Please read carefully
Last updated: 04/09/21
Sunday Services -
The following guidance is from 04/09/2021
We are keeping up to date with the government guidance as it changes. We take decisions to keep congregation members and ministers as safe as possible. St Mark's is now open for services but still with most COVID restrictions in place until cases locally reduce. We have recommenced singing in church in September 2021, with masks worn.
Please do join us online for services and prayer if you cannot make it in person.
When the church is open, if you, anyone you are living with, or anyone within your social bubble has experienced symptoms similar to COVID-19, please do not attend St Mark's for any reason for at least 14 days. If you develop symptoms within 7 days of attending St Mark's, please contact us as soon as you can.
Limited Space - We may not be able to accommodate our usual congregation size, so please email the Secretary to book your place each week - this will enable us to comply with the NHS Test and Trace. If you would prefer not to attend in person for any reason, you can join the service live online by visiting our YouTube channel, or tapping the link on the homepage.
Arriving and Leaving - Please wait outside the front of the building until you are invited to enter. While waiting, please follow our social distancing guidelines, and leave room by the door for the worship team to exit/enter safely. At the end of the service, you'll be directed to leave via the fire exit next to the sanctuary: please move away from the door swiftly to ensure others can leave safely. There are NHS Test and Trace QR codes at the entrance and exit: we strongly recommend downloading the app and scanning this (you only need to scan a code once per visit).
Social Distancing - To ensure the safety of the congregation and all those who make our services possible, we politely request that, when in or near the church, you remain 2 metres away from anybody outside of your household or social bubble. Some services will have closer spacing of 1 m plus mitigation.
Cleaning - We keep a log of all activity inside the church building. Only high touch surfaces or objects are cleaned thoroughly and regularly (recent research indicates that it is unlikely to transmit COVID from surfaces). We generally leave 72 hours between events in the church. Additionally, we have temporarily suspended the use of the air-blown hand dryers in our toilets, replacing these with paper towels.
We provide antiviral hand sanitiser for your use when you arrive, but would remind you that washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before attending and after returning home is strongly advised.
While Inside - You'll be directed to a suitable seat when you are invited in. Please remain seated whenever possible, and do not turn around in your seat. Please wear a mask at all times both inside and when waiting outside the church building. You may remove your mask to take communion, and worship leaders will remove their masks only when they are actively leading worship.
Communion - While we cannot share communion in the normal way, you are welcome to bring your own bread and wine (or non-alcoholic alternative) with you in a sealed container. Please ensure you take your container away with you when you leave. We will post updates noting when communion will be held prior to the services.
Sharing the Peace - Our normal sharing of the peace is suspended until further notice. Some services may include a contactless version of the peace.
Sung Worship - Unfortunately, the playing of certain instruments is not currently recommended. We may play recorded music during services, you are welcome to clap along. We are singing in church from September. The PERFORM research suggests that volume is the key to potential COVID spread, so music group will be miked up and no seating will be allowed close by. We will ask the congregation to maintain their mask wearing and to sing at normal conversation volume.
Collections - A plate will be available to leave donations in as you leave the church. Alternatively, ask a member of the worship team to donate using contactless card payment, or donate online.
Not Attending? - If you're unable to attend St Mark's for any reason, we continue to stream our services online so you can join remotely. You can join the stream by visiting our YouTube channel, or clicking the link on the homepage. All of our previously-streamed services are available on our Services page.