- Published: Friday, 25 March 2022 11:21
Beaulieu Abbey Church Covid Policy, March 2022
When taking into account the government’s complete relaxation of all Covid restrictions we need to take into account the duty of care we as PCC, have for members of our congregation. Infections of Covid 19 are currently rising and hospital admissions are increasing. If people have received three vaccinations and in some cases a fourth booster, it appears the likelihood of severe illness is markedly reduced but, for those classed as clinically vulnerable they are still at risk.
As a caring Christian community, we recognize personal autonomy, and each one of us has a personal responsibility to help keep others safe. We propose the following:
Face coverings: we no longer require you to wear a mask. Anyone who wishes to wear a face covering should feel able to do so. Clergy and choir processing through the church will be masked. Masks will be made available.
Numbers for services: - weddings, baptisms, funerals and services of thanksgiving will be capped at 200. This will allow the pews to accommodate a maximum seating capacity, face coverings will be discretionary. In effect these congregations are “family bubbles”, and they go on to receptions where they will mingle freely.
Regular services will be limited to 150 and for ‘larger’ services, e.g. Easter Sunday morning people will be required to register via the office.
Air flow: we will continue to maintain air flow via the three doors to the church during services and concerts.
Music at Beaulieu concerts; it will be for their committee to write a risk assessment and to then decide on numbers attending. The benefice office may not be used as a Green Room for concerts; the hall is available, securable and close to the kitchen and toilets.
Seat coverings: - for the time being we will not replace the red seat cushions, it is only really possible to sanitise the pews without them. This fact needs to be publicized. Audience may bring their own cushions.
Sanitiser:- We will continue to provide hand sanitizers at entry points.
Cleaning:- The cleanliness of the church and hall is much appreciated. We will limit the use of both buildings to no more than two bookings a day. Following the last booking of the day Debbie will clean any areas that have been used.
Track and Trace:- under government guidelines this becomes unenforceable at the end of March. Lateral flow tests may no longer be free or freely available and large PCR centres are being closed.
Movement in church:- the flow system we have operated for receiving communion and for ease of showing people from their seats has been appreciated, not having to negotiate the chancel steps has proved very popular.
Benefice Office:- This room is for the sole use of the Administrator, the Director of Music and the organist. Before services it may be used for robing by the verger and servers.
It will be necessary to make an appointment via phone or email to see the Administrator. A face covering must be worn when entering the office.
The Benefice Office may not be used as a Green Room before concerts,. Out of hours it should be kept locked.
Abbey Church Hall:- the Fire & Rescue Service and having revisited the original planning provision for the Hall, the maximum number permitted is 50. (Interestingly, the much larger village hall has a maximum capacity of 120.)
Opening/stewarding of the church: We propose to open the main door for visitors between 10.00 and 12noon on Tuesday and Friday, unless a service is planned. We will plan to open the North (Cloister) doors from Palm Sunday onwards for two hours a day when a steward is available. We will continue to operate a one way system.