Covid-19 Keep updated as we stagger towards the ‘new normal’!

The church laid out for the first service back. The spacing is at 2 meters as required and laid out for those attending. Singles, couples and one family group. A total of 19, with two spare seats. Total capacity for this configuration was 22.

11/12 – The government is reviewing the status of areas and the Tier levels on the 16th December. It is possible that Southend may be placed in the highest level of 3. This should not have to much impact on services in church. The advice we have for level 3 is:-

Meeting in church is permitted as an organised gathering provided any person attending is:
• alone or
• part of group all from the same household or from two linked households or
• part of group all from the same linked Christmas households (23 – 27 December only) and must not join any other group or mingle with any person from another group.
NB non-household groups of 6 are not permitted

03/12 – It all seems a bit unclear to me, the latest Government advice is – “In areas subject to Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions, you must not meet with friends and family indoors in any setting, including a place of worship, unless they are part of your household or support bubble.” The Church advice is –

“The government has said that people in a Christmas bubble can meet in private homes,
public outdoor spaces, and places of worship. This means that for this five-day period it will
be legal for groups larger than one household to attend church.”

Further – “When planning services and events for the period between 23rd and 27th December
you should ensure that the possibility of larger groups attending has been included
in your risk assessment. Bear in mind that there is no requirement to ensure
Christmas bubbles sit together, only that they do not interact with anyone outside
their bubble.”

27/11 – On Wednesday the 2nd December we will be resuming the mid-week communion service. The previous limits still apply, max of 30 people depending on social distancing. (Generally for us that means a maximum of 26 people.) Sunday service will resume from the 6th December. Places must be booked for Wednesday and Sunday, through the office, as before.

The advice of the Church of England is that amateur choirs and musicians should not be meeting to practice, so for the time being we will continue to use video resources for our ‘sung’ worship. Though the rule in church still applies, that there should be no singing.

27/11 – As we emerge from the national lockdown on the 2nd December we will then move in to the Tier 2 band of restrictions as set out below.

Tier 2: High alert

This is for areas with a higher or rapidly rising level of  infections, where some additional restrictions need to be in place.

In tier 2:

  • you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
  • you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
  • businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-Secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs
  • pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals
  • hospitality businesses selling food or drink for consumption on their premises are required to:
    • provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol
    • close between 11pm and 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempt)
    • stop taking orders after 10pm
  • hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off the premises can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through
  • early closure (11pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls. Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11pm in order to conclude performances  that start before 10pm
  • public attendance at outdoor and indoor events (performances and shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and outside, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 people indoors
  • places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside of your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies
  • weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees – 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes  or stonesettings.
  • organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue
  • organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing
  • you can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible
  • if you live in a tier 2 area, you must continue to follow tier 2 rules when you travel to a tier 1 area. Avoid travel to or overnight stays in tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey
  • for international travel see the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office travel advice for your destination and the travel corridors list

Charity shops

We are experiencing a higher amount of items than usual being left outside charity shops in the borough at the moment.

Please store any items you are looking to give to charity responsibly at home, until the charity shops reopen. Please do not leave them in front of charity shops as they are now closed until further notice.

Any items left in front of charity shops will be classed as fly-tipping. Southend-on-Sea Borough Council are working closely with charity shops and anyone found to be fly-tipping will be prosecuted.

This is taken from the Church of England website

We are not people of fear: we are people of courage.
We are not people who protect our own safety:
we are people who protect our neighbours’ safety.
We are not people of greed: we are people of generosity.
We are your people God, giving and loving,
wherever we are, whatever it costs
For as long as it takes wherever you call us.

Barbara Glasson, President of the Methodist Conference