Open for private prayer on request

St Catherine's ChurchFollowing government slight easing of lockdown, and the latest CofE guidance, churches have been told that they may, if they wish, now open for private prayer, as long as they follow strict guidelines.

After careful thought and consideration, and having completed a risk assessment, the clergy and churchwardens have decided that St Catherine’s can open for private prayer for those who would like it, on request, starting from Monday 15th June.

In order to be compliant with guidelines, the following parameters have been put in place, and we would ask your assistance in maintaining these:

  • Entrance to the church will be via the North Doors (car park) only. (Entrance to the Pre-school is be via the South Doors only.)
  • A table at the North Door will hold a signing in book as people enter the building (for track and trace purposes).
  • Everyone will be asked to clean their hands on entering and leaving the building (hand gel will be available) and maintain strict social distancing in compliance with the latest advice.
  • The church has been laid out into socially distanced “stations”, comprising chairs and table, and each station is to be used by members of one household only. Please be prepared for the church to look very different.
  • The Garden Room is not available for prayer (no access – and not easy to socially distance).
  • Please bring your own Bible, notebook and pens etc as all books have been stored away (as advised).
  • The internal doors are to be left open when the building is in use, and external doors left open as weather permits, so that touch on door handles is limited.
  • If you would like to pray in the church, please contact Gill (0118 942 7786) or email info@stcatherines-tilehurst.org.uk to arrange a time.
  • For safeguarding purposes, two people will need to be on duty when the church is open for prayer (we are calling these people “Gatekeepers”).
  • “Gatekeepers” will be responsible for opening and closing the building, cleaning all used areas and ensuring that social distancing is maintained.
  • When the church is open, appropriate signage on the gate posts and church doors will indicate this, so others may take the opportunity to pray too.
  • Anyone may use the church for prayer – this is not restricted to church members only.
  • If there is clear demand for the church to be open for private prayer, we can consider opening it regularly at particular times in the week – but initially we will see what the demand is.
  • Under no circumstances should anyone enter the church building for any other purpose than for private prayer, until further notice.

Thank you for your understanding in these difficult times.

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