Whether you are part of our church family or visiting our church we ask that you read the guidance below.
Following the government’s move to step 4 of the ‘Roadmap out of Lockdown’ we have been working through the Church of England’s guidance. The government have taken the approach of removing most coronavirus legislation. This move means we are being asked to take even more corporate responsibility as individuals and organisations to protect others and ourselves.
The Church of England’s risk assessment is largely unchanged and with local infection rates continuing to rise we remember the words of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful…’ (1 Corinthians 10:23, ESV). As a church, we believe that everyone is known and loved individually by God and as many members within one body we are called to be responsible to and for one another. We understand that for some, the restrictions have felt unnecessary and overtly restrictive whilst for others easing of restrictions has brought anxiety and worry. We are blessed to have a spectrum of voices across St Mark’s family and we want to assure you that we hear you and we’re listening.
With this in mind, we have changed some measures in certain instances/services/events and kept others (for now) in place. Details are below.
Pews – seating in the Sanctuary has now returned to normal capacity. However, we encourage you to leave room between you/your bubble and the next person; we suggest you place a jacket/bag between you.
Face Covering and hand sanitising – we ask that you continue to wear a face covering whilst in the building, unless this affects your physical or mental health.
Singing – we are now allowed to sing but we ask that you continue to wear a face-covering whilst doing so. Our choir will return to 9 am service and our band at the 10.30 am service.
Access – please continue to use the one-way entry and exit system, and be aware of personal space when moving around the building.
Hand sanitisation – we encourage you to have good hand hygiene and use the hand gel on entry on exit.
Refreshments – will not be served at our regular weekly services for now.
Checking in – although not a legal requirement, we encourage you to continue to check in by using the QR code. Booking a seat is no longer necessary to come to a service.
Thursday 11 am HC Service – for now, all measures before lockdown will still be in place at this service including no singing, face coverings, social distance and seat booking. We hope this provides a helpful space for those considered our most vulnerable but understand this may not suit everyone and is therefore subject to change. Please discuss your thoughts with Dan on Thursday.
Live-streaming – our services will continue to be regularly live-streamed.
For St Mark’s, the steps out of lockdown will be gradual and are subject to change and assessment of individual events, but, we hope these measures will bring us together as we meet with the Lord, regardless of our diverse opinions surrounding Covid measures.
We would value your prayers as we continue to hold the church family together and navigate a safe return with on-site worship.