Risk Assessment for (Sunday Morning) Worship

(Completed by the Risk Assessment Committee: 6 December 2021)

Risks

These include:

  • Aerosol or droplet transmission of Covid-19.
  • Surface Transmission of Covid-19.
  • Visitors are unclear on requirements for attending church or visiting the building for other purposes, or anxious about attending.
  • Cleaning the church after known exposure to someone with Coronavirus symptoms.

Risk: Aerosol or droplet transmission of Covid-19

  • The church naturally has plentiful ventilation. We will also leave external doors open as far as possible in the warm weather during services.
  • Refreshments are served by people wearing facemasks.
  • We will ask people to wear face masks while inside the church - except while consuming refrehsments. We will try offering a couple of tables.
  • People will be facing the same direction, reducing risk of transmission. People can choose to sit socially distanced.
  • We encourage people to take a lateral flow test on the Saturday night before coming to church - out of christian concern for others. This not compulsary.
  • Current numerical guidelines are maintained for Sunday Services (65), and life-celebrations (90), where larger families tend to sit together.
  • Invite people to sit with others, where this has been arranged before the service
  • Singing arrangements: 3 hymns per service and liturgical music with facemasks.
  • Holy Communion will continue to be administered at people's seats
  • A single person ticks people in, rather than have everyone get close to speak quietly, handle pen and paper, and risk infection.
  • We continue to work hard to engage the children who attend so that they are not restless, but remain in their seats, and so potentially don't transmit the virus. We hope to set up a Sunday School shortly.

Risk: Surface Transmission of Covid-19

  • Hand sanitiser is available (a) at the entrance to the church; (b) on tables and cupboards at the back of church; (c) at entrance to the toilets. People are encouraged to use it.
  • Holy Communion is offered every other week.
  • Communion wine is not offered at the moment. We will discuss this again if infections drop below 100 per 100,000 in Oldham.
  • Any Communion bread is prepared only by the priest; covered with a cloth while the priest is speaking; and administered by the priest with sanitised hands
  • Recieve Holy Communion at our seats, not at the altar rail, to prevent contact with others.
  • Doors will be left open in warm weather.
  • Liturgy is available (a) on the screen; or (b) from Service books
  • Cleaning takes place every month
  • Very few items are shared between different people. Only on the Lectern.
  • Children's toys are not available; Sunday School is not taking place
  • In the toilets, an adequate supply of soap and disposable hand towels, and a bin for towels, are available.
  • All waste receptacles have disposable liners.
  • Litter picks are used for picking up litter.
  • High-contact surfaces will be sanitised before/during the services
  • Non-contact sharing of the peace will continue

Risk: Visitors are unclear on requirements for attending church or visiting the building for other purposes, or anxious about attending.

  • We display an NHS Track and Trace QR code, with an alternative option for those who cannot use that system. Details on Track and Trace
  • People are encouraged to take a lateral flow test before the church service.
  • We communicate requirements and expectations via the Church Website and by email, especially when they change.
  • We provide detailed welcoming notices that outline safety measures.
  • No booking system is required

Cleaning the church after known exposure to someone with Coronavirus symptoms

  • If possible we will close the church building for 48 hours with no access permitted, or use the Guidance on cleaning historic buildings.
  • If 48 hours closure is not possible then we will follow Public Health England guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings .
  • If the building has been quarantined for 48 hours, then carry out cleaning as per the normal advice on cleaning .
  • Sets of chairs can be stacked away and left for longer, if the building is to be used within 3 days.
  • Objects that have been handled by the person with Covid-19, these will be quarantined, if possible, for 3 days, or disinfected.