Services at St Anne’s and Earnley

According to the current government’s guidelines, we have resumed in-person services. Strict protocols are required and we are limited to the number of worshipers able to attend due to social distancing rules. No singing is allowed; but the organ maybe played.

While we are keen to welcome everybody back, people who fall into one of the categories considered “vulnerable” should consider carefully whether to attend: we will continue with the online services and the Pews News will be distributed for those online or who continue to shield themselves at home. The latest information in line with government guidance and from the Church of England is the wearing of Face Masks by all those attending places of worship, including ministers and worshipers, where there may be other people present is strongly advised, (you should inform the church wardens if you have an exemption) please bring your own with you.

We will follow our normal pattern of services in the weeks and months ahead, accepting that safety restrictions will remain in place for the foreseeable future and updated with developing advise.

The key features of the required protocol are:

  • Entry to the church will be supervised to maintain spacing and attendees will be shown to a pew after they have used the hand sanitiser on the way in, please bring your own Pews News which you are to take with you when you leave. An order of service is available should you need it. You will be directed to your seat where you are to remain seated to ensure appropriate distancing. Family groups can sit together.
  • The congregation will remain seated throughout the service and should speak quietly during the communal elements of the liturgy.
  • Communion will only be in one kind. The priest will bring the communion wafers to the congregation in their seats. He will have sanitised his hands before blessing the wafers and will wear a mask while bringing them to those taking communion. The host will be placed into your hand, avoiding physical contact. Only the priest will receive wine from the chalice on behalf of the congregation.
  • Following the blessing, you will be asked to leave in an orderly and spaced fashion as specified by Fr Steve or the Church Wardens. You are encouraged to use the hand sanitiser on your way out. Of course, we recognise that people will be keen to chat with those they may not have seen for some time: weather permitting, this is best done outside with appropriate distancing.
  • Contact details for all those attending will be logged for 21 days for the purposes of “track & trace” in the unlikely event of any infections being reported.

This is all very different and prescribed: but we’re sure you understand the reasons why. We hope as many of you as feel safe will join us on Sundays and throughout the week – but fully understand if you cannot. The churches will also be open every day for private prayers and worship, see below.

NHS COVID-19 app

Both St. Anne’s and Earnley will be displaying the QR Codes that links to the NHS Covid-19 track and trace app. If you have a compatible smart phone, please download the app and then each time you attend church services (or other places that display the code) scan the code. This will then enable you to be informed of any outbreaks in the areas you have visited giving you advice, plus much more information.

Private prayer

Our churches are open for private prayer, but please ensure you follow the Governments guidelines for social distancing.

St. Anne’s is open from 11.00am – 5.00pm, Monday to Saturday and 11.30am – 5.00pm on Sundays. Part of the church has been roped off for the use of private prayer and to enable that area to be cleaned regularly. Please do not go outside of this area.

Please ensure you use the hand sanitiser, provided in the porch, on your way in and also use the sanitiser provided near the door, at the back of the church, on your way out. This is very important, not only to safeguard yourself, but to protect others using the church.

Please do not move kneelers! They are placed to denote where to sit for your prayer time keeping these allocated seats separate. Please, also, do not touch hymn books and service books.

We want everyone using the church to stay safe and stay well.

Earnley church is open 24/7, please ensure you read the notices that will guide you in the use of the church for private prayer.