St. Mary's is now in Phase 3 of our re-opening protocols. The most significant change will be the resumption of Holy Eucharist (bread only). Please read the following guidelines before attending a service. We will continue to stream our services online for those who are not able to join us in person. They may be viewed at facebook.com/stmarysapperton/videos/.
1. General Guidelines
- Two meters physical/social distancing must be observed at all times. There are marked pews not to be occupied. Sides persons are to direct where to sit, when to proceed (coming in and going out.)
- There will be not more than 50 people per service or in any gathering.
- Common surface are, pews, doorknobs, microphones, light switches, stair rails, are to be disinfected before and after the service (this will be facilitated by the women’s group.
- There will no physical contact when greeting each other especially during the exchange of peace. Shaking hands and hugging are to be avoided.
- Congregation and celebrant are refrained from singing; only one or two singers are allowed with 5 meters distance facing away from each other and from the congregation.
- Each should sign the logbook upon entry with their phone number and email address. This is required for monitoring and information should there be an infection. The list in the logbook will be kept for 30 days.
- The sides persons has to ask the screening questions each individual if they are sick, (fever, cough), if they have travelled abroad for the last 14 days.
- Should there be positive case along the way, all will be informed and the in-person gathering will be suspended until further notice.
- Those who are sick or ill and those who are vulnerable to illness and infection should stay at home and attend the online services.
- Offering plates will not be passed around. Donations are to be dropped in the offering plate at the back upon entry.
- Service is shifted from Morning Prayer to Holy Eucharist. Only the bread is distributed to the people.
- Coffee hour is temporarily suspended. (It will resume when the number of covid19 cases is contained or flattened. Should the coffee hour be resumed, there will be only two people in charge of serving food and coffee. They will wear gloves and masked. Only finger foods will be served.
- There will be no Sunday School in Phase 3.
- Care home visit is allowed but the protocols of the Care homes have to be followed. Home pastoral visits are not permitted.
- Bible studies should be done at church with no more than 50 people attending.
- Everyone is encouraged to wear non-medical mask
- Books/hymnals in the pews are removed.
2. Specific Guidelines
A. Before the Service
- The church common surfaces, the pews, pulpits, microphones, door knobs, light switches, and other items needed to be sanitized are disinfected. This is to be taken care of by the women’s group.
- Washroom supplies be made available.
- Hand sanitizers, log book and pens, bulletins, and the plate offerings are in places at the entrance.
B. At the Entrance (both in the church and in the hall)
- Wait for the signal of the sides person for you to enter.
- Sanitize your hands.
- Pick up your bulletin.
- Drop your donation to the offering plate.
- Sign your name in the logbook. Please write your phone number and email address. (after signing the logbook, please put your pen in the used pen box.) People should not use same pen when signing the logbook.
- Proceed to the seat directed to you by the sides persons.
- Family can occupy one pew.
C. During the service
- There will be no processions.
- Celebrant and the congregation will not join in singing.
- Musicians seat five meters away from the congregation, facing away from each other. There will be one or two singers.
- There will be no physical touch during the exchange of peace.
- The celebrant will wash or disinfect his hands before the service, before the Eucharistic prayer, before distributing the bread, after distributing the bread, and after the service.
- The barrier to the vacant pews has to be removed temporarily to allow the celebrant a way to distribute the host to the people in their seats. The barrier will be returned after the communion or after the service.
- The celebrant should wear mask during the distribution of the bread.
D. After the Service
- There will be no hand shake and greetings after the service at the back.
- The sides person will direct the members go out in an orderly manner. Those who are seated at the back pews will go out first.
- Do not congregate in a place that may block the flow of people coming out.
- Maintain social distancing even when outside the church.
- There will be no coffee hour. (temporary).
- If coffee hour is resumed the following things are to be observed:
- Only fingers foods are served.
- Potluck (first Sunday of every month) is suspended.
- Servers have to wear gloves and mask before serving and them are allowed to touch the foods and drinks during the serving.
- There should be only one person at a time in the washroom (except for those assisting kids).
- Dispose paper towels properly.
- Please clean and sanitise toilet bowls after you use them for the next user.
- Wash your hands with soap after washroom use.
F. Working Groups for Phase 3
1. Disinfecting and Sanitizing Group – to be facilitated by the women’s group.
- in charge of supplies (purchase and seeing it's available).
- Scheduling of cleaning and disinfecting.
- Facilitate groupings of cleaners.
- Marking Group – Ceasar, Warren, and Doreen, to mark the pews, aisle, and other spaces to ensure physical distance.
2. Sides persons – volunteers are welcome. Please signify if you are willing.
- Welcome people during the service and ask the screening questions to people coming in; (if they have fever, cough, if they have travelled abroad with in last 14 days)
- Remind them to wear non-medical as they enter the church.
- Sanitize or ask the people to sanitize their hands upon entry to the church.
- Direct the people to sign the logbook with their names, phone numbers, and email address. We do this for monitoring and information purposes.
- Direct the people where to sit.
- They will also direct the people going out after the service.
- They are in charge of maintaining physical distance before, during, and after the service. (Our obedience to them during the whole duration of the service is very much requested and appreciated).