You will have read or seen in the news that places of worship were permitted to reopen from 15‘h July subject to strict guidelines. In so far as the Church of Scotland is concerned we are required to follow the guidance laid out in the ‘Reopening of Church Buildings’ regulations from the Church of Scotland. The Kirk Session and Presbytery of Glasgow have to approve the reopening and be satisfied that the requirements laid out by the Church of Scotland are followed. This guidance is continually being reviewed and refined and will no doubt change over the coming months.
On 19‘h July the Kirk Session agreed to reopen the church for Sunday worship once a special reopening committee (comprising the minister and 5 elders including the property convenor and health and safety officer) is confident that the requirements are satisfied. These requirements include several cleaning and precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of all who choose to worship in person. Meantime, the church halls will remain closed to all organisations and the Kirk Session will review this decision when it next meets on the 7‘h September.
A 2 metre social distancing rule for gathering in churches is currently in place and this will severely restrict the number of households able to attend church on Sunday mornings and in addition the Scottish Government has set a limit of 50 worshippers at a service including the minister and duty team. Our newly installed technology will ensure we‘re still reaching to those who choose to stay home.
If you wish to attend church when it reopens, a number of conditions will apply and a number of facilities will not be available, for example:
- Church Transport will not be available for the foreseeable future
- No coffee or tea will be served after the service
- Toilet accommodation will be very limited and for emergency use only
- There will be no hymn singing or choir
- There will be no pew cushions, bibles or hymn books
- You will require to wear a face mask in the church
- The balcony will be closed
- Contact details of those who attend will have to be kept so that contact tracing can be carried out in the event of that becoming necessary
- In order to maximise space, and keep everyone as safe as possible, a one way system of entering and exiting the church will be in operation and everyone will be shown to a seat by the duty team— choosing a seat will not be an option under the 2 metre
- It will not be possible for unaccompanied children to attend church