Dear Member 19th August 2020
Getting Ready to Return
I am delighted to be able to tell you that worship services will be taking place again in First Bangor. The first service will be on Sunday 30th August at 11am. Each week the Sunday service will be at 11am (due to live streaming). In addition, the live stream service will be available online each Sunday at 11am.
Having been apart for the last 5 months it will be great to gather again. I am so looking forward to welcoming you and your family. Being together, worshipping together is such a significant part of our faith. I encourage you to come along and be part of the new adventure as we look to God, to inspire, guide and help us as we live out our faith in these extraordinary times.
Before you arrive I would ask you to make the following preparations
As we prepare to gather again as a worshipping community there are a number of practical steps we all need to take and instructions to follow if our gathering is to be safe for everyone.
- Masks – Please wear a mask which is primarily for the protection of others
- Social distancing – these rules will be observed in and around the church building. Please come prepared to maintain 2m distance at all times.
- Hymn books and Bibles – Please bring your own bible and or hymnbook if you wish thereby minimising any risk of transfer of the virus. Words however will be on the screens for both scripture and hymns as usual.
- The offering – you will be able to make your offering when you enter the vestibule to register.
- Pre-Registration – You are also asked, if possible, to contact the church office either by email or telephone to give details of all in your household who intend to be present at worship. This will help with the seating arrangements as our capacity is reduced. You will find further instructions at the end of this letter.
- Opening times– the building will be open from 10.15am on Sundays and it would be helpful if you arrived no later than 10:45am.
When you get to the building
- Signage – please observe and follow the directions on the signs around the building and the instructions of the stewards.
- Entrance – Please confirm your name as you enter and use the hand sanitiser. Follow the instructions of the Welcome Team and take the seat you are guided to. Unfortunately, you will not be able to sit in your “normal” seat due to the protocols that we have had to put in place. We would also ask you to resist the temptation to linger and chat as we do not want long queues forming. Toilets will be available (Exit side door to our Church Halls entrance porch). Please ask the stewards for directions.
- In the Sanctuary – We ask you to remain in your seat for the duration of the service. Please do not get up to greet or chat with others. Use this time to prepare for worship. At the end of the service remain in your seats until an usher asks you to make your way out of the building. Sadly we will not be able to serve tea and coffee after the service. Please do not linger in the vestibule or exits. We have a responsibility to our members and wider community to act responsibly and to take all necessary measures to ensure their safety as well as our own.
What the service will look like
- Worship – the service, while different from what we are used to, the praise team will lead us with 2 songs. We are allowed to sing softly, but you will be asked to remain seated to do so.
- Families – are encouraged to come and sit together for worship. While we are still unable to have a separate children’s programme, the service will be appropriate for all-ages.
An online service will be provided on Sunday at 11am on our YouTube channel for the foreseeable future.
A link is currently provided from Facebook to the service on YouTube. Pastoral care and support via telephone will also continue.
While I look forward to welcoming you to worship again, I must ask that if you are displaying any symptoms that might in any way suggest you have contracted Covid-19 please do not come to church. You should follow the advice and instructions of the Public Health Agency, NHS and your GP. Indeed, if you are feeling unwell for any reason please do not attend worship.
The plans we have put in place are of course subject to change. Our primary concern is that when we gather it is as safe an environment as we can make it. We will follow the advice and direction of NI Executive, PHA, NHS and PCI. We will keep you as fully informed as possible.
Thank you for reading through this letter and I look forward to seeing you again very soon.
Questions, Queries & Registration Instructions
If you wish to attend the Sunday service please contact the church office by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02891270580 and provide your name/s and contact details. Outside office hours please leave a voicemail.
The office is attended from 9.30am – 12noon Monday and Wednesday.
Please contact us by 12 noon on Wednesday if you wish to attend the Sunday service.