I am delighted to tell you that the Church building will be open for worship on Sunday 30th May, at 10.30am. The Kirk Session has decided to open the building for in-person services, initially for 4 Sundays; then we will take stock. If everything has gone according to plan and people have been happy to attend, we will probably continue to hold these services through the rest of the summer.
The Kirk Session has decided to take this step for the benefit of those who have had no contact with worship since March 2020. We feel that this is a positive step, with more and more of other parts of life opening up. We do look forward to the day when we can all meet together again for a service that is more akin to what we recognise from before, but till then, we hope that this will help you, especially if you have not had any access to worship since March 2020. These procedures that we’re outlining here may seem a bit tiresome to you, but these are in place to allow us to meet safely. Please read this letter carefully and follow the process that is outlined below; these rules are in place to allow us to stay safe and to meet in a way that keeps you safe.
We plan to run the in-person services hand-in-hand with our Zoom services; so if you have joined our worship on Zoom, we would encourage you to continue to take part in that way, so that the spaces in the building are open for people who have not been able to use the technology. The service that we run will last for about 25-30 minutes and will consist of prayers, Bible readings and a sermon; there will be no singing, though we may play some pre-recorded hymns. Florence will play the organ before the service and at the end.
At the moment, the building can seat 26 people given the restrictions of 2-metre distancing. You will be able to come into the building through the front doors; there will be a hand-sanitising station in the vestibule which you should use. There will be a couple of people in the vestibule checking that your name is on the list, with your contact details for the Test and Protect system. The building has been set out with marked places where you can sit; we cannot guarantee that you can sit in your “usual” place or that you can sit where you want to sit. You will be shown to a seat and you will need to sit where there is an available space. The gallery is now open as well, so if you’re able to climb the stairs, that might be your first option. If you come with a family member from your bubble, then you will be able to sit together. There will be a one-way system in operation, and you will be asked to leave by the side door at the end of the service. Please follow all the signs and guidance that you will be given. You will need to wear a mask for the whole time that you are in the building and we need to keep the building ventilated, so the doors may be left open; do come warmly dressed. The toilet in the vestibule is the only one that will be available for use.
If you want to come to a service in the building, you will need to book a place. This is absolutely essential. Please don’t just turn up on spec looking for a space; if you just turn, we cannot guarantee you a space; there may be no spaces and you run the risk of being turned away. If we get to the stage of exceeding our capacity with more people trying to book than there are spaces, we will guarantee you a place for the following Sunday. We will only be taking bookings for one week at a time, so you will need to make a fresh booking each week. The booking list will also be our Test and Protect list; your personal details need to be kept for 21 days and then the list is destroyed.
To book a place, here are the arrangements:
- For Sunday 30th May, phone Alison on 07588 926723 on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th between 10am and 12 noon.
- For Sunday 6th June phone Jim on 0131 453 3494 on Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd between 10am and 12 noon.
- For Sunday 13th June, phone Alison on 07588 926723 on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th between 10am and 12 noon.
- For Sunday 20th June phone Jim on 0131 453 3494 on Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th between 10am and 12 noon.
This is a step in the right direction; there is still some way to go before we can all be together in the one place for worship. Till then, we hope that this helps you, and that you will be happy to join in.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask.