Return from Digital Exile

From 4th October 2020 we restarted physical gatherings in our church building in Shandwick Place at 10am. We are thankful to God that the Scottish Government is still allowing 50 people to meet in an act of corporate worship.  As you know, we will have to comply with a number of requirements designed to reduce the potential of passing on/contracting a coronavirus infection. These will include wearing masks, no singing, keeping social distance from those who are not a part of our household, and no hanging around for conversations.

Despite these limitations, we hear from other churches that people are still glad for the opportunity to be gathered together in corporate worship.  Many people have commented on watching the live streaming from last Sunday that it ‘felt more like church’ than gathering to watch a pre-recorded online service.

By meeting together, we will be a witness to our community, both to remind them that Charlotte Chapel has not closed down during lockdown as well as seeking to be good citizens in the careful way that we observe the social distancing rules as we come into the building and leave at the end.

We realise these restrictions may feel burdensome or unnecessary but this is part of our honouring the authorities and loving one another. We do not ultimately fear the virus or trust in our strategies but we fear God and trust Him to provide and protect.

Please note that due to the restricted numbers, attending a service will be by pre-booking only.

Please read on to find out:

  • The risk reduction measures we are taking
  • How to book to attend a service
  • Watch a short video to help you know what to expect when you attend a service

Arrival

  • You are encouraged to travel to the building in a way that minimises contact with others.
  • On arrival, enter at the Stafford Street door, keeping 2m apart. Someone from the welcoming team will be there to maintain social distancing.
  • Please let us know in advance if you have mobility issues so that we can organise easy access for you.
  • Before you enter, the welcoming team will ask you to confirm you’re not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 or in a household of anyone who is.
  • Upon entering the building attendees will sanitise their hands with antibacterial gel, provided in dispensers, and monitored by the welcoming team.
  • A face covering should be worn at all times in the building by everyone aged 5 and over.
  • The welcoming team will check off names against the booking list to record who has entered the building.  This is for Trace & Protect purposes.
  • Please aim to arrive between 9:45am and 10.00am to give us time to seat everyone safely.
  • As numbers are strictly limited, when capacity is reached, entry to the building will not be permitted.

Inside

  • There will be a one-way system in operation with floor markings to direct you.  There will only be access to the Shandwick Room.  All other areas of the building will be out of use and not accessible.
  • No objects such as bulletins or Bibles will be handed out.  Please bring your own Bible.
  • All doors will be left open to minimise surfaces that need to be touched and to aid ventilation.  Windows will also be open for good ventilation.
  • Attendees will be shown by the welcoming team where to sit, filling the seats starting at the front row and will sit within their own households, maintaining a distance of at least 2m (4 chairs) from other households at all times. Chairs will be in rows, with not less than 2.5m distance between each row.
  • Posters will be on display throughout the building to remind attendees to keep 2m distance between households and to remind them of the specific hygiene practices.
  • There is to be no physical contact between those of different extended households; nor should groups from different extended households form inside or outside the church building.
  • We are encouraging those attending not to use the toilets.  The ground floor toilets will be available in an emergency.
  • Children under the age of 11 must be accompanied at all times, including trips to the toilet. Children must not break away from their parent/guardian.

During the service

  • There will be no singing but pre-recorded music will be played.
  • Any with young children in their household will be asked to keep their children under close supervision in order to help them maintain a 2m distance from others outside of their household.
  • If during the service, anyone shows symptoms of COVID-19 they will be immediately asked to leave.
  • There will be short burst video images of the congregation at various times during the service as part of our livestream.  These will be shown on our website and social media channels

After the service

  • Please remain seated until requested to leave by the welcoming team or the service leader.
  • You will be asked to leave one row at a time, following the one-way system.
  • Attendees are requested not to gather in groups outside of the church doors or immediately outside on the pavement.
  • No refreshments will be available.
  • Please do not leave any rubbish but take it home with you.

How to book

  • Invitations to attend the initial services will be issued by email.  Opportunity to attend the initial livestreaming services will be for those who don’t have internet access, those who have recently become new members, and those who indicated in the recent survey that they were keen to attend services prior to Phase 4.
  • To attend you will need to accept the invitation link in the email which takes you to a web page.  Here you will be asked to answer a number of Yes or No questions.
  • When the questions are completed you will be advised whether you have been successful in obtaining a booking.
  • You are able to apply using the web page for bookings for just yourself or for you and your household.
  • Those who are successful in applying for bookings will be expected by the welcome team on your arrival at the building.
  • As seats are limited there is unfortunately no guarantee that those who receive invitations will be successful when applying.
  • Details of all attendees will be recorded and the information kept in accordance with our privacy policy.