candletableReturn to the Sancturay

You will no doubt be aware that communal worship in the church returned on Sunday 4 April 2021, though with limited numbers. It is an important and reassuring step in our return to some form of normality and will be welcomed by many but is not necessarily suitable for all. We will all need to adjust to the new conditions and restrictions, and be ready for periodical changes, but what follows is a brief summary of some of the main practical points to note. Details will also be available on the church website.

1. There will be a single Sunday service, at 10.15am. Please enter by the ramp at the West Door, keeping a 2m distance from anyone in front or behind. You will be welcomed, as usual, and please follow the directions of the Welcome Team to a seat. To ensure physical distancing, each seat will be marked with an order of service placed on the pew. A maximum of two people may sit at each space, but only if they are from the same household. (A small child may also sit with two adults, but please consider whether in such cases it would be better for the two adults to sit separately, with the child with one of them.) There will be a great temptation to go and speak to others, but please resist: a wave will be taken as a Hello!

2. A one way system, which is clearly marked, means that you will leave by the door beside the pulpit and then out of the West Mayfield door. Again, please respect physical distancing. Masks must be worn at all times inside, except for those with a medical exemption.

3. There is a limit on the number of people who may be in the church for worship. In our case it means that there is a strict limit of 42 in the congregation (including children). Those who attend will need to leave contact details, for the purpose of the Test and Protect scheme. (A privacy notice will be displayed at the entrance and on our website.) At least initially, we will be introducing a booking system, which you can use either online (via Eventbrite) or by phone. Full details are given below. As we cannot exceed the permitted limits, if demand is heavy we would ask you to consider attending only every second week.

4. The congregation will be seated throughout, without the comfort of pew cushions (which have been removed, as soft furnishings are harder to clean) and there will be no singing. At the end of the service there will be no access to the halls and you must leave the premises without staying to chat; no coffee/tea can be provided; and the toilet can only be used in an emergency (so as to reduce the burden of cleaning).

5. We have taken out a professional cleaning contract with a company whose team is already cleaning the church regularly. With your cooperation (eg by using hand sanitiser) we will keep ourselves and others safe. It goes without saying, however, that each of us, and particularly those who fall within a vulnerable group for Covid-19, or who are living with someone in that situation, will want to consider very carefully the point in time at which we wish to resume attending church in person rather than joining by means of the internet or telephone.

Finally, please remember that our online services will continue to be put on the website at 10.15am each Sunday as usual.

Booking system
Phone: On Wednesdays, from 1:30 to 3:30pm, you may reserve a space by phoning the Church Office (0131 667 1522).
Internet: We would encourage anyone with internet access to use the Eventbrite booking system, which will be open from 2pm on Wednesdays. The system can be accessed from our website via this link: www.mayfieldsalisbury.org/attend . Names and contact details will be required. While it is possible for a booking to be made by one person for a family, we will need to know how many adults and how many children will be in the group. The beauty of Eventbrite is that not only will we know when our ‘ceiling attendance’ has been reached, but we will also have the necessary contact details for Test and Protect. If you book but your plans then change please let us know, either by cancelling via Eventbrite or by phoning the Church Office; that way, somebody else will be able to have your space.

We appreciate that this is all rather different from what we have been used to. However, it will no doubt soon become familiar, and we hope that restrictions will be eased over time. Any changes to these arrangements will be publicised as widely as we can, and you can always check by having a look at our website for any updates. But if you have any questions please just ask me, or Heather Cubie, our Covid-19 task group chair, or William Mearns in the Church Office