The Parish of St. Thomas, Werneth

Risk Assessment for (Sunday Morning) Worship

(Completed by the Risk Assessment Committee: 20 July 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

  • We will leave external doors open as far as possible in the warm weather during services.
  • We will encourage people to acknowledge each other and chat outdoors
  • We will decide about refreshments in September.
  • We will ask people to wear face masks while inside the church
  • Social distancing will be maintained: seats will be spaced 2m apart.
  • 2m gap between seats, but people will be facing the same direction, reducing risk of transmission.
  • Each household should be at least 2m apart from any other household, unless they are linked, or choose to sit next to each other.
  • Special reminders will be given about social distancing on exit after funerals, where large numbers are present
  • Current numerical limits 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: 1 reflective hymn per service and liturgical music with facemasks. (Opening Hymn at Holy Communion; hymn after prayers at Morning Prayer)
  • 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.
  • People will be ushered to their seats.

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
  • Liturgy is available (a) on the screen; (b) from Service books that have not been used for at least 72 hours
  • 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. And encourage visitors to use one or other of these options. Details on Track and Trace
  • 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

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