Public Worship at St Leonard’s Church

We are pleased to announce the limited resumption of public worship in our church building on Sunday 5th July.
 
On Sunday 5th July there will be services at 9.45am and 11.15am. To see which service you should attend, and to find details of what you need to door in order to attend, please read the information below very carefully. 
 
We are following the latest regulations regarding cleaning, hygiene, social distancing and the Test and Trace system, all of which significantly impact what we are able to do at this time.
 
You can find our risk assessment here: http://tiny.cc/n1norz
 
Those hoping to attend St Leonard’s for worship will need to ensure they have done a number of things beforehand, including emailing some information to us, and follow a number of guidelines around their visit.
 
Times of services and other arrangements may need to change on a week by week basis, as we discover how things work. Keep an eye on our email newsletters, website and social media for updates.  There are a number of changes we’ve had to make to the worship space, to the content and shape of our services, and to our methods for welcoming and seating worshippers. 

 

WHEN IS WORSHIP HAPPENING?

On Sunday 5th July services with a strictly limited capacity of 40 people per service will take place at 9.45am and 11.15am.  These services will be identical Parish Eucharists put together with a broad and mixed congregation in mind (including young people and families).  We intend to broadcast the 9.45am service through Facebook as usual and post it later as a video.  

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO ATTEND?

  1. PLAN TO ARRIVE AT THE RIGHT TIME
Our services are public acts of worship and will not be ticketed at this stage. However, because of the strict capacity limit, we ask regular worshippers to do their best to attend the 9.45am service if they have a surname beginning with a letter in the range A-L, and the 11.15am service if they have surname beginning with at letter in the range M-Z.  As social gatherings are not permitted in or around St Leonard’s at this time, we ask you not to arrive too early and to leave promptly at the conclusion of the service.  The church will be closed between services for cleaning.
 
  1. SEND US TEST & TRACE INFORMATION 
Under the Government’s Test & Trace system we need to securely record the contact details of all those who attend services for 21 days. If you hope to attend a service please email admin@stleonardslexden.org.uk by 4pm on Friday 3rd July with the following details:
  • Whether you hope to attend at 9.45am or 11.15am
  • Number of people in your party
  • Full names or all who are in your party
  • Contact address and telephone number for all those in your party
Those who do not have access to the internet can call 07582 442682.  For those who are unable to register in advance, stewards will need to record this information on the door.
 
Sending your details can’t be an absolute guarantee that you will be accommodated at the service, though we do not anticipate capacity will be a problem. Once the capacity limit of 40 is reached, stewards will ask people to return at a different time or on a different day.
 
  1. FACE COVERINGS
We encourage worshippers to wear face coverings for the protection of others. Young children and those for whom face coverings represent a clinical risk should not wear a face covering. This is one of the risk-mitigating factors that has allowed us to increase our capacity to 40 people per service. 
 
WHO MAY ATTEND?
 
  • Anyone who is not showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell)
  • Anyone who is not self-isolating due to a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the household, or because they have been requested to so by NHS Test & Trace
  • Those who fall within the “clinically extremely vulnerable” group are strongly advised to enjoy worship through live-stream or broadcast at home and not attend church, though the final decision is theirs.  
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?
 
  • Entry will be solely through the North West (Lexden Road) door, which will be opened around 10 minutes before the beginning of each service. 
  • There will be a queue along the path leading to the entrance, with 2 metre spaced markings on the floor to facilitate social-distancing.
  • You will be registered by a steward according to your Test and Trace details.
  • Please do not enter the church until you are invited in by a steward.
  • You will then need to sanitise your hands thoroughly at the sanitising station by the door.
  • A steward will then indicate where you should sit. A standard pew can accommodate three individuals, a couple from one household and an individual, or a household of 3 or more.  Every other pew is cordoned off and should not be used. 
WHAT WILL BE DIFFERENT ABOUT THE SERVICE?
 
In response to Government regulations we have had to make some alterations:
  • The service length has been shortened.
  • No singing is permitted.
  • The words of the service will be projected on to a screen as books are not available. (Single-use large print orders of service will be provided for those who require them.)
  • The peace will not be shared physically.
  • The collection will not be taken physically – we ask you to make your offerings online (or by telephone to the parish administrator), if you can. 
  • Special hygiene arrangements will be in place at the distribution of Holy Communion, which will be received in one kind (consecrated bread) into the hand only, at the bottom of the chancel steps. 
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE END OF THE SERVICE?
 
  • Worshippers will need to leave the building at the conclusion of the service without gathering for social time.
  • There will be no refreshments for the time-being.
  • Please leave the church through the south east extension door (facing Church Lane) only.

 

WHAT WE HAVE DONE TO MAKE YOUR VISIT FOR WORSHIP SAFE

Following government and Church of England guidance and regulations we have completed a risk assessment (which can be read here) and introduced the following measures: 

HYGIENE
There is a hand sanitiser station inside the entrance and exit doors of the church. Please ensure that you use this as you enter the building and leave.

ONE-WAY SYSTEM
For worship entry to the church will be via the North West door (facing Lexden Road).  Please follow the floor markings within the church and eventually exit through the South East door of the church (facing Church Lane).
 
SOCIAL DISTANCING 
Visitors are asked to observe the markers. At all times please respect other people and maintain a 2m distance, except when sitting in a pew where a distance of 1.6m can be kept safely.  We ask that the porch, church and entrance are kept completely clear of all obstructions including buggies and mobility scooters. This 1.6m social distance is permitted by the government regulations provided that ‘risk mitigation’ is in place. We have introduced the following risk mitigation methods:

  • Face-to-face seating is avoided
  • Non-essential social spaces have been closed
  • Ventilation has been improved by keeping the North West, South East, and Emergency exit doors, and internal double doors open at all times
  • We are encouraging the use of face coverings
SEATING
In the nave, we have provided for seating on alternate pews with 1.6m between individuals.  The majority of the pews can accommodate either:
  • Three individuals
  • A couple from one household and an individual 
  • OR one household (if consisting of more than 2 people)
Small round mats have been positioned on each pew to indicate appropriate distancing for individuals. Please do not enter the cordoned-off pews.  Kneelers and cushions are not available for use at this time.
 
CLEANING
The church is cleaned each week in accordance with the latest Government regulations. Shared surfaces (such as pew tops) will be cleaned between and after Sunday services.
 
EMERGENCY TOILETS
We ask that you only use the church toilets if you have no other option but to do so.
The toilets will be cleaned after the Sunday services.

Visiting St Leonard’s for Individual Private Prayer

St Leonard’s is pleased to announce that our church building is now open for two periods of individual private prayer each week.  Our Nave will be open from 1–5pm on Wednesdays and 1pm-5pm on Sundays. (Please note these revised times). During these periods the church will be available for individual private prayer, but not for worship, communal prayer nor for gatherings of any sort.

Please note that the extension, including the toilets, remains closed, as does the Chancel, Lady Chapel, and balcony.

If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19 we ask you to follow the guidance and stay at home.  Those in vulnerable groups should adhere to the latest NHS advice.

WHAT WE HAVE DONE TO MAKE YOUR VISIT SAFE

The safety of everyone is our primary concern. Following government and Church of England guidance and regulations we have completed a risk assessment and introduced the following measures: 

HYGIENE
There is a hand sanitiser station inside the door of the church. Please ensure that you use this as you enter and leave the building.

ONE-WAY SYSTEM
Entry and exit to and from the church will be via the North West door.  Please follow the floor markings within the church.

SOCIAL DISTANCING 
Visitors are asked to observe the markers once inside. At all times please respect other people and maintain a 2m distance.  We ask that the porch, church and entrance are kept completely clear of all obstructions.

SEATING
If you wish to sit and pray, a number of pews are available. These are clearly marked with the places that you may sit (all are 2m distant from the next nearest seat).   Please do not enter the cordoned-off pews.  Kneelers and cushions are not available for use at this time.

LIGHTING A CANDLE
If you wish to light a candle, you will be able to take a clean one from the table near the candle stand at the east end of the Nave.  Please do so carefully and with particular attention to the flammable alcohol hand rub that you will have used when entering the building.

St Leonard’s is here NOW, working to love and serve our community

Though our building is temporarily closed for worship, Church continues and we are still here for our community in Lexden and beyond. We are sharing live-streamed services, prayers and activities for children and young people through www.facebook.com/stleonardslexden – you are warmly invited to join us there. Hundreds of people from Lexden and well beyond are joining us to worship each week. You’ll also find details of our Zoom-based CAP Life Skills course for those who are finding it difficult to manage their money, and of our forthcoming virtual Church Fete, among other excitements.

We pray regularly for each street in the parish by name, but if you would like personal prayer, please email us prayer@stleonardslexden.org.uk

Though we are in different places physically, we are still praying at the same times (9.00am and 5.00pm) each day, keeping in touch with the vulnerable in our community, and producing material for our local schools and other organisations. The Eucharist is being celebrated online at 9.00am on Wednesdays, and 9.45am on Sundays. Lexden’s parish church is still serving the parish it loves.

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